The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Posted in Reviews by - May 26, 2014
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Filmed back-to-back with the second sequel, Revolutions, and with a combined budget of $300 million, this high concept follow up is like looking at the first film through a magnifying glass, or a pair of those funky digit-seeking sunglasses they’re all wearing. We get to see the widely heralded Zion – a cavernous, underground, industrial depot complete with high-tech machinery and thousands of tribal dancing extras. For the uninitiated, Zion is the home of the last remaining humans who have escaped the digital confines of the Matrix and live in fearful seclusion near the Earth’s core, and the location acts as the main centrepiece for this ongoing saga.

The sentinels are digging, you see, and soon they will destroy Zion and the rest of humanity along with it. Unless the superior Neo can stop them. He has been upgraded with healing capabilities, kung fu powers and speedy flying skills which makes him practically indestructible, somewhat putting a dampener on most of the film’s extravagant set-pieces. When the marvelously deadpan Agent Smith (Weaving) returns from the dead after figuring out a way of cloning himself, we see an especially over the top, computer generated marathon brawl in which thousands of Agent Smiths bundle over an invincible Neo without any chance of actually winning the battle. It goes on a bit too.

Yuen Woo-ping’s choreography shines in a weapons-based stairway duel, a brief encounter with a kung fu oracle played by Collin Chou (a role first offered to Jet Li), and an extended highway chase which should help to lay waste to any skepticism you may still possess. The bullet-time sequences are all here, plus the John Woo-style slow motion, the leather-clad Carrie-Anne Moss, the heavy metal soundtrack, and all the other tropes that now look a little trite following the deluge of spoofs and spin-offs that followed the first film. So it’s not nearly as good as the original, but then that was to be expected. And don’t worry too much about following the plot – all will be explained in the third chapter, if you still care.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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