The Matrix: Reloaded

2006-07-03 15:29
 

It drops your jaw to the floor like a Neo on his 'first jump'. Effects supervisor John Gaeta has outdone himself in The Matrix: Reloaded, executing some of the most stunning visual effects sequences ever seen on film. And that's really all you want to know, right? Well, there's more...

Thankfully, the Wachowskis have remained true to their intentions; they haven't swallowed their own red pill and plunged headlong into the sort of demented self-involvement that now sees George Lucas directing his own movies according to a Star Wars universe half-created by fans.

The Matrix is first and foremost an Action/Fantasy adventure, and its success is based primarily on visual impact. It is, after all, the project that first spawned Bullet Time, the rotating digital shot that presents multiple angles of the same moment in time.

What pushes the Matrix franchise into 'all-time classic' territory is its compelling comic-book storyline: the deific Neo, once a lowly computer hacker, is burdened with the task of freeing the human race from a vast virtual reality prison known as the Matrix. Along the way he has to struggle with this responsibility - he doesn't at first believe in his own divinity - and when he eventually actualises it, all hell's to break loose in the Matrix.

In this latest instalment, the machines that enslaved the human race have mobilised to destroy the last human stronghold, an underground city called Zion, where all the liberated humans have sought refuge. Reloaded picks up with the news that the machines have started digging towards Zion. Now, with a real-world do-or-die battle imminent, actions within the Matrix itself are the only hope of salvation.

Whereas the existential debate in The Matrix centred on notions of Reality vs Perception, Reloaded ponders the ideas of Choice vs Reason, as two lengthy exchanges involving Neo are at pains to point out; the first with the now familiar Oracle (Gloria Foster), and the second with the newly-introduced Architect (Helmut Bakaitis).

Many 'intellectual' critics have lambasted The Matrix and Reloaded for 'dime-store' philosophy. Pish-tosh! Translating vastly complex existential arguments into a pop-culture vehicle is no easy matter - it cannot be done verbatim. But Reloaded does use elements of these ideas to advance its own rubric effectively, combining complex, if sometimes perplexing wordiness with plot structure akin to a Rubik's Cube.

There are problems beyond the intellectual, though: The third act speeds unnecessarily through a transitional montage scene, jarring the audience somewhat before the final showdown sequence. There's more than a scent of absurdity in the final reel, too, god or not. Notwithstanding, these won't hurt the cinema run. In all likelihood, it will bring audiences back a few times to figure it out.

Reeves plays his one-and-a-half-dimensional super-character reasonably; Fishburne has great fun hamming it up as the dogmatic Morpheus; and Moss seems happy to have cut back her role as the chief whip of the hero clan. Sadly, Agent Smith (Weaving) has less to do in this instalment, though the storyline does suggest a larger role for him to play in Revolutions.

...speaking of which, we now anxiously await - mission: accomplished. It's going to be a damn good year for Warner Brothers.


The Matrix: Reloaded showcases some of the most stunning visual effects sequences ever seen on film, but the popular philosophy of the storyline is what holds the movie together.

kay 2003/05/20 10:03 AM
Matrix Mania Thanks for the great review, I can't WAIT to see the movie.
Brad 2003/05/20 10:27 AM
Neo in the Matrix I can't wait to see the movie either. I believe the visual effects are out of this world.
Sherry 2003/05/20 10:40 AM
Reloaded for sure I Loved the first one, can't wait to see the RELOADED. Thanks for the great review, it's gonna be a blast.!! yes: MATRIX RELOADED
Dragon 2003/05/20 10:58 AM
sTILL SEETHING The end snaps your head like bad whiplash wish I had known there was a 3rd one... Otherwise it is amazing and wow. Special effects astounding and a story to boot. Everyone who loved the first one will definately love the second, even though it is very different....
Ntsiki Shadung 2003/05/20 12:01 PM
NTK Great movie, I think this one is even greater than the first one but I loved them both. Good work the Wachowskis brothers, keep up the good work. Matrix RELOADED
mario 2003/05/20 3:37 PM
the matrix reloaded the matrix reloaded the matrix reloaded
pearl 2003/05/20 4:10 PM
matrix it is one of the out of this work movies which is not predictable yes
Brandon 2003/05/20 6:37 PM
matrix matrix matrix
ivan 2003/05/20 8:03 PM
brilliant I HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET BUT AS A DIE HARD MATRIX FAN EVEN IF IT ISN'T GOOD I WILL STILL LOVE IT, CAUSE FACE IT THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY IS THE FACT THAT THE MATRIX IS NOT SCIENCE FICTION IT'S REAL. CAN YOU IMAGINE YOUR LIFE WITHOUT A COMPUTER OR SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE THAT IS NOT SOMEHOW OR OTHER CONNECTED BY A COMPUTER. SO THE MATRIX IS REAL TO ME CAUSE WE DO LIVE OUR LIVES IN A COMPUTER. 100%
Danny 2003/05/21 9:33 AM
MATRiX Sure as hell on my way to see it! Speaking of hell: I think the first film was the best analogy for spiritual life ever to emerge from film(or any media, for that matter)! In life, we only find direction once we have discovered two crucial elements: a)Identity and b)Purpose. Reading the reviews on Reloaded, I think this might just help deepen (in some strange way), many people's(including my own) spiritual insights! Hey-there's more to life than VR! ABSOfreakinLUTELY!
Pat 2003/05/22 8:16 AM
Matrix Awesome special effects! Spoiled by a wandering storyline, mushy love scenes, fast food script and cheesy acting. Not after all the hype
Geoff 2003/05/22 8:48 AM
Dull I didn't go to this movie with any expectations other than to be disappointed. After all, I thought that all the shocks were really revealed in the first movie. The movie lived up to my expectations. There was a period right in the beginning that I wished that the movie would just move along instead of plodding away. There is a pointless fight scene where one wishes that bullet-time had never been invented or that the film makers had been taught some restraint. Too much of a good thing eventually spoils that thing. The movie was enjoyable but it didn't possess the enjoyment value of the first movie and I don't think that the third one will have that value either. The matrix was always billed as a trilogy from when the first movie came out but they should have saved the money and put it towards another movie. Only if you're really a die hard Matrix fan
Brad 2003/05/22 8:55 AM
Matrix I went to see the movie yesterday..and yes...it's awesome. The visuals, the storyline...up my alley.For the folk that have not seen the movie yet...check out the car chase...it is ..I think..the longest car chase in a movie ever made,,,17 minutes to be exact. And Trinity is as sexy as ever. Matrix: Reloaded is what I definitely recomend.
pickle 2003/05/22 12:18 PM
dissapointing saw it last night, very drawn-out. special effects were pushed perhaps too far! Too many of the same kung-fu fighting, it gets tiring after a while. Too many long verbal meeting takenm place too. What was the 'Rave dance scene' in the cave all about?' wasted alot of time. Get it on video!
Curious_Porra 2003/05/22 2:34 PM
It rocked . . . . . . HARD! The Movie was awesome. The visuals were excellent and the story drew you in. I think some people went in expecting too much. The truth is that you should accept the movie for what it was. FUN, THRILLING and EXCITING! Don't be like so many of the Star Wars fans and start telling the people who made it how it should be! Besides that . . . Carrie Ann Moss is Amazing!
kagi 2003/05/23 1:41 PM
matrix reloaded slide i havent seen the movie yet. i would like to see the slides matrix reloaded
u 2003/05/24 4:51 PM
j j
clayton 2003/05/25 7:33 AM
matrix:reloaded nice movie,looking forward to the next one yes
Kwaku 2003/05/25 3:14 PM
Mr I really held my breath for four years. I thought Matrix 1 was my favourite movie but The Matrix Reloaded is my favourite now. Its is the best, I love this movie to death. I have seen it twice already, since the day it opened in South Africa(21 May) and watched it again on the 23rd of May. I want to see it four times before it dissapears from the cinema. I would like to give Reloaded 4 and a half. The Matrix Reloaded
chris 2003/05/26 8:16 AM
what a let down!!!!! Iwatched the matrix 1 and it had atleast a storyline. The matrix 2 has no story and it leaves you hanging without giving any answers. I was really dissipointed. no!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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