The sequel to The Matrix, not only delivers more of the same, but delivers more with a style unlike any other. With a cliff hanger ending and new effects techniques, The Matrix Reloaded is a film like no other!

Box Office Gross (US): $281,576,461

Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski

Review: by Paul Martin (Specter)
First, let’s go into the event.

I left with Major from Grand Rapids, and went to Birmingham, MI, a suburb of Detroit. At breakfast, I met John Douglas and John Serba, our local Press critics. We went to tower records while we waited for the theatre to open up. I made a comment that I’d like to see the movie in a leather chair. When we went in to the theatre, that’s what we found. Leather chairs awaiting us.

During the movie, you could hear a pin drop, it was dead silent the whole time. Until just after the car chase when Link yells “Yes!” and the film melted. We then had a five minute break, and one guy went around saying “The action is so hot, it melted the screen!”

After that, we finished watching the movie, and when the credits rolled, we all waited for the Revolutions teaser. Afterwards, most people wanted to know what the heck was going on.

Onto the movie itself: I loved the movie, but I have a lot of questions that I hope The Matrix Revolutions can answer come November 5th.

What I didn’t like:

The Zion Rave/Sex Scene. Cut that out and you’ve got a solid movie. Have all of that be implied, and be done, go to the next morning. I felt it was an unnecessary part of the film, and takes away from my recommendation to many of my friends. It just went of for far too long. After the second viewing, it feels out of place, and like it was just thrown in to show Trinity and Neo. Right now, it looks like the third film will cover the next 24+ hours after Reloaded, and I don’t think that’s enough time for the sex scene to mean anything.

Morpheus’ speech. He paused at all the wrong places, I just didn’t like it very much. It got good when he kept talking without pausing, but he really needed to not pause in his speech at all.

Addressing some critical points:

Why can’t Neo just kill the other Agents like he does to Smith at the end of the first film?

Well, he tries fighting them like that at the beginning of this one, but quickly discovers that they are upgraded to prevent that.

Why can’t Neo just fly around and show the world that it’s fake?

Because people wouldn’t respond appropriately. Possible scenarios: Riots, Scientists want to study him, people think he’s a real Superman. The way Neo works shows that he is human, first of all, and that he is trying to come to terms with his new status.

What I liked:

This movie just moves on from the first, never covering old territory, except for the part about the first matrix. All throughout, characters hint to Neo about “the others” and look very confident in themselves, like they’ve been there before, and they have.

Councillor Hamann. I think that he brought a father-figure element to the Matrix, sort of like Old Ben Kenobi did for the original Star Wars. He was a favorite of mine in this film, because he felt the most real to me. I’d say that it isn’t until Neo and Hamann talk, that I felt the movie got it’s legs. At that point, I became intrigued, and wanted to see more.

The Keymaker also, he’s a character that makes keys that open back doors in the Matrix, to get around a lot faster. The montage of speeches with the Keymaker and Morpheus going on all Ocean’s Eleven-like was awesome. It was very well constructed.

The fighting was fantastic. It was knock-out action that is second to none. It was a lot of fun to watch it all, but much of the fighting against the agents seemed tired to me. Much of the fighting was cool, but I could have done with a bit less. i.e. Seraph was too much like the Morpheus fight in the first one. Agent Smith was a lot cooler in this film as well. I enjoyed his performances in it. The Burly Brawl completely rocked, as well as the fight on the trucks, and the first agent fight at the beginning. I found the car chase to be very exhausting, and very much something that I’ve never seen. There were some really amazing stunts in it, and you couldn’t tell the CG stuff at all. The cut at the end of that seemed too abrupt to someone talking fast, so it’s hard to settle down and pay close attention to what Lock is saying. The Twins remind me of Boba Fett. Very little to say, but really cool characters. Neo’s flight is very Superman like and he seemed to fly a lot faster than I’ve ever seen Superman fly.

The toward the end, when Neo uses some new-found power in the real world, it makes me think, did the combined code of Neo and Smith have that effect on Neo? After all, it effected Smith, why wouldn’t it also effect Neo. We’ll have to wait and find out.

The level of detail of Zion was incredible. Zion main control, in the construct, was really cool.

I confirmed what I noticed FOUR YEARS ago, while watching The Matrix for the first time, in the theatre. When Thomas Anderson is waiting to be interrogated, we zoomed in through some monitors. I wanted to know who was watching those monitors. Now I know.

When the Architect was talking. He said that The Matrix has a success rate of 99% percent, Meaning almost everyone will accept it. Only 1% will not, and these 1% will wake up and resist. So for a failsafe, the machines set up Zion. They set up an entire scenerio or for the humans. And when they would find the one, it would be time to reset again. -ReloadDML (thanks a ton) explained that to me, and that is really cool.
I’ve seen the film twice now, and I can now say that, although the effects are better, and the story is moving forward, I’m going to have to await the Matrix Revolutions before I give my final answer on Reloaded. I didn’t feel drawn deeply into this one, like I did with the first one. There is a lot to like about Reloaded, and I recommend it. I think it was very well made and the teaser for Revolutions just made me want to see that right now. It’s really an amazing piece of work from a technical side, and the story is really kinda bugging me, and I’m very hopeful that Revolutions will answer everything, and I’m fairly certain that it will.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Minus 1 for the sex scene/dance sequence, and for the short speech by Morpheus.

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