Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
This had to have been pondered before somewhere, but here's my question to ol' Morpheus if he gets his wish, beats the machines and sets the human race free… now what?  I mean we saw what it took to get Neo close to normal in the original Matrix movie, now imagine if The Matrix is collapsed and the billions of humans that are in The Matrix are now spit out of those life bubbles.  I would imagine the overwhelming majority of them would just die, and then for those few that lived, it's not like there's a viable planet for these people to live on, right? And Zion can only hold so many people.  I don't know if Morpheus and them thought this out all the way through is all I'm saying.  If Morpheus were to take a step back and think about it, maybe billions living brainwashed in the Matrix isn't such a bad thing.  Just throwing that out there.

Much maligned, reviled, but still loved by some, we are going jump on the time machine magic carpet and take a look at 'The Matrix: Reloaded' for a minute as I revisit the trilogy wedged  in the middle of my glorious defunct HD-DVD box set.

By now we all know, as Neo (Keanu Reeves) knows, he is The One and The One is going to end this war.  How is he going to do this?  Nobody, including Neo, has a clue but Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) knows this one thing like he knows nothing else.  One thing is for sure, If Neo is the one to end this war then homeboy better do it soon because the machines are drilling into the earth even as we speak and they will be in Zion in no time flat to murder every single member of the human race that isn't connected to the Matrix.  Not cool.  Regardless, Neo is like Jesus Christ in Zion with people bringing him gifts and praying to him stuff, when all Neo wants to do is sex up his girlfriend Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss).   I mean that's ALL he wants to do.  Saving the world be damned.  Also, Nona Gaye lives in Zion which now officially makes Zion most awesomest place in all the universe.
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What next?  That would be a dizzying mix of convolution and spectacular action sequences, that's what's next.  If you get confused about anything you have to do while inside The Matrix, especially considering these people seem to have a complete inability to think for themselves, you go see The Oracle (the late Gloria Foster) who will spout off a series of cryptic, indecipherable nonsense parables for our characters to follow.  But before that happens Neo has to meet her bodyguard Seraph (Colin Chou) which serves little point except for a chance to see some Yuen-wo Ping fight choreography.  This will ultimately lead to Neo having to meet the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), The Matrix's defacto version of Satan, his wife Persephone as played by Monica Bellucci and her breasts, more kung fu fights, albino twins, more cryptic nonsensical parables, and we also have the resurfacing of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) who has somehow reassembled his code to become a self-replicating virus and wants to destroy everything, including the machine world.  But most importantly he will meet The Architect of The Matrix (Helmut Bakatis) whose blatant overuse of conjunctions mixed with gobleygook will place him in the annals of cinematic history. 

Neo has a decision to make.  Save true love or save the human race.  The choice is obvious, ergo… his decision will be unreasonable… vis-à-vis… I wish the old man would envision a world where his mouth moved little and espoused even less.  Oh!  There goes a pretty explosion!

'The Matrix: Reloaded'... was frustrating.  Most would agree that it's not as good as the first movie, though many disagree on the value of this particular episode of the Matrix universe.  While the fist movie did have its fair share of philosophical talkity-talk, the majority of that movie and what made that movie great, in addition to the revolutionary special effects and storytelling stylings, was that the majority of the movie was spent watching Neo's awakening.  He did not accept the fact that he was The One until the very end and it was our journey along with Neo's self discovery that played a large part in making 'The Matrix' what it was.

The Wachowski's take a different slant with 'Reloaded' which is almost all philosophical, parabolic discourse since almost every character speaks in circles.  Now depending on whom you talk to these circles either lead to absolutely nowhere or they lead to absolute clarity.  I met a young lady who said she got what The Architect was droning on about immediately and didn't know what the confusion wall all about, and there are others who just wished he'd put a sock in his mouth or that Neo would kick in him in the face.  I'm kind of in the sock group on this issue.

But it's not like 'The Matrix: Reloaded' wasn't entertaining.  The movie was crazy entertaining, it's bananas how entertaining 'Reloaded' is at times.  Who could ever get tired of people walking on ceilings shooting at each other with high powered automatic weaponry?  I know I can't.  Yes, you could ask yourself why these people are walking on ceilings, especially when this puts them square in the path of open fire, but I wouldn't ask that.  And the freeway chase sequence, to this very day, is still one the best single action sequences I've ever seen. 

But then there's always banal philosophical yakity yak trailing close behind to bring down our action high.  Regardless of all of that, despite our ultimate frustration with this film, I would classify 'The Matrix: Reloaded' as a good movie, with its main crime is that it didn't improve upon the original like a good epic trilogy should do.  See 'The Dark Knight', 'The Empire Strikes Back' or 'The Two Towers' for an example of this.  This still leaves us with 'The Matrix: Revolutions' to deal with.  That one we're not too sure about.
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