Can the most eagerly-awaited sequel of 2003 live up to the hype?
Running Time: 138 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
If you're one of the few that's yet to see The Matrix, then take this piece of advice don't even consider watching "Reloaded" until you have, otherwise you'll be completely lost. On the other hand, everyone else who HAS seen the original movie might want to follow that same piece of advice only to avoid huge disappointment, rather than utter confusion. Keanu Reeves again fights the temptation ever to crack a smile as Neo, who's now among the laugh-a-minute crew of the Nebuchadnezzar along with old buddies Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Link (Harold Perrineau). When back inside the matrix, Neo now has the ability to fly yet strangely prefers not to use it even when confronted with the prospect of a roughing up from the deadpan (aren't they all?) Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and his newly-created mob of clones. Morpheus, meanwhile, is his usual preachy self, but whereas in the last film he served the purpose of keeping the audience clued-up, he's now just annoying. Sorry, but he is. The basic premise this time is the protection of the city of Zion, which is a bit of an eyesore but at least the people there look like they're having a fairly good time. Zion is about to be hit by a machine army, though you have to wonder whether they'd leave the place looking any worse. So pre-occupied are directors the Wichowski Brothers with their combination of jaw-dropping special effects and self-important philosophy, that they've completely forgotten that crucial ingredient of any good movie: story-telling. Amid all the OTT fight scenes, drawn out car chases, and lengthy explanations of nothing in particular, there's a narrative buried somewhere but it's a tough job finding it. "The Matrix" has fallen head-long into the trap of believing its own hype, and in doing so has spawned a sequel which flies square in the face of everything that made the first one good. Now that the mind-blowing principle behind the original is nothing new to us, there's little left to pad this one out except extensive CGI usage and an astonishingly bad script. Has "The Matrix" lost its sparkle? To be concluded . . .
It's Got: Stunning visuals.
It Needs: To take itself less seriously and get back to the point: entertainment.
While you cant help but be impressed by the computer-aided stunts and FX, the fact remains that this sequel isnt fit to clean the original movies boots. A major disappointment.