4 January 2006 | MinorityReporter
The only thing this film lacks is the element of surprise!
The Matrix Reloaded has everything you could possibly want from a summer blockbuster but it like its predecessor has a heck of a lot more and while Reloaded is not as good as the first Matrix film it sure is close to the standard of the original. I don't understand the seeming reluctance to accept this film a suitable continuation of the original film. I'll be the first one to admit that Reloaded has a few slow points and that the story line has a tendency towards the pretentious but the film is also highly intelligent and entertaining but most importantly the film gets the story from A to B with adequate and in some cases remarkable character development.
Acting wise the film is in the same kind of league as the first film of the series with a few mediocre performances, a few decent performances and one or two excellent performances. Keanu Reeves plays Neo pretty much like he did in the first movie and that is not bad. His monotone voice is canceled out by his clear and well defined body language. His overall performance is very fitting for the character which, lets face it, is somewhat square and Keanu's acting fits that kind of character very well. Carrie-Anne Moss has taken a small step down. I don't blame her as much as I blame the writing. Her character, while still ass-kicking, is too dependent on Neo. I know they love each other but come on. Laurence Fishbourne shines as Morpheus. His performance is slightly more stylized than in the first film but he steals almost every scene he is in. Other semi-known actors make glorified cameos. Actors like Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci and Lambert Wilson are great examples. Gloria Foster returns as the Oracle in her (sadly) last performance as she died during the filming. Her one brief scene is both highly interesting and well acted. As it was with the first film Hugo Weaving provides the best acting by far. Although his screen time is somewhat limited he manages to leave a lasting impression and becomes one of my favorite screen baddies of all time. His performance is for lack of a better word fantastic.
Effect wise Reloaded is a feast. There is literally something to look at in every scene. The "real" world has been given a face lift to make it more interesting. The real effects, however, take place inside the matrix and just like in the first film the effects are absolutely ground breaking. Rivaling the likes of Star Wars and LotR and that is saying something. The people who think the story is pretentious and the dialog stubby will undoubtedly get their adrenaline fix in the action scenes. Some scenes had me holding my breath and gasping at how beautiful and overwhelming it all was and as much as I love the philosophical aspects of the film I can watch it for the effects themselves as well. Without spoiling anything I can say that lovers of cool fight scenes and fx are in for a hell of a treat with this one.
In terms of costumes the film has really grown into its own. Especially Neo's costume in The Matrix is very cool and is a great improvement over the previous film. Morpheus' and Trinity's costumes are the same with minor changes and they still look cool. Agent Smith's costume has changed slightly in the color scheme. His suit has become a bit darker as if to signify that he is no longer an Agent of the system but a rogue agent now. Also his sunglasses have changed so that they look more rounded so they look more like Neo's sunglasses which of course implicates their connection. Many of the secondary characters have their own costumes as well mirroring their own personalities.
Were the film separated itself from other action packed films is of course in the underlying philosophical and religious aspects. Once the film has been watched a few times for the effects you can begin to see some of the elements. I don't think its possible to fully translate and analyze every element of the film. Mainly because every element can be analyzed in a bunch of different ways. Without spoiling too much I can say that if you look hard enough you will be able to find Plato, Baudrillard, Gnosticism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christian elements and some more. The people who tell matrix lovers to get a life for searching the Matrix for a deeper meaning ought to open their eyes and watch the film one more time. With that I'm not saying that you can't be intelligent if you don't like the Matrix I am simply asking you to give it another chance. You really won't regret it.
The Matrix Reloaded is an excellent film and it deserves a lot more respect than it is getting and it is definitely underrated. I don't expect people to agree but I do expect people to respect those who love the Matrix sequels like me. I for one think that its hard to go wrong with Reloaded as it is funny, moving, awe-inspiring and very intelligent. I highly recommend this film to anyone.