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A dazzling Misfire

  • May 15, 2003
Pros: Some nice FX

Cons: Bad acting, dull plot, and bad setup to the FX/

The Bottom Line: Not as good as the first and a real disappointment.

Amidst productions delays resulting from the deaths of supporting players and injuries to lead actors, “Matrix Reloaded” has arrived. The wave of hype surrounding the film resembled the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” releases, and is the first of two sequels to complete the trilogy. Reloaded continues the story of a band of humans who are locked in a deadly struggle against alien/invasion. The majority of the population is suspended in a blissful dream state unaware that the world they live in is an illusion. Those that are able to be free of the dream state, battle the invasion over a vast network knows as “The Matrix” by enabling cyber implants in their bodies. While in the Matrix, people can fight the invaders and accomplish missions using a variety of skills and weapons.

The new film picks up after the events of the first film with Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburn), returning to the last human city of Zion to recharge their ship from battle and to prepare for another mission. It seems the forces of evil are burrowing toward the buried city and will soon arrive for an all-out cataclysm. There are those amongst the humans who believe that Neo is the chosen one, and others that do not believe the prophecy that Neo is the savior and this forms a point of contention for the human leaders. The film is awash in effects as Neo and his crew set off on a mission to save humanity but sadly the story seems to get lost along the way. While the film has plenty of effects and action, none of them seem particularly exciting, and I noticed a real lack off cheers and applause from the screener crowd during action scenes as much of it had a been there seen that look to it, that despite upping the quantity, was the same as we saw in the last film. The bullet-time effects are getting stale as it seems to be the only trick in the films arsenal, and the creative team behind the film goes to the well far to many times given a sense of tedium to what are otherwise well-crafted and designed scenes. There was also a severe lack of tension in the film and Reeves lack of emotion and his monosyllable delivery made it hard to really get behind the plight of the characters. Several people mentioned after the screener that they could not make sense of many of the plot elements and that they did not think that the characters were well defined or developed.

What I saw was a film that had some nice effects that quickly became boring as the setup and execution lacked any tension and the plot lacked cohesion making it difficult for many in the audience to get caught up in the film. This point was further underlined by the lack of any applause at the end of the film and several disparaging remarks being loudly uttered as the audience filed out of the cinema.
I found myself trying hard to like the film but despite the number of effects they were very ho-hum as if I was watching a FX real and many of the best effects had already been shown in the previews. Lets hope that “Matrix Revolutions” can end the trilogy on a high note, as “Matrix Reloaded” is a misfire.

2.5 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach

International Association of film critics


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More The Matrix Reloaded (2003) reviews
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
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Well, they got the
As in what a load for those who didn't catch the sarcasam.      Everyone knows that The Matrix is one of those trend setting, change the way we look at it pieces of movie making and likewise ANY kind of follow up would have been tough to match what the original did.  I REALLY hated giving this one a low score but when you cover up the lack of new ideas with as much pretentious talk and pointlessness I really don't feel so guilty anymore.   …
review by . December 14, 2003
Neo flies. Trinity dies. Morpheus cries (almost). These are just three of the many scenes of The Wachowski Brothers' "The Matrix Reloaded", one of the most anticipated sequels of the last decade. The film begins with Neo, played by Keanu Reeves. Neo is plagued by nightmares involving the death of lover Trinity (Carrie Anne-Moss). He believes he is seeing the near future. After a few neat CGI-filled scenes that show that to us, we find Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) (the latter of …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #38
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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Considering the lofty expectations that preceded it,The Matrix Reloadedtriumphs where most sequels fail. It would be impossible to match the fresh audacity that madeThe Matrixa global phenomenon in 1999, but in continuing the exploits of rebellious Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) as they struggle to save the human sanctuary of Zion from invading machines, the codirecting Wachowski brothers have their priorities well in order. They offer the obligatory bigger and better highlights (including the impressive "Burly Brawl" and freeway chase sequences) while remaining focused on cleverly plotting the middle of a brain-teasing trilogy that ends withThe Matrix Revolutions. The metaphysical underpinnings can be dismissed or scrutinized, and choosing the latter course (this is, after all, an epic about choice and free will) leads to astonishing repercussions that madeReloadedan explosive hit with criticsandhardcore fans alike. As the centerpiece of a multimedia franchise, this dynamic sequel ends with a cliffhanger that virtually guarantees a mind-blowing conclusion.--Jeff Shannon
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Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 15, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: October 14, 2003
Runtime: 138 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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