Directed by: Andy & Larry Wachowski
Written by: Andy & Larry Wachowski
Keanu Reeves - Neo
Laurence Fishburne - Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity
Hugo Weaving - Agent Smith
Gloria Foster - The Oracle
Helmut Bakaitis - The Architect
Randall Duk Kim - The Keymaker
Harry J. Lennix - Commander Lock
Harold Perrineau Jr. - Link
Jada Pinkett Smith - Niobe
Adrian Rayment - Twin #2
Neil Rayment - Twin #1
Lambert Wilson - Merovingian
Anthony Zerbe - Councillor Hamann
“If you're the one, what number am I thinking of?”
To sum up: It's the return to the world of the Matrix where some
people believe that Neo is The One, not The One, or could be The One. A world
where there is cool, gravity defying Kung-Fu action, the heroes wear the
hottest leather fashions, and the sunglasses stay on no matter how dark it is.
Anomaly. Mark that word my friends cause you'll be
hearing it a lot during the course of this film. Is it a person, place, or
state of being? Well, even on that not a lot of people can agree. Of course,
no one can be told what the anomaly is. They have to see it for themselves.
So, get ready to shell out nine bucks cause the sequel to the hit smash
"The Matrix" is finally here. At first it will just seem to be an
ordinary action film. More of the same. But a few hours after you see it,
you'll find yourself reviewing the film in your head, going over the ideas and
questions that are raised, and probably become intrigued enough that you'd
very likely want to see it again.
All of the commanders have been ordered to return to
the last human outpost, the underground city Zion. The machines that have
enslaved humanity are sending an incredible number of Sentinels (the
funny-looking octopus machines from the first film) to dig through to the city
and wipe out this last bastion of human resistance. Morpheus (Laurence
Fishburne) is against this move, as he believes that it is only through the
prophecy of The One coming that the machines will be overthrown. Problem. Not
everyone believes in this little prophecy. To make matters worse for those who
do, no one seems to know what course of action to take now that The One has
been found. Not even Neo (Keanu Reeves), The One himself, knows what he's
supposed to do. They need to talk to the Oracle (Gloria Foster), the source of
wisdom from the original. So they're searching for her. They've looked
everywhere but Delphi and she's not to be found. Until they find her, our
heroes are stuck in the dark.
Keanu Reeves returns as Neo to show the world that
there isn't an actor alive who can say "Whoa" like he can. At the
end of the last film it became clear that he was indeed The One of the
prophecy and seems to have to ability to rewrite the code of the Matrix as he
sees fit. In this film, it is clear that, although he is all-powerful he is
not all-knowing. Indeed, he has not even taken on a leadership position and is
still under the wing of his mentor, Morpheus. Say what you will of Keanu's
acting range, but once again he shows here that he is very capable when in the
correct element. Let's face it. This isn't Shakespeare (although we've seen
how "good" he can be at that) but in this I found him to be very
good. The main thing required of our heroes in this film is coolness. Keanu
gives us the coolness that a hero is to have and yet is vulnerable when he
needs to be.
Laurence Fishburne is back as the larger than life Morpheus.
He can still enter a room and produce awe in his peers. He's a butt-kicking
mystic whose total faith in the prophecy may be his ultimate undoing.
Carrie Ann Moss is also back as Trinity, the sexiest
action star to ever grace the screen. Watching her I marvel that once upon a
time the preferred role of female stars in adventure films was to cower in the
corner and bite their knuckles out of fear. It seems clear to me that a
butt-kicking woman is far more appealing and if she happens to be wearing
black leather? Well! And for all those women who happen to be reading this.
Don't worry, your boyfriend/husband loves you anyway. Trinity's role is that
of a catalyst. Neo loves her and it is that love for her that will prove to be
the focal point for the ultimate decisions that he makes. If anything, it is
Trinity who suffers the most as a character, for her only function is to be
the a catalyst.
Even Agent Smith, the returning Hugo Weaving, seems
to be playing a part in the overall design of the film. It appears that he is
just a random virus, working independently of the Matrix and able to replicate
at will thanks to Neo's actions in the previous film. Although he seems to be
in this film because he was popular in the last one and only is there to
provide a fight scene or two, I am going on faith that his role will be more
defined and essential to the resolution to the plot in the next film.
The action is for the most part very exciting
particularly the fabulous, frenetic freeway chase that is the action
centerpiece of the film. There is also a lot of Kung-Fu action which mainly
revolves around Neo fighting agents, Neo fighting Smiths, Neo fighting the
Admin. Assistant to the Oracle, and Neo fighting a group of "Yes"
men for a rogue program with a French accent. The main problem is that the
fight scenes, though visually exciting, go on too long and after the first or
second fight it becomes clear that there is nothing too new to see. Also one
wonders if Neo he can stop bullets in mid-flight and cause things to fly
through the air to his hands, why doesn't he use this power to send the
bullets back at his opponents or more interesting, grab the opponents and
cause them to fly into each other.
Matrix Reloaded stands as one of the few action
films that I've seen that proves to be more intriguing on an intellectual
level than on a visual level. It is loaded with themes and ideas about the
nature of man, the universe, levels of existence, free will, and destiny.
Almost every character plays a different role in representing some type of
existence or point of view. It raises more questions than it answers and one
assumes that these will be answered in the last film (coming this fall to a
theater near you!). Who is Neo really? Does he have free will? Can he control
his own destiny? Who really controls the Matrix? Who is the Oracle really?
What is the truth of the Prophecy? Why does Morpheus have a cheesy speech? Why
does the last human city of Zion look like a great big Rave? These are
important questions. It's packed with references to history, literature, and
the great myths of man.
Is it a perfect movie? Not at all. It's riddled with
slow pacing, clunky dialogue, and may sink if the interesting ideas that it
raised are not satisfactorily dealt with when the third film comes out this
But, in the end, The Matrix Reloaded is something
that is largely absent from movies today: compelling science fiction. It
produced discussion and analysis among my friends that I haven't done since
Babylon 5 was on the air. Any film that can do that I have to recommend.
Must go and Reload it.
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