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The Matrix Reloaded | Review

Bigger, but not better

The Wachowski’s summer of sequels sequel is nothing more than high concept jargon backed by big studio money.

Ultimately, what this number two will be remembered for is nothing more than a big action Kung-Fu fest with a storyline that suffers from an indigestion of a smorgasbord of philosophies, mythologies and computer-geek talk. Hopefully, it will also be remembered as being a case about saving the best, for last.

Saving the world can be quite a tough job to do and if your name is Neo (Keanu Reeves-The Last Time I Committed Suicide) not even the weight of one-hundred agent Smiths can compare to the pressure-cooker do-or-die situations that are thrown at the chosen one. With barely a drop of sweat, the golden calf with the perfect pair of irremovable sunglasses of the Fritz Lang underworld has got to balance the fate of the world inside a mission impossible-like clock is ticking context and be the a responsible boyfriend to a chick dressed in latex, named Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss Memento). What was so much fun about the film back in 1999, is that it re-breathed life into the sci-fi genre with a world of mythology. The Wachowski’s highly anticipated sequel goes a little too much off the deep end with a story treatment that comes across with a video-gamers appeal, which might suit teenage audiences just fine, but for those who want to use the “the muscle that matters”, it might be a long unentertaining ride.

Nothing mind-bending about this experience, the bullet-time feature which was so brilliant in the first film is utilized to a maximum. The buffet of special effects, the CGI and the complete action sequence choreography is great fun, but it does very little to push the narrative forward, in fact it freezes it so much so that you feel cheated just like the scene of a kung-fu fight that ends with a handshake. After the shattered glass intro of Trinity, the first 40 minutes of the film is surprisingly hard watch, the crappy underworld with general assembles and the studio 54 after-party ambiance is anti-climatic and when it gets into a path of Mech Warrior destruction we can’t help but count the seconds until they make it to the surface with a park bench sequence that feels as if Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are about to walk onto the set. Cluttered with ridiculously long and mindless action sequences as in “The Smiths” (Hugo Weaving Lord of the Rings) fight sequence and the highway chase of all highway chases, we have only the simplistic, yet confusing story about a world in which the average viewer might get lost in only to guide us until the “to be continued” part of the film. The find the key master, find the key, find the door non-sense with a Pepsi-challenge ending of unlocking the secret proves to be as exciting as the subplot romance that fizzles instead of firing up the film.

In a world of decision making, this is the perfect film choice for Monica Bellucci Tears of the Sun fans and for anyone who knows what computer viruses and the delete button on your keyboard do. The Matrix Reloaded is like that flashy new toy at X-Mas that you quickly get tired of, instead of suffering through the 2nd film, ask your friend about the plot points and pick up the Matrix world in the final third picture.

Rating 1 stars

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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