The Matrix Reloaded

Dan Movie Reviews

Okay, so it’s one of the most anticipated films of the summer. Is it worth the hype? More specifically – was it worth the wait? (And by wait, I mean the waiting I had to do last night at Warner Brothers, not the wait for the film to come out.)

Jeff and I got to Warner Brothers around 8pm, for the 9pm screening. They finally got us to the theater (on the lot) around 8:30. At which point we were told that we would be waiting lined up outside the theater until about 9:30, because the 6:30 screening started late. Grr. Eventually we got in, and the movie started a little before 10pm.

In a nutshell, the movie was good. It has a lot of exposition going on, so you never feel like the action is too much. But there are times, especially during the first half, where the evil spectre of Star Wars crept in, and I felt I was watching a Jedi Council debate. Fun!! Basic storyline is thus: the machines are digging towards Zion, the last human enclave. So, some people wanna stay and fight, others beileve their salvation lies with Neo (“The One” – not to be confused with Jet Li). Insert debate here. Yawn.

Zion, finally shown here, is like a weird fusion of hi-tech, low-tech, and one giant rave. Yes, a giant rave. It just felt tacky, with a love-scene being intercut with gyrating dancing sweaty Zionites – cause hey, a war is coming! Let’s party down! Okay, enough of that boring stuff, on to the coolness.

The fight scenes are, as expected, awesome. From the opening sequence, to the “Burly Brawl” fight in the courtyard, to the chateau fight, to the most-awesome car chase, the excitement level and sheer awe of it all is pretty tight. VFX master John Gaeta is pushing the envelope yet again, with his “virtual cinematography”, and it looks better than it did in the trailer. Thank God. The car chase is one of the best I’ve seen (or at least can remember seeing in my hazy state of mind), and some of the effects during that sequence are literally jaw-dropping.

Musically, the film has a lot of Don Davis’s score going on, which is really nice. There are actually very few songs that stand out during the film; most of the big action cues are either Don Davis, or Juno Reactor with Don Davis, or Rob Dougan, or something like that, and it all works really well. This score, in a nutshell, kicks serious booty, and when you hear it, you’ll most likely agree.

The ending? A lame 1960s TV styled cliffhanger. I could practically hear the “dum dum DAHHHHHH!!!!!!” Bah. The end titles music, though, sucked. It was Rage Against The Machine, and it was like sitting through loud noise with screaming. Urgh. Why did I sit through the credits? Cause at the end of them, there’s a very cool teaser for The Matrix Revolutions. And it’s worth the wait. One problem I had with this film was that most of the battles were hand-to-hand combat. While that’s still pretty cool, I wanted to see a real gunbattle that would blow my socks off. It looks like that’s saved for Revolutions. Nuts. Also, that cool shot of the battle on the ceiling in the Reloaded teaser? Not in the film. It’s from Revolutions. Bah!!

So, yeah, go see the film. But just be aware that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, even though it’s hella entertaining. And you really should just keep your expectations down to earth – otherwise, you might be underwhelmed.