Matrix: Reloaded

june 15, 2003

OK, now that I've seen Reloaded twice and have time to get over the in-your-face hype and elation from seeing the movie, I have to say that the movie is actually quite mediocre -- and in some places pretty darned bad. The movie critics (I used to be one) gave Reloaded a luke warm reception and if I had my head on straight the day after I saw it, I would have gave it the same reaction. Here's why. The original Matrix was a head-trip, straight and simple. If the Wachowski brothers had left it at the first one, it would have been great. What was intriguing about the original Matrix was that, along with the incredible action and special effects, the movie had some brains to it. It made the audience think. It brought some old-school philosphy and made it cool again. This second Matrix film feels like a straight-up actioneer. Bland speeches fill the gaps between overly long fight sequences. Special effects drive the plot, and not the other way around. Fight scenes that are well-choreographed but badly edited. The list goes on and on about the second Matrix. One of my friends said to me after seeing the movie observed that there was"just a tad too many fight scenes." At first I thought, yea but they were all cool. Then on the second run with the movie I did realize the same thing. There are too many fight scenes -- and all of them run way too damn long. The hyped "burly brawl" with Neo and the 100s of Agent Smiths was an awesome fight scene and an even more awesome technical feat. But in retrospect the fight scene lasted too long. After a while I just got numb to the fighting and special effects. I mean: How special are special effects when they are the star of a movie? Aren't they then normal? The top-end of Reloaded is just too ... well, top heavy. I got tired of Morpheus speeches rather quickly. The speech in the cave almost elicited a laugh out of me. The rave scene in the cave got the laugh to come out -- the rave scene was totally unnecessary and felt completely out of place in the movie. It was a scene where I had me asking, What were you Wachowski brothers thinking? I can understand how the Wachowski brothers shot and did these two sequels at once. And I hope that the editing and other mishaps throughout Reloaded is only cause by the heavy workload on the brothers. I also hope that they did Revolutions correctly and take all the feedback about Reloaded and try to reshape whatever they have there. Maybe even take some time to edit that movie better than this one. Maybe the Wachowski brothers should have taken a page from Peter Jackson's notebook: Not only shoot all your films at once (like Jackson did with The Lord of the Rings), but also take a bit longer time to do a proper post-production on them.