I just got back from seeing The Matrix Reloaded and I’m still processing it. I’ll admit that part of me was disappointed, though I’m sure much of that has to with the insane amount of hype that surrounded the film. It certainly didn’t feel as fresh or original as the first Matrix movie, mainly because I went into that one without any expectations whatsoever.
Parts of Reloaded do move extremely slowly, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The movie just throws you in the midst of some rather mundane things, and you’re given an extended view of the workings of Zion. Those expecting something like Trinity’s opening scene from the first movie will probably be left twiddling their thumbs. Personally, I found this really interesting, because the first movie had me curious as to how the “real” humans lived. However, I could’ve done without the whole dance/orgy scene, which just looked like a bad J-Lo video.
I’m sure this might sound blasphemous, but I found some of the action rather gratuitous. Sure, it all looks cooler than cool, but there are parts that just drag on and seem unnecessary. I never thought I’d say this, but I could’ve used a little less slow motion at times. Also, Trinity seems to get rather short shrift in this movie, like she got all soft. I loved her character in the first movie, and her action scenes were some of the coolest. But in Reloaded, she almost seems like a bit player at times.
Now on to what I did like (and I’ll try to keep things as spoiler free as possible). I loved the way they introduced new facets to the Machines, such as the new revelations concerning the Oracle’s true nature. And the additional information concerning the Matrix’ origins brought in some interesting twists and possibilities for the third movie. Unfortunately, a lot of the film’s ideas were contained in dialog so byzantine, so full of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that I just couldn’t follow all of it. I mean, I’ve taken Philosophy 101, but I found myself wishing I could rewind some of the more dialog-heavy scenes. And I loved the way they worked in bits from The Animatrix; they aren’t essential to understanding the plot, but if you’ve seen The Animatrix, they’re a little bonus.
Oh yeah, the fight between Neo and army of Agent Smiths and the interstate sequence are very, very cool. But if you go in just expecting wall to wall action, you’ll probably be a little disappointed.
All in all, I really want to see it again, now that the hype has been deflated. There’s a lot to process, even more than the first movie at times, and I want to chew on it another time. I’m really curious to watch those dialog-intense scenes again, if only to see if there really is something there or if it’s all just hot air. Watching those scenes, I can definitely understand why some people will find this movie really disappointing (especially if they were disappointed with the first movie). Still, from what I’ve read, the Wachowski brothers don’t seem like dim bulbs to me, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, there’s still one more movie to go.