The Matrix: Reloaded - Movie Review
- Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rating: R (for sci-fi violence and some sexuality)
Release Date: May 15, 2003
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Monica Bellucci, Daniel Bernhardt, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Matt McColm, Harold Perrineau Jr., Harry Lennix, Stuart Wells
Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Special Notes: Reeves devoted at least seven hours a day to Kung Fu work and soaked in tubs of ice to relieve his pain of swollen joints and muscles. Master martial arts and wire work specialist Yuen Wo Ping trained the actors to do their own stunts and perform in every scene which is unheard of these days. Over 500 digital artists have worked on the virtual effects elements of both movies coming out this year. It took two years to make both movies.
Plot: "The Matrix: Reloaded" picks up the second part of the trilogy with the city of Zion under the threat of attack from 250,000 Sentinels programmed to destroy mankind by boring through the earth. The citizens ban together to fight the machines while freedom fighters Neo (Reeves), Trinity (Moss), Morpheus (Fishburne) and Morpheus' former love interest Niobe (Pinkett-Smith), return to the Matrix to search for the true meaning of Neo's existence and get answers from the Oracle. Along the way they encounter twin bodyguards (Neil and Adrian Rayment), a Seraph (Collin Chou), a Matrix power broker (Lambert Wilson) and his gorgeous wife (Bellucci), and numerous annoying duplications of Agent Smith (Weaving). Our heroes battle at every point of their search for the Oracle and are then led to the "keeper of the keys" who will guide them to their destiny. In their quest to save the human race from extinction, they gain greater insight into the Matrix and Neo's pivotal role in saving mankind. Is Neo really "the one" Morpheus believes him to be? Will he be able to save mankind, protect Zion and wind up with Trinity? As the ending of the movie reads … 'to be completed'.
Good: From the opening explosion and fight sequences to the end-of-the-movie adrenaline rush where the story leaves you dangling (the story abruptly ends in order to continue to the last of the trilogy), this incredible, mind-bending, action-packed tour de force has been dubbed THE movie of the summer to see, and with good reason. This is a "thinking person's action picture". It's not that the audience can't enjoy it on purely an observant level, but if they'll go deeper and consider the philosophical, literary, mythological, theological and technological levels that the Wachowski brothers created it for, they'll enjoy it even more. In other words, this is a densely-layered story that requires an astute attention span and dedicated concentration to understand even half of it. The other half you'll probably have to go back and see for a second time or find out what you missed from "Matrix" geeks who have the answers -- it's THAT complicated. At the very least you will be blown away by the phenomenal fight sequences, incredible special effects, intense adventure that gives you an adrenaline rush, and thrilling martial arts fights in almost every scene that will leave you asking, "how'd they do that?" Truly, I felt like I was watching a martial arts ballet, choreographed with so much detail that it becomes an experience rather than a fight. The fact we are already rooting for our heroes creates an even more enjoyable experience. Neo and Trinity are definitely in love this time around, and that love propels a major plot decision made by Neo. Even Morpheus has a softer side to him when his former flame Niobe joins the journey. There is no doubt that Neo is the hero, and Reeves lives up to that title in every way. Almost every scene involves him in a fight or an amazing feat -- like battling 100 Agent Smiths at once in a Burley Battle, fighting killer kung-fu ghosts and flying like Superman at 2000 miles per hour over the Matrix mega-city (over 10 times the size of New York). And yet Keanu still has that dry sense of humor, boyish charm and a quiet, yet intense, delivery that catapulted him to stardom with the first "Matrix" and endears him to his fans even more. One of the more spectacular scenes that involves the main stars is a life-and-death freeway chase with a martial arts ballet on top of semi-trucks and cars colliding head-on in rush hour traffic. In fact, the filmmakers had to resort to developing a new style of technology called 'motion capture' to create that scene and others. The FX team also created a new way of 'u-cap' – life-like looking actors with computer-generated bodies to be placed in scenes that would have been unthinkable to film. Those elements and others too numerous to mention are what makes "The Matrix: Reloaded" such an incredible movie-going experience. It's not just the charismatic stars, cool clothes, hip sunglasses, amazing stunts, and unusual storyline that make this movie a milestone in filmmaking. It's also the entire creative process that forever changes the way movies are made and truly stretches the limitations of filmmaking in the new millennium. I was enthralled with every minute of this movie … so much so, that I want to see it again to catch all of the stuff I missed the first time around. It's rich with hidden symbolism -- and even some biblical meaning.
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