The Matrix: Reloaded - Movie Review
- Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Bad: This is an R-rated sci-fi thriller for adults over 17. Now I realize there are some parents who might be tempted to take their adolescent kids or young teens to see this movie because it's easier to take them with you than to get a babysitter. Or perhaps you have kids who've seen the first "Matrix" and are begging you to let them see the two sequels. Let me remind you that "Reloaded" is rated R for good reasons. Aside from the complex adult plot layered with intellectually stimulating dialogue that consists mostly of questions posed as answers, there are other things that might make this movie too "adult" for your kids: Kung Fu violence in scene after scene of fight sequences that result in several deaths, characters that shape-change into Agent Smith, mild language, several religious profanities, and a lengthy (and very steamy) bedroom situation between Neo and Trinity. At the same time that the two lovers are shown in the bedroom, the villagers of Zion are dancing and some are gyrating sexually to the same rhythmic drum beat in the cavernous enclave of the city. It's an intense scene that implies a few of the people are having sex, but it lasts for several minutes and contains partial nudity, building to a steamy crescendo. There's no graphic nudity (it's either under sheer clothing or in the case of Neo and Trinity -- only their backsides are shown in dim light).
Bottom Line: I have to admit I enjoyed this movie more than the first one. There's something to be said for the original because it was so unique and unlike anything audiences had ever seen before. But take all of those amazing special effects and choreographed stunts and amplify it with even more characters, technology, and locations and you have a sci-fi trilogy that will long be remembered as a benchmark in moviemaking history. Many will scoff at why anyone would want to see a movie like this with the above mentioned elements. But let me remind us all that mature teenagers and the twenty-something generation will flock to see this movie. It asks some interesting questions about the meaning of life, religion, and man's purpose here on earth. It explores a deeper realm that is intellectually stimulating to today's younger generation who are desperate for movies that make them think outside the box. I know of a young man who became a Christian after he saw the first "Matrix" because the questions the movie raised prompted him to search for "truth." I'm not so sure this second one will prompt that same kind of search or response, but you never know. Now, do I approve of the language and other elements contained in this movie? Of course not. Clearly it could have been a brilliant movie without all of the language and an implied sexual situation. But I recognize that a movie like this is a powerful voice in the pulpit of movie theaters across America, and teenagers who can get in will most likely want to go see it. So once again, it's up to parents to be discerning for their children -- no matter how old they are. What might make a lasting impression is if parents see this movie with their mature teenagers and afterwards discuss the deeper meaning of this movie ... if they can figure out what that is (smile).
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