THE MATRIX RELOADED - 2003
Warner Brothers Pictures
Rated: Australia: M / France: Rated U / Germany & Netherlands:
16 / Hong Kong: IIB / Italy: T / Norway, Sweden, UK: 15 / Spain:
18 / USA: R
I'm gonna kick your ass, Matrix-style!
There's lots of ways you might react to that statement. You might say, Please,
dont hurt me! or you might say, Bring it on, movie critic
boy! Either way, the odds are good youd know that I intended
to attack with kung-fu kicks and gravity-defying leaps, because THE
MATRIX was so popular that its become part of our culture. By the way, attempting even a single gravity-defying leap would put me in the hospital so dont worry. Youre safe.
THE MATRIX RELOADED, the long-awaited sequel and the second movie of a three movie trilogy
(THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS will be out later this year), opens with a seemingly normal situation, as a shift change takes place at a large company. But then you notice that all the
men punching in are security guards and you know what happens to security guards in these movies.
Sure enough, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss: THE
MATRIX, MEMENTO, FIDO) makes an amazing entrance and makes the security guards wish they'd gone to barber college. But the action turns out to be a dream and the dreamer awakes. Neo (Keanu Reeves: DRACULA,THE
MATRIX, THE GIFT, THE WATCHER, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL ) has been having dreams about his true love Trinity in danger for some time
now. He's worried but in true hero style, he keeps it to himself.
ARRR! CAPTAIN! AYE! ARRR!
Trinity and Neo are still aboard the Nebuchanezar, which is still captained by Morpheus
(Lawrence Fishburne: EVENT HORIZON, THE
MATRIX). An operator named Kain (Harold
Perrinaeu: Oz [HBO]) guides the crew through their virtual missions.
The ship returns to Zion, the last human city, hidden deep underground from the
machine civilization on the surface. One of the cool things about this
movie is that we get some more detail about Zion and how this culture
works. We see that while Morpheus is a prominent citizen of Zion, hes
far from being in charge. There's lots of other captains, among them
Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith: TALES FROM THE CRYPT:
Demon Knight, SCREAM 2), a
former romantic interest of Morpheus. Now Niobe is involved with Commander
Lock (Harry J. Lennix), Morpheus' nominal boss and chief military officer for Zion.
We also learn that not everyone in Zion buys into the whole mystical Neo-is-the-One
thing. Opinions vary. But many do believe and the believers come to Neo
like worshippers, bringing offerings and asking him to watch over their
loved ones. Neo himself doesnt know how to take the cultish adulation
and is still trying to figure out who he is and why hes special.
The main threat to Zion was revealed in an animated short film that was shown among
the previews in various movie theatres over the last few months. If you
were lucky enough to see THE ANIMATRIX: The Flight of the Osiris (seen with DREAMCATCHER) then
you know that the machines have an approximate location on Zion and are
drilling their way down to it. Commander Lock is preparing the defenses
and tells Morpheus that no ship can be spared. But Morpheus has another
mission in mind. He must contact the Oracle (Gloria
Foster: THE MATRIX).
OKAY, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME, BUT I THINK THE WARCHOWSKI BROTHERS ARE SERIOUSLY INTO DREADLOCKS!
We also learn more about the machine culture, discovering that its not as
orderly and organized as one would assume. There are renegade programs
that operate outside the system, but the Master Control Program is bringing
them under control
No, wait, that was TRON. I doubt the similarity
is intended but when they refer to each other as programs
that will trigger TRON flashbacks in the geek crowd.
NO, REALLY: SERIOUSLY INTO DREADS'!
Among the renegades (this isn't a spoiler - it's in the trailer)
is Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving: THE
MATRIX, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE WOLFMAN), although he's really not an agent anymore. Smith has his own agenda.
At this point youre probably thinking, Yes, yes, all well and good.
But did it rock? Before I answer that I must reveal my own agenda
by reading from my
I was pleased to see no attempt to add to the ridiculous idea mentioned
in the first film that the machines are using their unwitting human slaves
as a power source. That's just plain stupid for a long list of reasons
and they wisely skipped over it here.
On the other hand a lot of the computer references are as ancient as Tron. The story centers
around a plan to get into the enemy mainframe, an idea right
out of the 70s. Have these artificial intelligence programs not
heard of distributed networks? Like, for example, the internet?* The internet has no central computer, nor does it need one. I find it hard to believe that these vastly more advanced computers would take such a giant step backwards.
But that's nit picking, just like it's nitpicking to mention that the movie
does have some slow spots. One scene in particular where Neo gets a lot
of exposition from one character seems to go one forever. But, aside from
that, yes, this movie rocks! The effects are better than ever, good enough
that the fights can be shown at full speed (instead of just slow motion) and still look awesome. The more detailed
world where the story takes place feels like a real place and the characters
couldnt be cooler. I give THE MATRIX RELOADED four shriek girls.
EVEN 'POPPIN' A SQUAT" IS HIGH TECH IN THE MATRIX!
Finally, a sad note. Actress Gloria Foster died during the filming of THE MATRIX RELOADED, from complications due to diabetes. She does a great job as The Oracle and her talent will be missed.
This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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FOR THOSE WHO SCROLL
If you wait
until the very end of THE MATRIX: RELOADED, and I mean after that
long, LONG scroll of credits, you get rewarded with a special preview
of the final MATRIX sequel, THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS! If you love everything
that has gone before, that preview will knock you out of your chair!
HA, Kelly! You only THINK there is such a thing as "Distributed
Networks" and the "Internet" because that is what
the Matrix WANTS you to think!
You have fallen for its RUSE!
Take the red pill and wake up to the REAL world, dude! The
Matrix is a highly evolved, steam powered, punch card driven abacus!
And you are its tool!