Fredís No Clue Movie Review

"The Matrix: Reloaded"
Directed by Larry & Andy Wachowski

OK, so can I start by saying that I was so excited to see this movie?  I saw it opening day at the Chinese Theatre here in Hollywood.  I saw the first film and thought it was just incredible. There was a huge anticipation on my part to see the movie and Iíve seen it twice so far and maybe will see it again soon.  Possibly in IMAX form.

Now, that Iíve prefaced this review with my initial biases of giddy excitement let me tell you what I really think. The movie is very cool looking.  Itís got great special effects and I know that the effects will disappoint no one.  They have taken the bullet time and the martial arts sequences from the first film and just built upon them in this second film.  There is an extended freeway chase in the movie, which is incredible.  It is fast paced, most of the action looks very realistic and visually the movie is a real treat.  The movieís also a lot sexier than the first film.  The Zion ďraveĒ scene is pretty hot at times and we get to see a lot of Carrie Anne Moss and maybe too much of Keanu Reeves.  Itís definitely an R rated flick and it doesnít shy away from sex or violence hoping for a PG13.  Thatís the good news. 

Now the not so good news. Youíre not going to see this movie for the acting.  Most of the actors are treated as cardboard cutouts and donít have that much to do.  But who cares right?  Keanu isnít getting an Oscar anytime soon as far as I can tell and I didnít go to the movie thinking I would see great acting, so letís move on.  The effects are fantastic, but thereís almost too much of them.  When watching this movie for the first time, I was blown away.  The second time, I found myself bored by them at times.  Some of the fantastical elements, like Neo fighting over 100 Agent Smiths, are cool the first time, right?  The second time, I noticed that it was way too cartoonish and kind of interrupts the look of the film.  The freeway chase is cool, but seems way too long after your initial excitement.  Give me the car chase scene in The French Connection any day.  I saw The Italian Job a few weeks later and enjoyed those chase scenes better, because they were so realistic.  Now, the really disappointing part for me was the story.  Itís not a bad story, itís just disappointing.  They set up some great mythology and history in the first film.  There just wasnít enough of a payoff for me in Reloaded.  It did introduce some cool elements at the end, which sets up the third film Revolutions. 

Am I so disappointed that I wonít go see The Matrix Revolutions?  Hell no!  But I probably wonít see this movie 5 times, like I initially thought.  I think the anticipation must add in for movies like this or like the Star Wars series.  Theyíre so good and fantastical that you hold them to a higher standard and treat them like more than just a movie.  And when the story isnít stronger than the last time, and you canít get pulled in like you did before itís more disappointing than if this was just a regular movie you were seeing on your weekend. 

My advice is go see it on the big screen, if you havenít already.  Itís worth the money, but donít get too worked up.  Itís definitely not the best movie ever.  Better yet, donít forget to rent or buy The Animatrix.  A series of 9 animated films in different animation styles, inspired by or tie directly into the plot of the Matrix movies.  Theyíre very cool, quick and a lot of fun.

Hereís hoping that the Wachowski brothers donít disappoint me on Nov. 5 when I get in line to see The Matrix Revolutions.  I guess just like I realized with George Lucas, theyíre only human, whatcha gonna do?   

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come back soon, until then, iíll be at the moviesÖ