Press responses to The Matrix Reloaded have basically been correct -- this film has oodles of visual magic and cool action sequences, but is a little weak on the script and characterization fronts.
It's still a fun ride, and the iconic characters already feel like old friends on the level of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Captain Solo. The best set pieces (the 100 Agent Smiths, the freeway chase) are as eye-popping and exciting as the trailer and hype would have you believe. And while the scripting isn't nearly as sharp as the first Matrix, there are still some great moments. The acting is a little uneven, with Laurence Fishburne given some pretty shaky scenes to play (the speech and subsequence "tribal dance" in Zion being especially ludicrous), but Carrie-Anne Moss comes out blazing midway through, Keanu Reeves uses his blank-faced persona to good effect (another great scene with the Oracle), and the brilliant Harold Perrineau fits into the world with his usual grace. Hopefully this film will make him into the Denzel-sized superstar he richly deserves to be. But it's Moss who supplies the heart of the piece, and while she is underutilized in the first half of the film, she comes to dominate the proceedings.
There is just one more nagging flaw about the film, which is pacing. I won't give away any plot points here, but the Wachowskis seem to have been rushed at the writing stage. The overall progression of the script has all the elements of a rousing, emotionally satisfying structure, but they spend a little too much time on the set pieces and had to blast through some pretty hefty narrative points rather than building them satisfactorily, as they'd done so successfully in the first Matrix. As they stand, the emotional moments have a bit too much comfort zone, given too little time to breathe and for the audience to truly feel the impact of the events.
I did enjoy the film, but be prepared for the flaws. I went to see this film in New York on its opening night and I could literally hear a collective gasp at the cop-out ending. Even the friend I went with, a colossal fan of The Matrix, found the plotting and the ending to be a let-down.
Nevertheless, for its energetic delivery and entertainment value, you'll probably enjoy this movie and forgive its flaws. I did.
- Actors: Helmut Bakaitis, Lambert Wilson, Ian Bliss, Gloria Foster, Jada Pinkett Smith
- Directors: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
- Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Roadshow
- DVD Release Date: 15 Jan 2009
- Run Time: 138.00 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B001QBC4JW