The Matrix Reloaded

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Review byMatthew Turner16/05/2003

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 138 mins

Sequel to the 1999 blockbuster hit, starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss. Awaiting the Attack of the Machines, Morpheus disobeys orders in order to re-plug Neo into The Matrix…

A huge disappointment of Phantom Menace-type proportions – bloated, pretentious, confusing and occasionally downright annoying, though it does have three great action sequences.

Intelligent Sci-Fi

When The Matrix opened in 1999, it took everyone by surprise. Here was an intelligent sci-fi action movie, a clever blend of comic-books, philosophy, literary references and kick-ass, manga-influenced kung fu fighting, all to a catchy soundtrack. It even cemented Keanu Reeves as an action movie superstar, though he hasn’t made anything decent since.

Expectations, then, were high for the sequel to deliver all that and more. Sadly, something seems to have gone terribly wrong, because The Matrix Reloaded (three stand-out sequences aside) has succumbed to Phantom Menace Syndrome and turned something almost magical into Just Another Dumb Blockbuster.

MC Morpheus in Gay Nightclub

It opens with an action sequence involving Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) which Will Be Important Later. After that comes the film’s biggest mistake - starting off in Zion. 45 pointless, tedious minutes involving a half-hearted love triangle between Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Captain Niobe (an underwritten Jada Pinkett Smith) and some other bloke, and -worst of all- an excruciating scene where Morpheus appears to be MC-ing 'Stomp Night' at a Gay Nightclub.

It's really that bad – a half-naked Morpheus shouts at a room packed with sweaty people, and then says "Let's show those machines we know how to PARTY!" and the dancing goes on for at least ten minutes. This is inter-cut with a sex scene between Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity, only the stupid editor got the ratio wrong and gave us one part sex to ten parts dancing instead of the other way around.

Banzai Man

This being the second film, the plot is pretty thin, but it involves Morpheus defying orders so that Neo can re-enter The Matrix, get instructions from The Oracle and then outwit two Eurotrash Villains (one of whom is a wasted Monica Bellucci) in order to find The Keymaker, who looks like Mr Cheeky Chappie from Banzai. Confused? Well, just wait till they open their mouths.

To be fair, there are three great scenes: the multi-Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving(s)) fight; The Fight With All The Weapons; and the astonishing 15 minute freeway chase, featuring The Twins Of Evil, who are, it has to be said, the best thing in the film. Alright, the Superman-inspired flying bits are good too. But that’s it.

My First Edit

The main problem is the script, which frequently resorts to characters spouting meaningless, cod-philosophical drivel. Some of the editing is appalling, too and even the soundtrack is disappointing this time round.

In short, The Matrix Reloaded is a big disappointment that even fans will be hard-pressed to defend. Pity.

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Content updated: 24/02/2020 22:20

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