|Title||-||The Matrix Reloaded|
|One Line Review||-||Whoa!...This Rabbit Hole Is Deep, Man...Really Deep|
Review - The Matrix Reloaded is tough. Tough to watch and tougher still, to understand. The first film seemed so direct and focused. Its philosophy was easily grasped, understood, and retained. The Matrix Reloaded is another story.
With The Matrix Reloaded the Wachoski Brothers have cubed the philosophy. Cubed it, delivered it, and left it to you to decipher. There are no layman's term descriptions in The Matrix Reloaded. Compound this with the feeling that The Matrix Reloaded feels like only the first half of a larger film. Hopefully detailing it's intricacies with the conclusion of the series in November's The Matrix Revolutions. And you've got a difficult stand-alone film.
However, there's a stockpile of action to take your mind off of all that heavy thinking. And the action should be everything you've been expecting. Really top quality and more of it than you may even want. It seems endless. And in my opinion very exciting.
Outside of that things get sticky. And man, I mean really sticky. It's so hard to step away from that. The philosophy is what drives these films. It is what is at its core. I believe, it is the philosophy that Neo must understand in order to succeed. The problem with The Matrix Reloaded is in its delivery of this philosophy and our ability as filmgoers to comprehend it. This understanding is what will make the film ultimately worth your money or not. The rest is just filler, maybe.
I say that the philosophy is where your money's at because the first 40 minutes of the film is pretty drab. Excluding the fight sequences, which have their own problem of being lengthy and perhaps (the term I heard was) self-indulgent. It's obvious that so much of the film seems pointless. So much so, that I can't believe it is, and I'm left hoping that it's all introduction and build-up for the third film.
The acting is on par with the original film. A lot of new faces appear. Some have brief interactions, some only stand there and others quickly disappear; names can be hard to catch. The most interesting of the lingering newbie’s are Link played by Harold Perrineau (a personal favorite of mine), the Key Maker, played by Randall Duk-Kim, and Lambert Wilson as Merovingian. Others are said to have expanded roles in the third film. Oh yeah, Roy Jones Jr. was in it. I thought that was pretty cool.
So is The Matrix Reloaded worth your money? I'll say yes, but I could be wrong. I think you'll be entertained by it but still will wonder what the hell went on. You should be impressed by the imagery of the action sequences and by the philosophy you can understand (See Note 2 below). I wouldn't bet the survival of humanity on it but then again, I am not the 'One'.
Note 1 - I saw it twice this weekend and I enjoyed it more the second time. My thinking is that with understanding, a greater appreciation of the film will take hold, and that seems correct for the moment.
Note 2 - This isn't really spoiler information but it is key to gathering the philosophy of The Matrix Reloaded for yourself. The information below will tell you only when to pay strict attention to what someone is saying. Read it if you will.
It's important to pay strict attention to three conversations throughout the film. Three very difficult conversations, as the individuals seem to talk in circles; with really big words and monotonous voices (the philosophy seems to froth from their mouths). Sometimes, about things that seem to have no relation to what's going on. However if you miss something during these conversations you may find yourself in a daze of confusion that makes the film very difficult to enjoy. I saw the movie twice this weekend and
I'm still a little fuzzy about it.
The conversations are with:
Merovingian (The French Man)