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The Matrix Reloaded
2003 - R - 138 Mins.
Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Producer: Joel Silver
Written By: The Wachowski Brothers
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Harold Perrineau, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Review by: David Trier
   
This movie sucks.

To stop the machines from destroying the only movie-going audience around, Neo (Kean-not-act Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) must go to the source. To get to the source, they must locate the keymaker (yes, not unlike Ghostbusters). Helping them is a comic relief tool named Link (Harold Perrineau) and the superfluous Niobe (Jada-Pinkett Smith). Not helping them is the familiar Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and a few other bad guys. Hilarity ensues.

The first Matrix film is a tough act to follow. It successfully combined the Orwellian nightmare with Christian messianic and Buddhist philosophies, science fiction cynicism, techno suspense and martial arts action. It was a film about discovery; a naïve everyman being awakened to his fate and the realization that he has unique powers that can save mankind. Not bad at all.

While Reloaded is certainly on top of its game as it relates to computer effects, its embarrassingly long action sequences have absolutely nothing new to show us. Little more memorable than the plethora of Matrix spoof scenes in bad comedies of the past few years, the fight scenes serve only as filler to stretch out a nonsensical plot.

The gross majority of the film takes place in reality, a cliché science fiction future where nobody has a job outside of the military and everything is made out of a greenish-grey metal. There don’t seem to be any animals, but there are certainly plenty of leather jumpsuits and overcoats to go around. There’s computer technology beyond imagination, but apparently no washers and dryers, making the entire civilization wear dirty t-shirts during downtime. There are few shoes and dirt floors, but somebody’s making techno for them to dance to. All attempts to create some humanity in the characters fall miserably on their face. A love triangle is introduced to no results, a long dancing and sex scene with no relevance and at least two redundant kung fu battles to name a few.

The weakest plot element of the first film was the unlikely romance between Neo and Trinity. Not that anyone would notice, but Neo has no personality and the two of them have no sexual chemistry. This romance is force fed throughout this whole sequel, to embarrassing results.

The dialogue is atrocious, sounding like something out of Babylon 5. No one expects much from Reeves, but Fishburne is a distracting disappointment. Hugo Weaving is probably the most appealing, recreating a sly yet emotionless Agent Smith. It’s true that some of the battle sequences will get your heart rate up, for a few minutes anyway, but the relentless series of long and unintelligible monologues in between are truly mind-numbing. When not jumping and kicking, Neo is perpetually voicing the audience’s thoughts – “Where am I? What am I doing here? What’s happening?” But every response is relegated to such non-answers as - “This is the way it was meant to be. This is my purpose.” Well, bite me.

What makes Reloaded so unwatchable is that nothing really seems to be at stake. How do you root for or against characters when their enemies are literally indestructible, simply regenerating with every setback?

This movie is a rip-off for fans and non-fans alike. Like mankind waiting for Neo in the first film, movie-lovers have been waiting for a savior from a several-month stretch of mediocre movies, a prophecy told in nearly a year’s worth of trailers and merchandise. Our prayers were finally answered, but by a film so unabashedly awful, it leaves us feeling better about mediocrity. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable. Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable.
  1.5 out of 5 stars

 
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