Matrix Reloaded. Warner
Brothers presents a film written and directed by Andy
and Larry Wachowski. Running time: 138 minutes. Rated
R (for sci-fi violence, profanity and sexuality).
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo
Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci, Lambert
Wilson, Harold Perrineau Jr., Harry J. Lennix, Randall
Duk Kim, Gloria Foster.
loved The Matrix. So it goes without saying that I
was greatly looking forward to The Matrix Reloaded,
its sequel (actually, the first half of its sequel; the second
half, Matrix Revolutions, will be released later this
year). What does not go without saying (if it did, I would
not be writing this review) is that The Matrix Reloaded
fails to match the original in every aspect except the visual
effects, in which The Matrix is handily surpassed.
To say I was disappointed would be a gross understatement.
film's greatest failing is the fact that it is an unfinished
product. Many plot points are left dangling, and the cliffhanger
ending feels like an intermission for a five-hour epic. Unfotunately,
Matrix Revolutions will not be released until November,
and this is a huge detriment to what the Wachowskis are attempting
to accomplish. However, when it is released, I may change
my opinon of The Matrix Reloaded, as the overlying
story arc may make it a necessary step in the trilogy.
begins six months after the events in The Matrix. The
population of the hidden city of Zion has greatly increased,
due in much part to the three heroes of the orginal: the messianic
Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and Trinity
(Carrie-Ann Moss). The machines of the Matrix, in a last ditch
effort to win the war, have begun to converge on Zion, hoping
to end humanity. The leaders of Zion are preparing for war,
and Morpheus is depending on Neo to save the last of the resistance.
Characters met along the way include the Oracle (the late
Gloria Foster), the rogue program Merovingian (Lambert Wilson),
his wife, Persephone (Monica Belucci), and the Keymaker (Randall
Duk Kim). Also making a return is the vicious Agent Smith
(Hugo Weaving), only this time he has a few upgrades.
Reeves still can't act, but The Matrix Reloaded does
not really need him to. All that is required is that he looks
cool, and he pulls that off easily. Carrie-Ann Moss is given
surprisingly little to do, and Laurence Fishburne's acting
is now much worse than it was in The Matrix. The best
performance in The Matrix Reloaded belongs to Hugo
Weaving, as it did the The Matrix. He infuses Agent
Smith with a wonderful dry wit. Both Lambert Wilson and (especially)
Monica Belucci are wasted, but they still manage to impress
when on screen.
of the best things of The Matrix was that it was just
as smart as it was technically impressive. Unfortunately,
Reloaded is unable to match the intellectualism of
the original. Sure, there are many speeches about choice and
fate, but they are always long-winded and often pretentious.
And while the characters' words may sound impressive, once
you get past the complex language and bombastic delivery,
it becomes clear that nothing new is being said.
fight scenes in The Matrix astounded because of their
beautiful choreography and intricate "wire-fu" moves.
Despite being much more technologically impressive, the fights
in The Matrix Reloaded are a large step down from those
in The Matrix, in large part because of the
visual effects. In The Matrix, the actors were actually
doing the kung-fu moves. In The Matrix Reloaded, much
of the action in the largest fights are computer generated,
and, despite the extremely high quality of the CGI, it is
obvious when the live actors become computer generated ones.
if there's one aspect of The Matrix Reloaded in which
it surpasses its predecessor, it is the special effects. The
computer generated actors look better than anything that has
been made before, but as I detailed above, not quite perfect.
And while there is no reason to expect perfection, it still
damages the film as a whole.
the average movie-goer, I recommend The Matrix Reloaded.
For huge fans of The Matrix, I know nothing I say will
stop you from going. But when you do go, lower your expectations,
and you could be in for a pleasant experience. Unfortunately,
I went into The Matrix Reloaded with high expectations.
And I was let down more than I could have ever expected.
2003 Matt Noller