METRO PLUS

Birds on a wire

The super burly brawl

The super burly brawl  

MATRIX-STYLE stunts are now a genre by themselves with umpteen movies replicating the cool wirework and even more films spoofing it. For Reloaded and Revolutions the principal cast of Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving reunited with the trilogy's fight choreographer and wire work specialist Yuen Wo Ping, and his Hong Kong Kung Fu team for five months of training.

The action set pieces to look out for in Revolutions including the Club Hell Coat Check showdown, Neo's fight with Bane on the Logos, and a Super Burly Brawl (a take from Reloaded's burly brawl) where he fights many Agent Smiths in the rain.

"The Brothers wanted the Super Brawl fight to convey Neo and Smith's invincibility," Wo Ping says. "I tried to create an energy behind this sequence of these two very different fighters clashing in a battle where both must win but neither can be defeated. Thanks once again to Keanu and Hugo's perseverance, we were able to achieve that energy in the fight."

The Super Brawl filming took eight weeks and required months of preparation to develop innovative technical equipment. The contest takes place in torrential rain, kicking off on a flooded street lined with Agent Smiths, and then taking off 2,500 feet into the lightning-streaked sky, with an obstacle race through abandoned skyscrapers. The conflict is finally resolved in a massive crater. Extra large raindrops that could be lit were produced.

A combination of actor doubles, Smith "dummies" created by the Art Department and CGI Smiths added by the VFX team were used to simulate the three rows of Agent Smiths. Tuning Forks, a special rig, were invented to create the sense of weightlessness for the airborne fight sequences, which was staged in "the egg" a large box-like set enclosed in blue screen where the fighting was shot.

Other rigs and harnesses to take Revolutions to the next level included the "Twisty Belt" - a harness that allows actors to do multi-directional rotations, and the "Yak rig."

The fight sequence in the Club Hell Coat Check, where Trinity, Morpheus and Seraph infiltrate an underground nightclub in the Matrix to confront the Merovingian (Christopher Lambert) who has placed a bounty on each of their heads also featured the twisty belt.

For the Siege on Zion, in which sentinels attack soldiers and volunteers, an "air bike," was adapted to simulate the soldiers being grabbed and thrown down. While the stunt crew called the rig the "PMS Machine" for "Please Make it Stop," the audience will surely not say this as they are whisked away into the stunning world of the Matrix for the last time.

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