See other posts. Trinity's death frees Neo to serve his purpose.
2. The scene with the machines entering the outer hull of Zion was drawn out needlessly, as it contained no switching between the fight at Zion and Neo's plight (think: middle/end of ROTJ)
The fight for the Zion Dock was extremely predictable, I thought, but much of this movie as a whole was rather predictable. Once I concluded that Zion would survive the simplistic attack from the Sentinels and that the real struggle would be Neo's, I was ready to move on. This did not necessarily hurt the scene for other viewers however. In fact, this whole thing is just a gigantic scale rehash of the climax of the original Matrix where the Sentinels are trying to destroy the Nebuchanezzer while Neo is battling the three agents in room 303.
3. The fight scene with Smith/Baines and Neo in the Logos was completely extraneous.
Hardly. Neo's loss of eyesight was shocking after watching him survive innumerable ammo crates of hot lead up to this point. The worst injury I think he had exhibited was coughing up some blood. Then whamo!, he's blind. Wow. It began setting up the following scenes in which there would really be finality brought to this trilogy.
4. Neo's death in the end leaves the humans without a powerful weapon against the machines if they were to decide to attack the humans again. Contrast this with Star Wars and LotR, where the playing field is leveled at the end, or slightly in favor of the protagonists.
Neo's not dead, for heaven's sake. We even see him pulling away from the camera on that Wachowski version of a pickup truck through Neo's own red-tinged "sight". It is only through Neo's "eyes" that we saw the world in that way in this movie. This post reminds me of the goofy ones after Reloaded that said Zion had been destroyed. Like the title of the song that began rolling the credits in the first Matrix; Wake Up!
5. Keanu Reeves performance was subpar, even for him. In the climactic battle with Smith at the end, he looked drugged and was not convincing as the leader of the free world. He had no fire, and it was the machines and the Oracle that actually spurred him on to defeat Smith (esp. the machines, as they revived him after being consumed by Smith).
Umm, Keanu HAS been drugged a time or two. You're totally missing the points of that scene. Everything has a purpose. The purpose of a virus (Smith) is simply to spread. "Humans are a virus that consumes everything and then must move on." Once Smith spreads to his last bit of opposition, his purpose has been fufilled and the virus collapses. Neo's purpose is to continue to exhibit freewill. Smith had no freewill but could only go on annihilating everything around him until it was gone. Once the virus collapsed, all the beings simply returned to their previous state, like a community returning to health. On the other hand, Neo's purpose can never be exhausted as long as there are choices to be made.
6. In the beginning, he was trapped in the train station for no conceivable reason but to lengthen the movie. It served no purpose, benefitted the movie naught and did not lead to any great discoveries that were used later in the film. Likewise, how we could be jacked in without being jacked in was never satisfactorily addressed.
The train station conversation with the Indian family served the very important purpose of showing one of the overriding themes of the trilogy; that Man and Machine need one another. Neo sees machines that are embracing elements of humanity. How the heck were we supposed to get this message otherwise, while Neo was dangling from a helicopter skid and dodging bullets? The quiet, antiseptic get-together was reminiscent of Neo's meeting with the Architect in Reloaded or Neo's conversation with that Minister-guy about Zion's water purification system in Reloaded. As for Neo being jacked-in, for heaven's sake the rest of the humans are virtual pygmies, save for Morpheus. Do they really think they can win a war against a bunch of self-replicating robots through attrition? Neo steadily moves towards a full enlightenment (a la Siddhartha) through the three movies. None of the other humans can so much as stop a bullet in midair by the end of the trilogy. Neo simply sticks up a hand and stops a salvo of flying Sentinels. Eventually, he doesn't even need his eyeballs to get around and master that which nobody and nothing else in this Universe could; the Smith's. Why are you nitpicking about Neo no longer needing a needle in his head to function in the Matrix? Didn't you notice him knocking out Sentinels in Reloaded without using Kung Fu? Come on man, Free your Mind! Or at least suspend some disbelief.