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Now this is a tricky one. When I first saw Matrix Reloaded back in the cinema I thought it was possibly one of the most overated, anticlimatic movies of all time. For me the Matrix was and still is one of the best movies of all time. This just didnt cut it. I didnt understand one word of it, it was a case of Neo going to visit the oracle, than the french guy, than the keymaker, than the architect etc etc.
However one of my friends told me to watch it again and really dont watch it with any expectations and try to understand it, and I have to say that this is actually a very good sequel, and although it doesnt have that first time wow effect that the original matrix had, it is still a very very good movie.
Let me explain and bare in mind this review will contain a lot of spoilers, so please if you havent seen it, than dont read on. Keanue Reeves is back as Neo, as are the rest of the gang, however there are new additions, and we really see the size of zion. Zion is a whole civilisation in itself, and its not just a case of their being a few runaway ships as I was led to believe in the first Matrix. Morpheus is only leader of one ship, and he has been spreading the word about Neo, being 'the one'. Not everyone believes in Morpheus and his prophecies.
Agent Smith is back and Hugo Weaving is as awesome as ever. He is now free from the system a 'free man', as he so proclaims, the negative towards Neo's positive, the balancing part of the equation. However as he is now Rogue he just wants it all, including taking over and destorying the matrix and zion. As well as taking over other humands in the Matrix, he can now copy himself and grow in numbers like a virus. Most interestingly he can now imprint himself into those unplugged that go into the matrix, and hence then go undercover into Zion.
I liked how they bought back all the previous characters, but that is what confused me at first viewing. I didnt understand any of Neo's conversations, and they just put in fight scence after pointless fight scene. It was cool at first, and yes that is the reason why people go to watch it, but the first movie judged it right. Here they took it to the next level, and I still feel this way, which is not a good thing. However it is the interesting conversations that bought me back to this movie, and I really wanted to understand what it is about. I actually did not know in the first movie that the Oracle was a program, and pretty much all the major characters in this movie outside of Zion are programs, but that does not necessarily mean they are bad.
The final conversation with the creator of the Matrix, the architect, is pretty epic, where we learn a lot more about Neo, and who he is, and what the Matrix really is. I didnt understand this at first, and have since viewed it like another three times, but still struggle, but like I said before, this is not a bad thing.
People who call this movie rubbish, need to open their minds, and watch it again. I was one of those people that hated the Matrix Reloaded, but can thankfully say that I am now a fan. I didnt always know this was great, but I 'believed'.
OK so The Matrix was an astonishing film, so they really could not go wrong with making a 2nd. Right...? Wrong!
As usual with film sagas, the sequel is always worse. even the mighty Matrix trilogy is no exception to this. Trying to carrying on from such an amazing story, was always going to be an impossible task, and to give the writers there due, they gave it a blooming good shot,. and it is still a very good movie in its own right.
What it lacks in story line it makes up for in effects, as this movie was made a while after the first, the advances in filming and editing technology have significally increased, to make the movie more realistic, with even more stunning visuals.
What i do like about this film, is it answers a few questions thrown out by the first film, and then chucks out about 10 times the amount afterwards, needing to be answered. this is annoying but fun, leaves you guessing what the outcome will be.
Although this movie is not as good as the first, in its own right it is still an absolute monster of a movie, and finishes in a way just kicking for a 3rd film to jump in on the scene and conclude the story.
If you have watched the first film and liked it, i reccomend getting this one as well. Even if you havnt watched it, its not hard to jump into this movie, without knowing the storyline.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The Matrix Reloaded, for all of its faults, is an excellent action film, and although not quite as excellent as the first film, it manages to be an exciting sequel thanks to the mind-blowing set pieces that made use of CGI like we had never seen before.
The first film ended with Neo (Keanu Reeves) becoming fully realised as The One in the fight to take down the Matrix, the computer-installed system that has enslaved humanity as batteries in order to feed the machine race known as the Sentinels. In this sequel, the sentinels are digging towards Zion, and so they must try and put a stop to the machines and the agents before Zion is destroyed and The Matrix is run beyond their control. Teaming up with Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), who is now Neo's lover, and Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne), who believes that a prophecy dictates that they will stop the war, they try to save Zion and put a stop to the Matrix. What's more, they are now teamed with a new gang of people, including Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), Ghost (Randall Duk Kim) and Seraph (Collin Chou), as well as a new series of antagonists, including The Merovingian. They will also have to contend with the fact that Agent Smith has found a way to replicate himself time and time over, making the problem even worse than they expected.
Although The Matrix Reloaded is not as well-crafted as the original, one cannot deny that the action set-pieces are absolutely jaw-dropping. Yes, the third act is highly pretentious, but the previous two acts are so fully-loaded with testesterone that one can let it go.
The Matrix Reloaded is the second film in the Matrix trilogy made by Warner Brothers.
This movie sees the return of Neo and his crew Morpheus, Trinity. Neo gets a vision in this movie where Trinity is fighting an agent and is killed. During the course of the movie Neo journeys to Zion the city he is destined to save from the thousands of sentinels that are gradually drilling their way down to attack the humans. The Oracle returns too in this movie and tells Neo he must find the Keymaker to make everything clear and is as cryptic and silly as usual.
There is much more of a relationship between Neo and Trinity in this movie and they become lovers. Agent Smith returns from the first movie and he is a rouge agent now after his humiliating defeat by Neo in the first movie and plays a really big part establishing himself as Neos main rival in the Matrix as now he is trying to take over everything and control the Matrix.
As with the first movie there are some really superb action scenes in this movie, highlights include the "burly brawl" where Neo fights against literally hundreds of Agent Smith clones in a really stylish set piece involving some amazing choreography. The movie also includes one of the best car chases yet involving Morpheus fighting an agent on top of a lorry and they both collide in an amazing scene.
The acting in the movie is great especially from Hugo Weaving who plays agent Smith, he has some great lines. Keanu Reeves does a good job as Neo and Carrie Anne Moss portrays her affection for him very well especially during a touching scene at the end. Laurence Fishburne does his rounds as Morpheus and rounds out the solid cast of main actors.
My DVD set contained an extra DVD with some nice features including documentaries going in depth showing how some of the scenes were created and including the scenes from the Enter the Matrix game which have extended scenes with Niobe and Ghosts characters.
The Matrix has been reloaded but never mind that: the focus is on the underground Zion where the rebels are hiding out & going tribal, like some dull Star Wars council scene meets a subterranean rave.
Things are about to liven up, though, because the machines are on the offensive & thousands of sentinels are tunnelling down through the rock to break into the stronghold.
In the meantime Neo is breaking off from his loved-up romance with Trinity to go on some rambling quest involving the lovley Oracle, who sends him into the strange between-realities world of human-like deleted programmes. In between the lengthy, pseudo-mystical waffling with these programmes there's lots of astonishingly choreographed fight scenes, much more ambitious than in the first film but also all really drawn out & frankly a bit dull. They're not helped by really obvious wires & CGI, plus a dreadful, offputting accompanying pop soundtrack.
There's a couple of admirable action sequences but nothing like the rollercoaster of surprises & excitement in Volume 1.
And with an ending that would seem abrupt for an advert break, never mind the end of a movie, it's hard to feel anything very much about The Matrix Reloaded without seeing the next instalment. A plodding, bloated, pretentious half of a film.
As a big fan of the original I was greatly looking forward to this, however I found it didn't live up to the hype.
My main issue was the story, I could practically hear the plot straining to be deep and profound but this falls flat on its face. The plot, which is entangled in vague philosophy ("Not how, but why"), is unnecessarily confusing and I eventually found myself wondering, does this plot make sense or is it simply that I just don't care?
I actually cringed at the final two door "choice" (despite being very predictable). I am fairly confident that their line of thought whilst developing that scene was "The pill thing went down well, let's throw it in again - I dunno, make something up,".
They did manage to add some new interesting characters, the twins spring to mind - however there is very little focus on them in anything other than action sequences. The enigmatic Merovingian I also found very intriguing and they did rightfully focus on him.
As a quick sidenote, I didn't give a flying fig about the relationship between Trinity and Neo. I put this down largely to the fact the script didn't flesh out the characters enough as well as their rather cold acting. A long time gap between watching the original and this film could also contribute to this.
They did manage to salvage some of the cool factor and even though the fight scenes feel far too mechanical and souless to the extent that they become very hard to enjoy, there is some beauty to be extracted. The cast keep their ultra cool neo-mafia style garb and the agents are as slick as ever.
I did enjoy the music during the end credits though, Calm like a Bomb by Rage Against the Machine. Kudos to the music person.
It has been six months since the events of the Matrix, and with the aid of The One the forces of Zion have been freeing minds from the machines at an unprecedented rate. It's enough of a threat for the machines to take action, and as the film begins, the machines have begun to tunnel to Zion, to eliminate it once and for all. While the military under Commander Lock are set to make a stand at the gates of Zion, Morpheus believes that the fulfilment of prophecy is at hand. He awaits the call of the Oracle to put into motion the events that will prove the final victory over the machines.
Neo on the other hand is himself beset with visions, and is tormented by dreams of Trinity's death. A visit to the Oracle will set forward a chain of events that will reveal the ultimate truth about the Matrix, and Neo will have to make a choice that will determine the fate of humanity.
The Matrix Reloaded has an absolutely stunning 2.40:1 anamorphic transfer, with what is to my eyes a flawless picture. The minute you see those green computer characters scrolling down the screen and realise that they are glowing with a fire and vitality that was completely absent in the first film's transfer that you realise that you are in for a treat.
The colours, the contrast, the sharpness and the sheer depth of the image is simply stunning, with the expansive sets and brilliant visual effects presented with astounding clarity.
However the downside to the immaculate transfer is the clarity with which the excessive use of CGI becomes apparent. Distracting in the cinema, here it is downright annoying, and I feel it detracts from the overall score.
The sound comes in DD 5.1 English and German flavours. It's a powerful dynamic soundtrack that is difficult to fault. The dialogue (such as it is) is clear throughout, and the superb action sequences take your speakers for an irreverent test drive. The music is in the same vein of the first film.
The extras comprise of "Preload" which lasts 22 minutes and is essentially a making of documentary, with interviews with the cast and crew. Padded with scenes from the movie and behind the scenes footage, it's essentially a brief PR piece to set up the film, the operative word being brief.
The Matrix Unfolds is a six-minute bit that takes an overall look at the Matrix phenomenon, the films, the anime and the game. All of which is repeated in further detail elsewhere on the disc making this extremely redundant.
Perhaps the most impressive piece is the Freeway Chase. 30 minutes of documentary footage regarding the creation and filming of one of the most expensive and massive car chases ever conceived. Filming of the stunt sequence alone took longer to shoot than most movies and involved building a freeway from scratch. This is probably the most rewarding extra on the disc and invites repeated viewing.
Finally there is the MTV Movie Awards sketch, which inserted Stifler and the Trousersnake a.k.a. hosts Justin Timberlake and Seann William Scott into key scenes of the film. Expecting the worst, I found this 10-minute sketch to be quite funny and irreverent.
But the bottom line is that there is no audio commentary and there is only one decent documentary. A film like the Matrix has a wealth of material that could provide hours of background footage, the martial arts training alone that the actors had to endure could fill a whole disc, not to mention the effects and stunts.
First let's get one thing clear, which is I like The Matrix Reloaded a lot. It's an amazing visual accomplishment that that is relentless in its supply of thrills and spills, but as a sequel to the first film it is adequate at best.
It's popcorn for the eyes, chewing gum for the mind that supplies a hit of intense flavour but little or no nourishment. If you are a fan of the Matrix, you probably already own this, and if you are considering buying this then I can heartily recommend it as a stunning piece of visual entertainment. But...
This is where I take my gloves off and start picking at the frayed edges, of which there are many. Whereas the first film had a complex story, rich in cultural references and possessing a unique originality, the sequel seems designed for marketing and visual effect only.
I had hoped that with the technology and style firmly established in the first film, they would make the effort to tell an exciting and interesting tale. After all, you can't invent bullet time again, and the stunning revelations and unique worldview that so enraptured audiences of the first film can't be repeated. Alas the producers went for bigger, better, faster, brighter action and stunts, choosing to neglect the narrative. The Matrix Reloaded lacks any story whatsoever.
The film lasts 2 hours, or 2 hours and 10 minutes if you include the end credits, yet for those 2 hours nothing of narrative value actually happens. As the film begins, machines tunnelling from the surface imperil Zion, as the film ends, machines tunnelling from the surface imperil Zion.
This film acts solely as filling between the two slices of bread that are The Matrix and The Matrix Revolutions. In between the action, we are drip fed revelations of the nature of the Matrix, tantalised with truths and half truths about the machine world and the human world up until the revelatory confrontation between the Neo and the Architect, which is incidentally laden with the most ponderous, unwieldy dialogue since Anakin Skywalker professed his love to Padme in Attack Of The Clones.
Indeed the dialogue and the philosophy of the Matrix have transformed from the elegant simplicity of the first film to pop psychology of the worst kind. Some of the lines that Laurence Fishburne has to spout made me feel sorry for the actor. Fortunately some awesome butt kicking opportunities compensate him.
Neo is somewhat problematic as a character now. Rendered indestructible in the Matrix, it's hard to generate any sense of peril towards him in the film, something that is problematic as he is the central character. He's constantly doing his "Superman" thing, but there is no Kryptonite in the Matrix. Although his laconic observation of "upgrades" when confronted with the new improved Agents hints at more of an obstacle. The film tries to get over this by giving him time constraints, he has to get to a certain place in a certain amount of time to save the day, but it isn't enough. It's actually far more thrilling and exciting to watch the action scenes with Trinity and Morpheus, as there is still the sense that they can be beaten.
While much of the film fails to stand out in terms of characterisation, there are a few bright points, Hugo Weaving reprises his role as the new improved Agent Smith, free of the system and following his own agenda, with some initially interesting new abilities, the strange speech patterns are still there as is the subtle menace.
The high point has to be the introduction of the Merovingian played by Lambert Wilson, a deliciously self centred and self-gratifying creature that lights up the screen. His little byplay with Persephone played by Monica Bellucci does much to enliven the unwieldy script. Also of interest are the albino dreadlocked twins, who briefly bring a little cheek to the film, as well as a compelling final performance from Gloria Foster as the Oracle.
On the downside there is a constipated performance from Harry Lennix as Commander Lock that is far too distracting for words, in an apparently pointless triangle between himself, Morpheus and Niobe.
Finally, if the Matrix Reloaded establishes one thing, it's that CGI humans aren't good enough yet to fool anyone. If there were any moments that pulled me out of the cinema experience kicking and screaming, it were the blatant uses of CGI in some of the stunt sequences. The Burly Brawl was a prime case in point.
For much of it, I was greatly impressed with the sweeping camera work, the multiple Agent Smiths and the fight choreography. Then all of a sudden we switch to CG and anyone who accuses Keanu Reeves of being wooden should hang their head in shame. Plastic CG Keanu looks absolutely nothing like real Keanu.
And what is the point of CGI bullet time. The original bullet time concept was an amazing development that allowed audiences to get a close up view of the action. Doing the same thing in CGI is not only a cheap rip-off of an expensive optical technique, but it only highlights just how fake your CG character looks. This happened far too often for my liking.
The Matrix Reloaded is an amazing sensory experience, which I don't hesitate to recommend. But you can't get away from the fact that in an attempt to go one step beyond the original the story has been neglected in favour of visuals, and what story there is, is stretched wafer thin.
The Matrix Reloaded is the second film in the series of 3.
The film stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, the chosen one. Chosen because of his special abilities within The Matrix. The Matrix being a machine controlled virtual world imprisoning the whole human race by imprisoning their minds.
It's up to Neo and the other humans that have escaped the prison to hack into the virtual and find the answers to free the human race and stop the machines destroying them.
The first Matrix film was quite a complex film to follow and I'm sure that this will have stopped a number of people watching the second film and trying to make heads or tails of it. My advice is to watch the whole trilogy even if you don't understand the first two films there is a chance that the third one will tie things together for your mind.
The effects have been stretched to their limit in this film. Including the ability for Neo to fly there are new enemies within the Matrix including a french man and his ghostly side kicks that can move through walls. Neo must also fight 100's of agents and the fight scene is superb.
With a high speed chase down the freeway where everyone driving a car could be an agent the action flares up and never stops.
The film gets right into action from the go although there are a few cheesy love bits in the film between Neo and Trinity. There is never much time between action sequences.
The Matrix Reloaded is the 2003 follow up to the critically claimed 1999 film The Matrix. It is the second film in what is now a trilogy, with The Matrix Revolutions (released later on in 2003) wrapping the story up. This is a review of the movie itself, as opposed to all of the extras on the DVD and such.
I'm sure you all already know this, but on the off chance that you don't, here's some background. The Matrix followed the journey of a computer hacker (Neo; Keanu Reeves) as he came to terms with the startling revelation that the world he was living in was not the real world as he understood it, but in fact an elaborate and highly sophisticated programme called The Matrix used by machines to effectively enslave mankind. The 'real' world was a wasteland two hundred years in the future, where a relatively small group of human rebels fight against the machines from Zion (the last human city).
Those who were previously 'freed' from the Matrix are capable of journeying back into it, though whilst there they run the risk of running into Agents, exceptionally well dressed but also exceptionally deadly machines with unmatched speed and strength, so much so that they can even dodge bullets. Indeed, there is a stark warning given in the film by Morpheous (Laurence Fishburne) that "every man and woman that has ever fought an agent has died".
Anyone who dies in the Matrix also dies in real life, but equally due to the world effectively taking place in a person's mind, someone who understands and accepts that the Matrix is not the real world can bend certain rules of physics and such, allowing for some spectacular gravity defying acrobatics and action scenes. At the end of the movie Neo becomes The One, which essentially gives him a huge amount of power within the Matrix, allowing him to beat previously indestructible agents with ease, and even fly. He also manages to get the girl in the process (Trinity; Carrie Ann Moss), so we have an all round happy ending.
The Matrix Reloaded takes place six months after the events of the first film. Neo becoming The One has spurred the human rebels on to greater things, and more and more people are being 'freed' from the Matrix. However, predictably all is not well, and it is discovered that the machines are carrying out a plot to drill directly through the Earth into Zion, surely dooming humanity in the process. And if that wasn't enough, Neo is having nasty dreams where Trinity gets shot and killed by an Agent whilst in the Matrix. And so the race begins to stop the machines and save humanity.
The plot in the Matrix Reloaded is complicated, considerably more so than the relatively straightforward one offered by the original film. Few people will understand everything on watching the first time. The plot is very much the brain child of the Wachowski Brothers, and as such you do get the impression at times that they are hurtling you towards their dream with little regard for how much you are actually understanding. If the first film contained a basic (and admittedly ground breaking) idea, then this one contains the continuation of that idea along with all of the notes scribbled in the margins. It is by no means impossible to follow, but it is unexpectedly complicated after the easy ride that the first film gave watchers, which makes it less accessible.
The major characters from the first film all return, including Neo, Morpheous, Trinity, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), and The Oracle (Gloria Foster, who sadly passed away before the filming of the third film was complete). And generally their old roles are reprised with no major shocks. Agent Smith is a little more philosophical in this film, but then again there were hints of his free thinking nature in the first film, so combined with the added depth to this film's plot, the development in his role is not entirely unexpected.
Joining the old cast are a number of new characters such as the Merovingian (a distinctly French programme playing the part of a villain), Seraph (a somewhat stereotypical protector of the Oracle packing some serious martial arts skills) and the Twins (two remarkably pale fellows with the handy ability to turn transparent at will, causing bullets and blades alike to pass straight through them), which for the most part are minor roles but nonetheless some extra elements to the film.
The actors for the most part handle their roles well, though they are ultimately carried by the film rather than propelling it to greatness themselves. This is in part due to the fact that they are almost deliberately restricted from doing so by the twisting plot and action sequences, but irrespective anyone wanting to see a Heath Ledger Joker performance amongst these characters is going to be left disappointed.
That's not to say that there aren't some excellent performances to be seen. Hugo Weaving, as in the first film, does a fantastic job playing Agent Smith, and once again creates a distinctly intimidating and powerful villain with his calm and measured approach to the character. Lambert Wilson also does a fantastic job as the Merovingian, managing to bring humour to a villain's role whilst always avoiding the temptation to make the character silly and unconvincing.
On the whole though everyone plays their part and the film is cast well. Keanu Reeves is wooden as always, but this does suit his character, and other actors equally play the part that is required of them to keep the film immersive.
THE ACTION SEQUENCES
Action sequences perhaps don't normally require their own sub heading, but given the fact that many such scenes in the original film have now become classic and so well known that my grandmother knows about them (well, nearly), it's worth looking at these in a little bit more depth. It should come as no surprise that serious efforts were made in this film to move the action sequences to the next level.
And how. As well as guns and fist fights, we now have large scale fist fights, an array of weapons, and a variety of vehicles from motorbikes to HGVs. We've come a long way from endlessly destructible hallways and small scale scraps in an abandoned subway.
There's no point in dragging this section out. It should come as no surprise that the action sequences in The Matrix Reloaded are absolutely superb. Nearly every one introduces a new element, and nearly every one, even six years down the line, is right up there with the best that Hollywood has to offer. The car chase sequence (hello vehicles), the Grand Hall fight (hello weapons) and the Agent Smith fight (hello, well, lots of Agent Smiths and Neo fighting them with a big metal pole), are all adrenaline packed scenes that will keep your heart racing and your eyes glued to the screen. Action junkies will no doubt have played these action sequences through countless times, and will continue to do so until their DVD physically can't take it anymore. And I don't think anyone will begrudge them for it.
The reason why The Matrix was so critically acclaimed is that it took a relatively simple science fiction idea and applied it in such a way that it made just about plausible. And it was that shred of plausibility that made the film so intensely compelling. The main problem with The Matrix Reloaded is that it has moved the world from the first film firmly into the implausible. In concentrating on the 'real world' outside of the Matrix, the Wachowski Brothers have shifted the focus, and the audience no longer has that enticing shred of thought that what they're watching on screen could actually be real.
That is not to say that The Matrix Reloaded is not a good film. The plot is a little complicated and inaccessible, but is highly original. The action sequences are, as stated above, fantastic. The reason why the film has come in for so much criticism is because it has been born in the shadow of its predecessor, which will forever be heralded as a classic. From the start Reloaded was not going to reach those heights because it had to expand its horizons, but a lot of the criticism levelled at it in the past has been overly harsh.
In fact, once you get used to the idea that you're watching the story of the real (and distinctly fictional) world develop as a whole, and not a story that revolves around the Matrix itself, Reloaded becomes a very decent film in its own right. It is very watchable and continues The Matrix line well. It's just not classic.
I was disappointed with this movie, and its sequel.
The original Matrix is a classic and much loved movie. The idea behind it was also very simple. Machines had taken over the world and created a fictional digital world to keep the humans under control so they can feed of the energy our bodies create.
The next two movies, didn't quite meet the same level as the first. The story got far more complicated and difficult to follow.
The one good thing is the wonderful, wonderful action scenes, at one point the machines attack the last free human city - a great piece of special effects, and the fighting scenes are just as good as the first movie. The original and wonderful fighting style can be seen again in this movie
I guess the problem with this is the expectations raised by the first movie - it was impossible to live up to, and didn't quite make it.
This review is also published under the same name at ciao
CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS!
Opening exactly like the 1st movie & throwing us right into the action we have another Trinity action scene which is revealed to be Neo having a dream. Replacing some of the crew killed in the 1st film we get to meet Link (who will go on to be famous in LOST), this is also our 1st mention of and chance to actually see Zion.
A lot of scenes in Zion go on far too long and are not needed at all, the huge dance rave being the worst offender by far. Likewise a lot if not ALL of the fight scenes go on far too long as well.
Neo's 1st fight with the Smith's, Neo's fight after meeting The Keymaker are both far too long. Do the Directors not know how to cut a scene for pacing reasons?
Yes, it looks cool. Yes, it's exciting but also sadly yes it detracts you away from what little plot there actually is at this point in the film. Basically all the stuff inside The Matrix this time is Neo trying to find The Architect who claims to be the creator of The Matrix (obviously this is impossible as The Matrix itself has clearly been in existence for hundreds of years and no human can live that long).
Of course Neo is told this Matrix is not the original but the 6th version and the same cycle of creation and destruction has been going on since the original Matrix was made. Neo is then offered a choice, save Trinity and allow all humanity to die or to save Zion. Obviously he chooses Trinity (as this is the dream he has been having, seeing what looks like her impending death) and of course he catches her but she dies from her bullet wound and of course he brings her back to life in The Matrix just like she did for him in the 1st movie.
We are told the squids have attacked Zion and that surely there must be a traitor and they had found a survivor (who turns out to be someone Agent Smith had taken over earlier in the movie). This is the very weak ending (even weaker than the 1st film!) and this is the trouble with being the 2nd in a trilogy, nothing is resolved and the plot has not progressed much.
The Matrix Reloaded is the follow up to the huge smash hit The Matrix. Again the plot centres around Neo (Keanu Reeves) Morpheus, Trinity, and the rest of the crew as they continue to battle the machines that have enslaved the human race. That's not all though, they learn that 250,000 sentinels are digging towards them in order to wipe out the humans who dared to rebel against them.
I think it's fair to say I was more excited about this film that any film before or since. And when I left the cinema after seeing it for the first film, I was a little confused. I knew it wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't up to the standards of the first one either. For me the script is too bloated and pretentious, and the philosophical aspects seemed a bit forced in places. And I defy anyone to understand what The Architect said first time around.
What defined the first one, at least to most people, were the stunts and the effects, and they're back with a vengeance here. The incredible choreographed fight scenes are an absolute joy to watch, and the freeway scene is also incredible, although not as good as I remember Joel Silver saying it was, but then, before the film it was left to the individual persons imagination.
The acting is good, they do the best they can with a script that perhaps could have been better, with Laurence Fishburne providing sage council to 'the one'. There are new characters which fit in well and explain more about the matrix, although they probably open up more questions than answer them.
It does sound like I don't like this film, and I do! It's just the first matrix is my favourite film of all time and I was so psyched to see this one, and so I could maybe see more faults than the average cinema-goer who didn't really know anything about it. Over the years though I have come to accept it as what it is: A fun, good sci-fi actioner than maybe should've been better.
The Matrix is all around us. Or so my brother used to say, and I never really knew what he meant until I receive the first Matrix on VHS as a Christmas present many years ago, and I was pretty young to appreciate it - although even back then I knew it was something special. That gave me an extra interest when I heard that the movie was part of a trilogy, and on the Friday of release my mum picked up a copy of Matrix Reloaded during her late night shop, and I remember I was up til past midnight watching it for the first time.
It's not 1999 anymore though, and in 2003 the creators of the Matrix trilogy with their strange vision for the film can use more outlets than ever to try and get the vision across. Whilst the follow up to the original Matrix wasn't as widely recommended, that did not turn me off wanting to see the movie. Reloaded opens with Neo's premonition, and in turn an exciting action sequence. Neo is played by Keanu Reeves, and for those who didn't see the first, Neo is supposedly the 'One' and the 'prophecy' says that Neo will be able to stop the war between man and machines (I'll explain it more later). And as the 'One', Neo can do things that most would never even be able to dream of doing.
Neo's powers were only slightly shown to us back in 99, with him being able to dodge bullets and come back from the dead, although as the film begins we are apparently led to believe that Neo can now tell the future, and he can see that Trinity is going to die. Trinity is played by Carrie-Anne Moss, and is Neo's girlfriend. As Neo awakes from this premonition, Trinity tries to get him to explain what he saw, but he refuses. There is no time for Trinity to pursuade him any longer either, because they have an important meeting to attend that they are already late for.
Led by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne - who apparently didn't even have to read the script before signing up for this movie), the trio walk into the meeting where it is being discussed what they can do to win this war against the machines. The machines are what control the Matrix, and these people fighting the machines are who have been freed from the mind control that the Matrix is. The meaning of the Matrix basically being that everything we see, hear and feel is not real, all of it being created by machines. When you are freed from the Matrix you can see it for what it really is, a load of machine created coding. All the meanings and tones in the film can be very complicated, so if you don't listen carefully it will probably all go over your head. I'm not even sure if I've got everything the movie tries to say one-hundred percent correct.
What is for sure is that the machines are digging, and soon they will attack and destroy Zion, the underground city that all these people freed from the Matrix live in. Morpheus advises that they disobey orders and keep one ship load of people in the Matrix to await word from the Oracle. The Oracle is a very wise woman, and the prophecy says that she will contact Neo and tell him what to do to stop the machines. Nothing more can be discussed, as we are soon thrown into a fight scene where Neo fights agents. Agents are basically programmed by the Matrix to stop people finding out the truth, and agents can take over other peoples bodies. Agent Smith, the leader however, as now taken on a campaign of his own to stop Neo and he can take on other peoples forms to make multipul copies of himself, making him a much stronger foe than the other agents.
This fight scene ends with Neo revealing another of his new powers, he can fly. I know, it sounds like the film completely jumps the shark right there and then, but try to stick with it. A big deal was made out of this film because for the first time ever we get an insight into what Zion is like, and it is every bit the cavernous city you would expect. On approach to return we get these cheesy, "It's good to be home," scene mixed with Neo and Trinity desperate to have sex because they haven't in so long. Once again, stick with it, because it does get better. Immediately after returning to Zion, Morpheus is ordered to explain his decision to keep a ship in the Matrix when Commander Lock, incharge of defences, wants all the ships he can get to fight against the machines. There is a rivalry between Lock and Morpheus because Morpheus used to date Lock's current girlfriend, Captain Niobe. Morpheus ultimately gets the last laugh in this, with the Councillor and head of Zion believing Morpheus did the right thing.
Link is the operator of Morpheus' ship, and his role is basically to help them get in and out of the Matrix using telephones to transport themselves. Link also has a role in the film as we see he is married with two children, and his wife is incredibly upset to see him working with Morpheus - as it turns out it was her two brothers that died working with Morpheus in the first film. Whilst this does act as a side story and doesn't have any real purpose in Reloaded, it is something to look out for.
Along with their being more swearing in Reloaded, whether it be 'piss' or 'shit', there is also more sex. Zion has a big party, in which they are all dancing around in the mud barefooted, and most of the women have wet t-shirts revealing their breasts. Also mixed into this scene is Neo and Trinity sleeping together, and for all those who have seen the Matrix will know all the characters have holes on their bodies that transport them in and out of the Matrix, so seeing two people making love with these bullet hole-like things on their body isn't at all attractive. Neo and Trinity are in love though. This whole scene has won boob awards for just how pointless it is.
The scenes do get better though, and as Morpheus and the gang return to the Matrix, Neo reaquaints himself with the Oracle. After having a long chat about causes and points with the Councillor back in Zion, Neo now chats about purposes and choices with the Oracle. After the Oracle leaves Smith arrives on the scene, along with all the copies of himself. Chances are you will have either seen or heard something about these scene before, it could have even been a spoof you saw. Basically Neo has to fight all these Smiths, and it's quite entertaining if not a little long and with some pointless bowling noise added at the end. That could be a main critism about the Matrix trilogy really, things are drawn out quite a bit.
Fights have been well put together though, and pretty much everything does lead to a fight in Reloaded. With the feeling that Trinity is going to die, every negative thing Neo does towards Trinity makes you squirm and Neo is put in a hard position when he has to make out with a woman and make her believe she is Trinity in return for 'The Keymaker' you sort of get the feeling their relationship is getting put under major pressure. Reloaded is lucky it has such a good scene to contadict the sex scene earlier in the film, because the motorway scene is immense and unmissable in my mind.
Many new characters are introduced, and they're all pretty good, some reappearing in the final film in the trilogy Matrix Revolutions. Reloaded does end with a 'To Be Concluded' ending so you will probably want to have Revolutions on standby if you're going to watch Reloaded. The certificate is 15 and the film lasts 133mins, although I sat down with this film on Friday morning and it didn't feel that long. It's by no means great and the general opinion seems to be that the Matrix should have just been a standalone film, but it is good - and you'll probably love it if sci-fi and fantasy are your sort of thing. This film features the famous Achitect scene, where Neo meets the man behind who created the Matrix. Will Neo be able to save Trinity's life and end the war against the machines?
Such was the feverish anticipation of its cinema release that the Matrix Reloaded could never really fail. It could have been 200 minutes of blank screen, and everyone would still have flocked to see it. So as the Wachowski brothers sit back and count their millions, the world is left pondering a simple question.
Is the Matrix Reloaded actually any good?
Stick around, and Ill let you know.
The last surviving human city, Zion, is in grave danger. Hundreds of thousands of sentinels have started to bore their way through the planets surface, in order to reach the city many miles beneath the surface. The inhabitants of Zion are only too aware of the danger that they now face, and plans are in place to form a last defence against the robotic monsters that are intent on annihilating mankind. Morpheus and his crew return to the city, where Morpheus faces disciplinary action for ignoring his orders to remain in Zion, but he remains resolute in his belief that Neo is The One and maintains that he alone will save the city from destruction. Despite doubts from senior military figures, the commander of Zion accepts Morpheuss faith in the ancient prophecy and authorises him to take his crew outside of the city, from where they can once again download themselves into the Matrix.
Acting upon a message received from another crew, Neo seeks another visit with The Oracle, who continues to ask as many questions as she provides answers. It would seem that it is part of Neos destiny that he should make his way to the system mainframe, from where he may be able to save the inhabitants of Zion. The only problem is, Neo has been encountering prophetic visions, which foretell the death of his lover Trinity. The Oracle confirms that he will have to choose between Trinity and his duty to mankind but cannot provide any further guidance on what he should or should not do. In order to fulfil his quest, he must first seek out another enigmatic figure, known only as The Keymaker, who holds the key to the door that protects the mainframe. But this will be no easy matter. Not only is The Keymaker heavily guarded, and not only are there many Agents continuing to patrol The Matrix, but a familiar face lurks in the programmed world around him. It took all of Neos strength and skill to defeat Agent Smith once before. How on earth could he possibly hope to defeat hundreds of them?
To make any sense of The Matrix Reloaded, you really have to have seen the first film. The Matrix was a very convoluted piece of storytelling and in the sequel, the films makers have obviously made the decision to assume that the audience will know what theyre on about. This in itself isnt necessarily a problem, especially as there probably isnt a living person in the world who hasnt seen the first movie, but worth bearing in mind if you think that this film will work as a stand alone piece of cinema.
Of course, that doesnt really matter anyway, because if you think that this film will work AT ALL then youll probably be very disappointed. The fact of the matter is that The Matrix Reloaded is a shoddy, pompous and thoroughly uninteresting example of modern cinema that serves only to prove that money does not a good movie make.
The Matrix was an inspiring and groundbreaking piece of cinema. Everything about it was fresh, innovative and impressive, from the state of the art special effects through to the choreography, the concept and the cast. Although any sequel would fail to live up to such a predecessor, The Matrix Reloaded is shockingly unimpressive. Fight sequences that would have been jaw dropping four years ago now fail to even raise an eyebrow. Characters that were once inspirational have now become tired and overblown, and the absence of a tangible, progressive story line finally brings down the roof on an already unstable film shack.
The film opens interestingly enough, with our heroine Trinity blowing up an unknown building before being pursued through the window of an enormous skyscraper by a gun-toting Agent. We quickly realise that this is in fact Neos dream and from there things just grind to a halt for what feels like an eternity. We get to see Zion, we witness Morpheus giving a rousing (or should that be groan inducing) speech, before a crowd of gyrating, hedonistic city dwellers. Neo and Trinity get it on, despite the fact that Trinity actually looks like a bloke, and as the cinema audience starts to lose the will to live, the denizens of Zion continue to dance and cavort for reasons otherwise unknown. There is lots of uninteresting dialogue with the citys leaders and then even when Morpheus and his crew are out on their travels, the slow pace continues with a drawn out chat between Neo and The Oracle. At this point, you might find yourself genuinely questioning whether The Matrix Reloaded is actually an action film, because there aint much in it. Sadly, this entire section of the movie was so dull (and largely pointless) that the battle was lost and my interest in the film had formally ended.
Suddenly, everything just seemed so dull. Characters who were completely new to the audience were shown kissing and lamenting their separation in a vain attempt to make us care about them. The leader of Zion talked in riddles about the purpose of machines, in some laboured attempt to make the whole thing seem intellectually meaningful. What the directors seemed to miss was the fact that the audience just didnt care they wanted to see some butts kicked. But then, when they did, everything STILL seemed extremely dull. All the ass-slapping, face punching, gravity defying, limb breaking fight scenes suddenly seemed very old hat.
The plot for the first movie was generally quite hard to pick up. When I first went to see it at the cinema I remember struggling to keep up with what was going on, but this didnt detract from my enjoyment of the picture, as I was just happy to get carried along with the whole spectacle of the thing. But in Reloaded, this just isnt enough, and I soon found myself criticising and picking holes in every aspect of the films threadbare story line. I was interested to read in the press at the time of release that the film had become fondly known on the Internet as The Matrix Retarded as a direct result of the number of gaffs and goofs contained within in it. There are scenes where you can see cameramen and lighting technicians in the characters sunglasses. Cars and lorries used in the infamous highway sequence are clearly not real the cars dont have things like fuel tanks and exhaust systems, whereas the lorries dont have axles. In such an expensive film, its quite shocking to find such a disregard for detail. In a better film, these things would be forgivable. As it is, they become laughable. There are inspired moments an Agent landing on a car bonnet springs to mind but they arent enough to lift the film out of the mire.
If ever a film were in need of a consultation with the Plain English Society, then The Matrix Reloaded would be it. Everyone does their best to talk in riddles all of the time, to such an extent where things start to sound ridiculous. In this film, it is not enough to question why something has happened. First, you must question how you knew you wanted to ask why it had happened and whether the answer is the result of what you had previously asked someone else. If that sentence makes absolutely no sense to you, then youll soon understand what you can expect. Morpheus seems to have been injected with 200ml of Waffle Serum and spends the larger part of the film postulating and lecturing everyone else about his beliefs. Its all very well and good, but when you sit down and analyse the story, you find that its actually very simple. The dialogue seems intended therefore simply to puff up the films ego and it becomes tiresome in the extreme.
Such was the dismal extent of this film that I even started to dislike the characters that had previously been my heroes. Keanu Reeves seems to have defied time and managed to age very little since the first movie, but he seems more wooden than ever this time around. His facial expression ranges from mildly disinterested to completely disinterested and he shows as much interest in whats going on as I did. Hes more powerful than ever in this film, and has picked up a new ability to zoom around everywhere like Superman and he looks just as silly doing it. I think he must have found religion somewhere between the two movies, as he now sports a fetching vicars outfit, minus the dog collar. Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) looks as slinky as hell in her PVC cat suit, but theres no escaping the fact that the woman is terminally ugly and certainly not worthy of the adoration sent her way by Neo. The icing on the cake is the presence of two new evil henchmen, who transform themselves into nasty spectres at will. They sound good until you remember that they are in actual fact the DIY twins from Carol Vordermans Better Homes.
The oasis in an otherwise very bleak acting desert is the delightfully nasty Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) who reprises his former role with sinister glee. Weaving always was very unconventional in the looks department, but his sneering, venomous attitude contrasts perfectly with Neos perpetually blank stare. He also gets the best lines. A single word uttered here and there seems infinitely more memorable than Morpheus and his perpetual tirades.
It is rumoured that the freeway scene in this movie cost $40 million alone, and whilst there are some glaring howlers, it is very exciting. The climax of the sequence involves a crash between two articulated lorries, which in slow motion looks very impressive. (That aside, I personally thought the pile-up in Final Destination 2 was better.) Also, the return of Agent Smith prompts a huge fight between Neo and multiple agents and at times, this almost captures the spirit of the first movie.
But these things simply arent enough to lift The Matrix Reloaded from base mediocrity. Many readers will simply fail to comprehend how I could rate a film like this so poorly. The fact of the matter is that audience expectations of this film were justifiably high. With a four-year production time, an enormous budget and the same creative team behind the first film, Reloaded should have been mouth watering. What we got was something that was largely very bland, with a few juicy bits scattered within it. I have yet to decide whether Reloaded should have won the award for Worst Film of 2003 or Most Disappointing Film of 2003. Actually, it was probably both.
I have already written my review for The Matrix Revolutions but have just realised that I forgot to give my review for The Matrix Reloaded. So here it is, with computer-assisted whack-thwacky:
Having melded philosophy and religion with PVC-bound chop-socky in their first sci-fi extravaganza, the Wachowski Brothers dive back through the looking glass but can't avoid leaving a few cracks. So here's the news, people: "The Matrix Reloaded" isn't perfect. It's sandbagged by portentous philoso-rubbish, the plot-holes are cavernous and the less said about all that sex stuff, the better.
But as hacker-turned-messiah Neo (Keanu Reeves) journeys to the core of The Matrix and the Real World braces itself for the Machines' genocidal attack, every fault is eclipsed by the sheer atomic dazzle of "Reloaded"'s supercharged spectacle. If "The Matrix" set the walls of reality trembling, "The Matrix Reloaded" smashes straight through them.
The sight of 100 Agent Smiths (Hugo Weaving, multiplying with grinning malice) scuffling with Neo hikes action cinema to a new plateau, only to be bested by an astonishing freeway chase guaranteed to have your eyes straining on their stalks. And, pepped by a snaking vein of dark humour, there's a devilish gallery of new characters populating this stretch of the rabbit-hole, from the switch-hitting Twins (Adrian and Neil Rayment) to Monica Bellucci's icy temptress.
Like some giddy drug overdose, "Reloaded" seesaws between soaring, gasp-grasping thrills and brain-swelling confusion, eventually dumping you on the other side, dazed but ready for another hit. A pity that "Revolutions" was so disappointing then, but at least you get to see it.
There isn't a massive amount of extras. Commentary hounds will will whine at the fact that not a single commentary is included (the Wachowskis may be publicity shy, but producer Joel Silver's never been one to keep his thoughts to himself), while there's no innovative, interactive equivalent of the first DVD's "White Rabbit" feature.
We do get a solid half-hour featurette on the execution of the freeway chase, including footage of the cast at driving school, details on all the strange mobile cameras they had to utilise and even mini-interviews with the extras. Other aspects of the production don't receive so much attention: despite there clearly being hours' worth of behind-the-scenes material, it's all crammed into a 22-minute skim-over Making Of that leaves you thirsting for more... Which, no doubt, will come in some future Super-Mega-Bonanza Edition that is most probably being made right now having milked what they can with the 10-disc Matrix Trilogy.
There's also a treat in the form of the 2003 MTV Movie Awards parody, starring Seann William Scott (as "a sh*tl**d of Stiflers"), Justin Timberlake and, best of all, Will Ferrell as "Larry" The Architect, as well was featurettes on the video game (Enter The Matrix), "The Animatrix", the "cultural impact" of the movies and the ad campaigns. Yet compare this with, say, "The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Extended Edition" DVD (four-disc set) and you can't help but feel a little shortchanged.
The Matrix Reloaded delivers added amounts of everything that the first film had, with the exception of surprises. We see more of the "real world" in the "last human city" of Zion and we go back to the 1999-look urban virtual reality of the Matrix for more encounters with artificially-intelligent baddies and--the real reason you've turned up--a lot more martial arts superheroics. The downside is that this is just part one of a two-pack of sequels, with Revolutions required to tie up the story and sort out a great deal of plot confusion. There are other problems: none of the stars have much good material to work with outside the fights and stunts, which makes the film sorely miss the mix of science fiction thrills and character interplay of the original instalment. However, the Wachowski Brothers still deliver more than enough stand-alone instant classic action sequences to make you ignore their duff script: in particular, Reeves and Hugo Weaving square off in a rumble that gets dicey, as more and more identical Weavings come out of the woodwork to pile on the lone hero; and a full quarter of an hour is devoted to a chase through the Matrix that lets Laurence Fishburne shoulder the heroic business. A last-reel encounter with a virtual God, the architect of the Matrix, finally delivers some major plot advances, but the scene is so brilliantly shot and designed--with Reeves framed against a wall of TV screens that show multiple versions of himself--that it's easy to be distracted by the decor and miss the point of what's being said. --Kim Newman On the DVD: The Matrix Reloaded two-disc set amazingly has very little in-depth stuff on this physically impressive movie; there's not even a commentary track. Perhaps the Wachowski Brothers want to keep their enigmatic aura, or perhaps there's a better DVD coming after the trilogy ends? Best here is the 30-minute feature on the incredible freeway chase: here you get the inside scoop on how the titanic 12-minute sequence was put together. There's plenty of material on the second disc, but it's just filler, with the actors talking about how great it is to work again with the Matrix team and plenty of quick edits of explosions and other "cool" things. There's a segment on product placement, 30 minutes on how the video game was created and the MTV Movie Awards parody. The features feel more like pre-movie hype than post-film deconstruction. Dolby 5.1 sound is suitably spectacular--but there's no DTS option--and the super-wide 2.40:1 picture is, of course, pin-sharp, bringing out all the lavish detail and highlighting the contrast between the green-hued Matrix and the grimy grey real world. --Doug Thomas