May 16, 2003

Matrix Reloaded: More Action. More Gobbledygook.

- So here's my capsule review of "The Matrix Reloaded." (Extremely mild spoilers, only about the bad stuff.)

I wasn't sure where they were going to go with this movie. Mumbo-jumbo about prophecies and "the one" doesn't leave much room to move around. That's why prescience in films and stories is so dangerous. But it can also be rewarding if done right.

Neo, our hero, is together with Trinity. But it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, so we know there is going to have to be some tension. The Wachowski brothers decide to go for the "danger of losing a loved one" route rather than "the honeymoon is over" route with Trinity. Neo is worried that she's going to be a casualty in their war, sooner or later. And the dreams are telling him "sooner." Hey, no one said that being "the one" came with any guarantees about your friends.

In any case, the Wachowski's heavy-handed scenes near the beginning of the movie establishing Zion (the last human city) as a place of flesh, blood and spirit were a little bit heavy-handed for my taste. The contrast between Zion and the Matrix came across in the first few minutes, and we didn't need the drawn out slow-shot pans of Zion as a dance club. Really - does it seem odd to anyone else that half the citizens of Zion are male dancers and the other half are female models? If the film hadn't picked up right after we were subjected to Keannu Reeves' derriere, I would have been ready to leave the theater.

At this point, the guy sitting a few seats down from me is patting his belly loudly (what's with that?) but (thankfully) the dudes two rows back have stopped giving us the translation into Sophomorese. But despair evaporated as soon as the action kicked into high gear, along with the soundtrack.

Agent Smith is back, and you've seen the trailers so I don't have to tell you what his obvious new twist is. But he's got a few they held back from the trailers, and a hidden agenda that has yet to be revealed. He's only the first of a number of villains and quasi-villains. For bonus points, find the character whose wardrobe is made up entirely out of surgical glove material.

Yes, this film has the signature philosophical gobbledygook that the last film handed us. However this time, pay close attention. Either it's starting to make a little more sense, or I am going insane.

I recommend this film for anyone who was a fan of the first, or anyone who wants to see the state of the art in merging Kung Fu, wire work and digital effects.

Posted by James at May 16, 2003 4:12 PM
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