The Matrix Reloaded


Current Reviews
DVD Reviews
Old Reviews
Crystal Ball
About the M.R.
Photo Gallery
Celebrity Interviews

Try the video version by clicking HERE.


Buy your original "There is no spoon...stir your coffee with your finger" mugs and t-shirt by clicking below!

Matrix Reloaded
The Masked Reviewer

See the Masked Reviewer's predictions for Matrix Revolutions by clicking here!  And enter the contest!  To buy the Matrix Reloaded when it comes out on DVD on October 14, 2003 by clicking this link: The Matrix Reloaded (Widescreen Edition)

The time has come to plug back in to the Matrix, so swallow the red pill!  Oh wait, that's just an old Jolly Rancher.

The Matrix Reloaded is the sequel to 1999's The Matrix and stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss.  This film doesn't waste precious screen time with recapping plot points from the original film, so if you haven't seen The Matrix, this sequel might leave you in the computer generated dust. 

In fact, fans of the original might even find the plot a bit hard to follow.  In the name of professionalism, the Masked Reviewer watched the original Matrix the night before the screening for The Matrix Reloaded.  The Masked Reviewer also watched The Animatrix, an animated prequel that is available on-line.  Even with all this Matrixy goodness freshly stored in his masked melon, the Masked Reviewer found the plot to be quite confusing at times.  There are a lot of parallels drawn between the Matrix and a computer system with terms like "backdoor", "mainframe", and "encryption" thrown around.  But they don't make it very clear what's happening. 

Of course, the brothers Wachowski (no relation to the 1991 Kathleen Turner film V.I. Warshawski) have a good excuse for any plot points: all may be revealed in the third film.  How convenient.  For those who don't know, The Matrix Reloaded is a cliffhanger.  It's so much of a cliffhanger, in fact, that it doesn't work particularly well as a stand-alone movie.  The Empire Strikes Back left us hanging.  Would Han Solo be rescued?  Was Darth Vader really Luke's father?  Would Luke ever play the piano again?  But the film still had a beginning, middle, and end.  The same is true of Back to the Future Part IIThe Matrix Reloaded, however, never manages to resolve any plot points and ends right at the climax.  Matrix Interruptus.  Nothing is worse than having your plug pulled before you finish your download, so to speak.  This lack of any conclusion makes the film seem like an extended dance hall re-mix of a theatrical trailer.

There's no shortage of action in this film.  In fact, there doesn't seem to be much more to it than action.  Oh, between big action scenes there are little expository moments where two characters sit and explain the movie to you.  Imagine a big spectacular fight scene.  It ends, then two people sit in Exposition Park and have a chat.  "The Matrix is, like, a totally big computer thing, right?  And you're like a floppy drive, just make sure you don't boot."  Then a bad guy appears, and there's a big chase scene with explosions.  Cut to two people sitting in a fine French restaurant, Chateau le Expositione.  "You are because you are because I am and I know you are and we all are we who are what we are."  Great.  Fight, plot explanation, repeat.  It'd be more tolerable if the plot explanations made more sense.

But that's not to say the movie isn't fun.  Are people really going to see the movie to be moved by the deep philosophical and metaphysical issues raised?  Nah.  All of the science fiction elements have been dealt with before in literature, TV, and films.  People like The Matrix films because of the cool fights and special effects.  Well, there are plenty of both.

This film relies more heavily on hand to hand fights and they are better than the first film.  The choreography by Yuen Wo Ping is great and the wirework is excellent.  One fight scene in particular, though, slowly moved from excellent fight scene to computer game.  Those of you who enjoyed Spiderman will find this movie a notch above in terms of special effects.  But if you're like the Masked Reviewer, you may have found the user of computer graphics to represent humans to be a bit less than realistic.  Maybe it's from playing too many computer games, but whenever the Masked Reviewer sees a scene where the principal characters is supposed to be human but is instead computer generated, it never looks right -- that is, no one has done it right yet.  The computer generated bodies don't move naturally.  Even ten years ago when Jurassic Park came out, the special effects team was able to seamlessly blend computer graphics, latex puppets, and real dinosaur parts cloned from DNA to create very realistic looking creatures.  But the fact that we don't see dinosaurs every day makes it easier to suspend our visual disbelief.  Whenever Keanu was replaced with a computer graphic, it didn't look quite right.  Despite this, the fight scenes are spectacular, from one man fighting one hundred to a close-quarter knife fight in a moving car.

Speaking of cars, this is the first film in recent memory that had truly spectacular car stunts.  It seems almost obligatory in Hollywood to blow up a car in every film.  Remember the end of Driving Miss Daisy?  BOOM!  No?  Well, that would've been a better ending. 

The groundbreaking "freeze time and spin the camera around" shot is used frequently in this film.  It was amazing to see a camera shot spin 360 degrees in the first Matrix, but about two weeks after the film came out, the effect was already being used in beer commercials.  Because so many of the stylish visual elements of The Matrix have been copied over the past four years, they aren't as revolutionary this time around.  They do make the scenes exciting, though, and they're great fun to watch.

This film is much funnier than the first.  The Matrix was almost entirely without any laughs.  Several moments in The Matrix Reloaded had the audience laughing out loud.  Harold Perrineau, Jr. (the prisoner in the wheelchair from HBO's "Oz") was particularly funny. 

The acting was...well...there really wasn't all that much acting.  Most of the speaking was in the form of monologues spoken to other characters to describe what was happening.  Laurence Fishburne mostly spewed wise master spiritual mumbo jumbo.  Hugo Weaving and Lambert Wilson were both good.  Keanu Reeves convincingly looked concerned most of the time. 

Some characters, like Neo and Trinity, have plastic connectors all over their bodies from where they used to be plugged in to the Matrix.  In one particularly steamy scene, one of those plastic connectors looks like a woman's nipple.  But it isn't.  It's just a plastic spigot.  For those of you excited by plastic spigots, this is good news.

There is one nagging issue, but to describe it might not only ruin some of the surprises in this film, but some of the surprises in the next film.  Therefore, this issue is discussed in the Crystal Ball preview of The Matrix Revolutions

The Masked Reviewer always stays until a film is finished before leaving (unless there's a fire in the theater, in which case screw the baby, every man for himself!) and those of you who sit through the voluminous credits will get to see a preview of the next installment of the series, Matrix Revolutions.  There are a lot of credits, though.  They read like "Moby Dick."  Toward the end, there are paragraphs of names scrolling along.  You'd think with that many people working on the film someone would mention the broccoli stuck between Keanu's teeth. 

Expectation from the Title: The story of a two-dimensional array being restored from disk.  Or, one of The Matrix sequels.  Probably the latter.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything): Keanu Reeves must be very bright to work so closely with those computer things.

The Pros: Great, exciting action scenes.  Many excellent visual effects.  Almost some nudity.

The Cons: Confusing plot moved along by boring speeches.  Big huge hairy cliffhanger ending.


Click below to purchase Masked Reviewer's one of a kind t-shirts or mugs!

"There is no spoon.  Stir your coffee with your finger."

Home | 28 Days Later | The 40-Year-Old Virgin | 50 First Dates | A Lot Like Love | A Man Apart | A Mighty Wind | Adaptation | After the Sunset | Against the Ropes | Alexander | Alien versus Predator | Along Came Poly | Anchorman | Anger Management | Anything Else | Around the World in 80 Days | Bad Boys II | Bad Santa | Batman Begins | Be Cool | Beauty Shop | Beyond Borders | The Big Bounce | Blade: Trinity | The Bourne Supremacy | Brother Bear | Bulletproof Monk | The Butterfly Effect | Cabin Fever | Cat in the Hat | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ( not Willy Wonka ) | Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle | Chronicles of Riddick | Coach Carter | Collateral | The Cooler | The Core | Corpse Bride | Cradle 2 Grave | Criminal | The Dancer Upstairs | Dawn of the Dead | Daredevil | The Day After Tomorrow | Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalow | Dirty Pretty Things | Down with Love | The Dukes of Hazard | Dumb and Dumberer | Elektra | Elf | Envy | Eternal Sunshine | Fantastic Four | Fever Pitch | Flight of the Phoenix | Flightplan | Freaky Friday | Freddy vs. Jason | Gigli | Gothika | The Haunted Mansion | Hero | Hidalgo | Hitch | Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Hollywood Homicide | The Hulk | The Hunted | I, Robot | Identity | IMAX Matrix Reloaded | The Incredibles | Intolerable Cruelty | Irreversible | The Island | The Italian Job | Jeepers Creepers 2 | Jersey Girl | Johnny English | Kill Bill Volume 1 | Kill Bill Volume 2 | King Arthur | Kung Fu Hustle | Ladder 49 | The Ladykillers | Land of the Dead | The Last Samurai | League of Extraordinary Gentlemen | Legally Blonde 2 | Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou | The Longest Yard | Lord of the Rings: Return of the King | Lord of War | Love, Actually | Madagascar | Man on Fire | The Macnhurian Candidate | Master and Commander | Matchstick Men | The Matrix Reloaded | Matrix Revolutions | The Medallion | Meet the Fockers | Monster | Mr. 3000 | Mr. and Mrs. Smith | Mystic River | National Treasure | Ocean's Twelve | Once Upon a Time in Mexico | Ong-bak | Open Range | Out of Time | The Pacifier | The Passion of the Christ | The Perfect Score | Pirates of the Caribbean | Pool Hall Junkies | The Punisher | Resident Evil:Apocalypse | Runaway Jury | Sahara | School of Rock | Seabiscuit | Secret Lives of Dentists | Secret Window | Serenity | Shark Tale | Shaun of the Dead | Shrek 2 | Sideways | Sin City | Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas | Sky High | Something's Gotta Give | Spanglish | Spellbound | Spider-Man 2 | Spongebob Squarepants Movie | Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith | Starsky & Hutch | The Station Agent | Stepford Wives | Stuck on You | Surviving Christmas | Suspect Zero | SWAT | Taxi | Team America | Terminator 3 | Timeline | Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life | Troy | Underworld | Unleashed | Uptown Girls | Van Helsing | The Village | Walking Tall | War of the World | Wedding Crashers | Welcome to Mooseport | The Whole Ten Yards | Without a Paddle | Wrong Turn | X-Men 2 | XXX: State of the Union | Action | Comedy | Documentary | Drama | Family | Epic | Family | Horror | Romance | Sci Fi

This site was last updated 09/22/04

Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn