Film Review: The Matrix Reloaded
The Wachowski brothers invite us in for seconds. Matrix style.
The original Matrix was a box office phenomenon. With the exception of 'Crouching
Tiger?' there have never been fight scenes as breathtaking, Carrie Ann Moss
proved to be a kick ass heroine to rival Ripley, it had a trippy plot about the
nature of existence that sci fi buffs could argue about and, in a first, the
acting of Keanu Reeves was actually praised.
In Reloaded Neo (Reeves) is adjusting to his role as something of a Messiah and his ever increasing powers. He continues his fight against the machines with Trinity (Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) but we now learn that Morpheus? confidence in the prophecies is an element of an almost fanatical belief that is not shared by everyone in Zion. In addition to these conflicts Neo also has to contend with his old nemesis Agent Smith(s) (Hugo Weaving) and the possibility that a traitor exists within Zion.
The original film acted as an introduction to the universe in which the rebels lived and the sequel proves to be very much a middle chapter. There is little or no allowance made for those who have not seen the original and much of the plot will only be (hopefully) fully resolved in Revolutions. The Wachowski's (co-writers and co-directors) continue in their attempts to make a more philosophical sci-fi film and the plot contains more religious/classical parallels than an episode of Inspector Morse.
Ultimately there is less underneath the surface of the film than the makers would like to think and it is the truly thrilling action sequences (with John Gaeta back on board supervising the visual effects) that are the films highlight. Of the returning cast Reeves continues to look great in black and Moss and Fishburne continue to provide the real character of the triumvirate. New additions to the cast include the criminally underused Harold Perrinneau as a more pragmatic member of the crew and Jada Pinkett Smith as a fellow ship's captain and a former lover of Morpheus.
The Matrix Reloaded provides good entertainment but the Lord of the Rings trilogy is proving to be the benchmark by which all trilogies will now be measure and Reloaded cannot hope to compete with it.