The Matrix Reloaded
Director: Andy & Larry Wachowski
**WARNING: THIS IS A SOBER REVIEW!!! IT WILL BE REPLACED ONCE I HAVE THE TIME, MONEY, AND TAXI-CAB TO DO SO! (I WAS A BIT HUNG-OVER, THOUGH, BUT THAT DOESN'T COUNT)**
It's pretty hard for a sequel to live up to its origin. Few movies have done so, most notably Aliens by James Cameron, and only because he wisely switched genres, from the horror of Ridley Scott's first film to a more action-oriented installment (and redefined once again for the third by David Fincher into an odd theological kind of film, which, considering the fan-base, ended up a "failure," with huge cuts to the film by WB not helping the situation, either. I won't mention the debacle of the fourth. But I digress). With that, I don't think this movie is nearly as powerful as the first.
I won't go into a plot synopsis here as I usually do, as I prefer for you to go into this film as untainted as possible. The scope of it opens up a bit more, since the first movie set up the major characters; this is a continuation of the story, and introduces a variety of new people, for better or worse in their portrayal. It delves into the politics of Zion a little, explains a bit more about the nature of the Matrix, and what role Neo is expected to fulfill. And, of course, some insane action sequences that, okay, I admit, left a grin on my face.
My initial reservations about Keanu stepping it up is pretty much inconsequential, they wrote him to still be relatively clueless (smart move). But I think what this movie lacks (besides the major element of intrigue) is the flow the first film had. It's one of the beauties of the original, with the transitions made from one major scene to the next. That and it's pretty dark (not plot-wise, but exposure-wise), and the print/location that I saw it at made it pretty difficult to see any details of some dark scenes.
Overall, it's a decent film. If you're a fan of The Matrix for its action sequences, you definitely won't be disappointed. Plot-wise, eh, well, it muddles through alright. This really is the first part of a 4-1/2 hour movie, as it ends in a "cliffhanger" kind of setting. Hopefully they incorporate more of the style of the first movie editing-wise, and don't rely on so many martial arts-oriented scenes.
Great Scenes: We see glimpses of it in the trailers, but Neo's fight with a growing number of Agent Smiths is a pretty impressive spectacle. And there is another scene with a SHITLOAD of monitors that is a bit heavy-handed in its portrayal of information, but after thinking about it is a great concept of immediately showing the tangents of reaction.
DVD Notes: It'll be awhile til I can update this one since it just hit the theaters.