Saturday, April 03, 2004

Movie Review: The Matrix Reloaded

U.S. Release Date: 5/15/03
Running Time: 2:18
Rated: R (Violence, sexual situations, brief nudity)
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci, Lambert Wilson, Harold Perrineau Jr., Harry J. Lennix

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Producer: Joel Silver
Screenplay: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Music: Don Davis
Studio: Warner Brothers

Posted by Hello
When a film takes up four of the fourteen theatres in a multiplex, it has got to be good—at both raking in cash and favorable ratings. The Matrix Reloaded proved it could fulfill both of these requirements; the motion-picture has set the record for the most money taken in on an opening weekend, for an R-rated feature, grossing nearly $92 million, and it has, rightfully so, received just as many thumbs up and rave reviews as its pristine predecessor. This film, combined with The Matrix, makes for a kinetic blast of outstanding action and delectable discourse that will surely blow your mind, in more ways than one.

In March of 1999 we were first introduced to the exposition of The Matrix, and now almost five years later, the much-anticipated saga concludes with The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions—both of which were allotted a much more massive budget than the original ’99 release. Reloaded skillfully restates The Matrix’s main themes of: everything has a purpose, everything happens for a reason, and there are no accidents or choices, only causality.

Neo returns to fulfill his prophecy to save all of mankind, in this intelligent, intuitive, and near flawless feature. This film combines such sophisticated dialogue and superb special effects (or godly-astounding effects as I would like to rename them for this film), which make this movie more than ear-and-eye-candy, but ear-and-eye-ambrosia, a bliss to the big-screen, and a cinematic experience that is just as powerful and stunning as the original. There are several well-choreographed fight scenes and a lengthy car chase (that is far more advanced than any other in history), which add to make this picture well-worth the price of a rental alone. In fact, this movie is not just a movie you may want to rent, but rather one that you may want to purchase and add to your collection.

If you are educated in philosophy and religion as much as the Wachowski brothers (the writers and directors), this film and the series is all-the-more enjoyable. There are a vast number of underlying religious and messianic aspects that cannot be overlooked. For example, some say that the trilogy is based on being a facsimile to the story of Christ, with Neo representing Jesus of Nazareth from the New Testament (Neo translates to “new”, as in the “New Covenant”), while others only acknowledge the obvious allegories of Gnostic philosophy. Either way, it is evident that there are undoubtedly deeper undercurrents to be aware of, which are ever-so cleverly interwoven and masked as the story’s main plot--resulting in an enthralling and ingenious picture.

After the six-month intermission between Reloaded and Revolutions, Reloaded’s gaping holes and unanswered questions can finally be resolved. The outcome of the final chapter of the trilogy will be the deciding factor to both how good this movie really is at being the bridge between installments, and if the trilogy will be the ultimate holy grail of the perfect mesh between thrilling science fiction and astonishing action-adventure.

Compared to the typical lack-luster science-fiction/action appetizers of meager rations, that Hollywood creates in infinite quantities, The Matrix films are a dessert that also provides sustenance—the aftertaste is pleasing, and I am right there with the rest of the die-hard Matrix fans, along for the intense ride in a major frenzy for more Matrix. (***1/2 out of ****)

© Copyright Brandon Valentine 2004