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The Matrix Reloaded (***)
Directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Written by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Principal Cast
Keanu Reeves -- Neo
Carrie-Anne Moss -- Trinity
Laurence Fishburne -- Morpheus
Hugo Weaving -- Agent Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith -- Niobe
Monica Bellucci -- Persephone
Gina Torres -- Cas
Daniel Bernhardt -- Agent Johnson
Gloria Foster -- The Oracle
Kelly Butler -- Ice
Matt McColm -- Agent Thompson
Neil Rayment -- Twin #1
Adrian Rayment -- Twin #2
Anthony Zerbe -- Councillor Hamann
Bernard White -- Rama-Kandra
Nona Gaye -- Zee
Randall Duk Kim -- The Keymaker
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

The Matrix Reloaded Too much portentous dialogue and, when you come right down to it, too much spectacular fighting and car chasing, and yet, some really cool special effects, not to mention really cool sun glasses.

Our story opens when young Jedi Knight Neo is instructed by Obi Wan Morpheus to forget logic and reason and trust in the Source. Neo kicks ass until he meets his maker, and the following dialogue ensues:

"I had this suite prepared for you because I wanted to talk to you without fear of being overheard. But there is no time to waste."

"Isn't there?"

"Come now, let us not be juvenile. You want information. So do I. You ask three questions, then I'll ask three. You must have questions, man."

"Who are you?"

"I am either what I appear to be or I am not. If the latter, then for me to tell you would put me at your mercy. Don't take time with questions which might destroy me. Now hurry."

"Do you know anything about me other than what has already been told?"


So Neo leaves his creator and flies to rescue Lois Lane, who is falling from a tall building at the time.

Actually, the dialogue above is not from The Matrix at all, but from The World of Null-A by A.E. Van Vogt. The dialogue in The Matrix, like the dialogue in Van Vogt, is full of undigested lumps of philosophy, regurgitated in meaningless exchanges with characters who always tell you what questions you are going to ask, before you ask them.

Early in the movie, the actor Lawrence Fishburne (who mastered Shakespeare without difficulty) blows a line of dialogue, and the director does not catch the mistake. With all the careful attention to the details of the special effects, it is significant that nobody is paying attention to the words coming out of the actor's mouth.

And there are too many words. What could have been a very exciting 90 minutes has been stretched to a sometimes tedious two hours plus. In the scenes set in Zion, there is a lot to remind you of Attack of the Clones. The car chase, as spectacular as it is, does not grip you like the car chase in Ronin. Fights are more interesting when you care about the people involved. Neo and Trinity making love have less passion on their faces than a kid playing Grand Theft Auto III. The sex, like the sex in Van Vogt, is the kind of sex dreamed of by kids who can't get a date on Saturday night. You can tell from the way writers handle sex scenes whether they got laid before they got famous.

The most interesting character in the film is someone called the Keymaker, but his role is sadly brief.

The big set pieces, the fights, the car chases, are further over the top than anything we had seen before. In Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee fights as many opponents as Neo does, but they line up and come at him one at a time. Neo fights them in 3-D. The Matrix Reloaded is definitely worth seeing, but it lacks the human interest of X2: X-Men United and Daredevil, not to mention Spider-Man.

After the credits is a preview for The Matrix Revolutions.

Copyright © 2003 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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