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The Matrix Reloaded

Starring: Carrie-Anne Moss, Keanu Reeves, Lawrence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving....

So: You've watched the previews, you've heard the rumors, you've drunk the Powerade(tm). Now you can finally pay your eight bucks and see the thing itself. The question is- should you?

The Premise: The Matrix Reloaded takes place several months after the ending of the first movie. Neo is still the One, and the crew of the Nebauchadnezzar are still on their quest for freedom. However, it has been discovered that the machines are massing at a single point and working together to dig a tunnel down to peaceful Zion. Meanwhile, Neo must grapple with who he is, why he is, and what the meaning of his dark dreams might be.

Like it or hate it, this has probably been the single most anticipated movie of the decade. Rumors have been flying for months about the special effects and fight sequences that go on during the course of the 2 1/2 hours, and after having seen the final product for myself, I can only say that they were not unwarranted. This is a beautiful movie. The Wachowski Brothers, unlike certain directors named Lucas, don't sacrifice an inch of cinematography to the FX. The city looks like a real city, the CG looks only mildly like CG, and the snozberries do indeed taste like snozberries.

The kung fu is as top notch as expected, and maybe a few degrees beyond. Superhuman wire-work acrobatics and martial arts mesh almost seamlessly here, with the wirework occasionally taking a backseat and letting the kung fu work on pure style. There are fights in this movie where you WILL wince, laugh, or grin like a madman- because they're just that much fun. Nothing takes itself TOO seriously, and as a result, the fights play fast and loose, and between that and the action, there are times where you'll want to stand up and scream 'Come for me, Gmork! I am Atreyu!'

However, special effects and drool-worthy chop-socky action sequences are to a movie as a fine cream icing is to a cake. They do not make the movie, but they DO make it a sensory feast. What makes the movie, and makes it WORK, is the story. While some people will say different, the story is not at all eclipsed by the action. While Reloaded may not have the eerie spiralling out of control unreality feel of the first movie, the story it does create is both more original and much more cerebral. I just know there are going to be people- no, probably not you, dear reader- who walk out of the theater, muttering 'What the f...?' This movie is designed to ask all the questions: What is the Truth? How real is real? Does free will exist? Is there a plan behind everything? Is this all just random chance? If you dream that you're dreaming, is the dream you dream any less real than the dream you dream you're dreaming? And so on. THAT'S what makes Reloaded great.

I suspect that this is one of those movies that you will either love or hate, and either way, it is worth a watch. Whether you liked the first movie, disliked it, don't know about it, et cetera et cetera, I would advise you to go out and see it. Then decide for yourself.

Of course, you've already made the decision. Now you must understand why...

Rating: 9 out of 10
Best Scene: The Architect
Scene I'm Going To Be Hearing About For The Rest Of My Damn Life: The Burly Brawl.
Problems and Contradictions: What the hell happened to Tank? Did I miss something?

"Quit this world, quit the next world, quit quitting!" -Sufi proverb.

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The following comments are for "The Matrix Reloaded"
by Beckett Grey

I need to know is the movie good, because my friends and i going to the cinema to watch it.

( Posted by: Lava Inferno [Member] On: May 22, 2003 )

About your Tank dilemma. He was mentioned briefly in the movie as needed elsewhere. I dunno. But in reality, he wasn't used again because he apparently was responsible for some disorderly conduct on the set and at parties etc. afterward. There's an article in Time that goes into more detail.

What did you think about the change in mood? It came as a surprise to me that they went more Hollywood with the movie, and focused less on the surrealism of the first.

Also, in the scene with the Architect where he explains "anomalies", why don't they just eliminate them as they crop up, allowing the Zion scenario not to be played out. They're machines after all, they value efficiency. Anyway. Please respond.

( Posted by: Washer [Member] On: May 25, 2003 )

re: Washer
Yes, I did notice that during the Architect's speech. There are a lot of debates going around about what exactly it means. My personal theory is that the Architect is lying through his teeth, and that Neo is actually an engineered anomaly designed specifically to destroy viruses like Agent Smith, and THAT is what he's being groomed for. I think the door business was deception on the Architect's part (if he knows as much as he says does about the human race, he KNEW Neo would choose to save Trinity). As for the rest of it, why he can stop the Sentinels, and so forth, it's anybody's guess. I just hope the Wachowski brothers can pull it off this November.

( Posted by: Beckett Grey [Member] On: May 26, 2003 )

Whole ticket price for two and a half hours worth of eye candy? Or is this a case when I'm a girl and I just don't understand? The car chase was too long by about half, and Burly Brawl was just unnecessary, as was Mr. Smith, much as I love Hugo Weaving and his character. Still, I will be cueing up for the next installment, and loved a lot of things about the movie...for instance, in light of the whole terrorist/9-11/ Columbine High school thing, did anyone else notice that there was NOT a lot of shooting in this film? Hmmmm.

( Posted by: Cybele [Member] On: June 2, 2003 )

re: Cybele
I don't think it's a case of 'oh, you just don't understand'. In my opinion, it's just a movie that you can get as much or as little as you want out of. 2001: A Space Odyssey is another example. Lots and lots of eye candy and superficially pointless scenes...but...
Anyway, I'm just one reviewer, and if the critics were always right, it would mean Blade Runner was terrible.

( Posted by: Beckett Grey [Member] On: June 2, 2003 )

Excellent review
I'll be checking out this movie with my girlfriend for certain; I've been waiting for a decent review from another Netizen.

Thank you, and well done.

Disappointing to hear about that actor who played Tank. However if his conduct was unprofessional, that's how it's got to be.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: June 16, 2003 )

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