Unloading after Reloaded: My take on the second Matrix
An hour on, and my mind is still reeling with visions of black leather, shock waves made by bullets and rows and rows of green digits. You guessed it, I just saw The Matrix Reloaded.
The sequel to the Wachowski brothers' captivating science fiction film is every bit as enthralling as its predecessor. The faster-than-life fight scenes are back in force along with a host of special effects and a mind-bending storyline.
Reloaded picks up about a year after where The Matrix left off. Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, has shown he has amazing skills in the matrix but it has been discovered the humans are in danger. The last human city, Zion, is under attack by machines and the humans will be eliminated if something is not done. It is up to Neo as "The One" to go into the matrix and find the answer to saving Zion.
Naturally, it wouldn't be much of a movie if his job wasn't hard, and the challenge is multiplied - literally - with the return of an army of Agent Smiths. The other agents and a handful of additional adversaries come along for the ride and although we feel sorry for the characters who have to deal with these enemies, we in the audience agree it makes for one heck of a film!
The fighting in Reloaded is plentiful and long but manages never to get tedious. Whether Keanu Reeves is single-handedly fending off thirty Agent Smiths, Laurence Fishburne is in hand-to-hand combat on top of a speeding truck or Carrie-Anne Moss is still firing guns as she falls out a window, you are kept on the edge of your seat. The choreography is creative and near flawless, the costumes are brilliant (special mention must go to Morpheus' purple crocodile-skin shoes) and the cinematography is masterful. The directors ensured the traffic-stopping flavour of the combat from the first film was maintained and then added that extra... kick.
The fight scenes are enough to keep the toughest audience entertained but the twists in the storyline were the movie's prize. I was mesmerised and mystified, baffled and boggled, transfixed and transported. I also need to find a dictionary and look up the word "anomaly". My advice though would be to not be scared off by the science-fictionese. Enjoy what you understand and just smile and nod when your nerd friends begin to wax lyrical.
Although the film is entertaining it is not without its drawbacks. The tone of the movie is somewhat darker than the first Matrix with the lighthearted quips and ironic moments which were peppered throughout the original almost completely absent. There is also an overt sexual tone including a medium level sex scene early in the film. Those who are offended by such things may choose to wait until the movie comes out on DVD and skip that scene. In addition, the fighting, although one of the film's best features, may also be considered too violent by some viewers.
But if the purpose of a movie is to stretch your mind, thrill you and make you feel as if, walking back to your car you could take on all the people milling around you with nothing but an iron pole, then this one makes the grade. And if you'll excuse me, I'm going shopping for a skintight black leather body suit.
Author: Tegan Booth