THE MATRIX RELOADED
MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The first of two sequels of the groundbreaking action sci-fi thriller “The Matrix” opens with a huge action sequence – Trinity blows up a building and is chased by Agents, only to be shot in mid-air as she falls. We discover this is a prophetic dream of Neo’s, and we wake up with him in the real world as he heads back to Zion after a mission. The movie continues in two parts – one in the Matrix as Neo learn more about his destiny and the return of Agent Smith, now acting freely within the virtual world; and the other in the real world as the people of Zion prepare for the assault of the machines.
WHAT I LIKED
Back in 2003, I wrote a very controversial and much maligned review of “The Matrix Reloaded,” giving it a very high rating and declaring it to be a very worthy sequel. Revisiting the film seven years later in glorious high definition on Blu-ray, I stand by that claim.
Everything I wanted in a “Matrix” sequel can be found in this movie. There’s loads of action, there’s a continuing story that doesn’t just rehash the first film. We see new characters and learn more about the mystery of the Matrix. And we get the awesomeness of Agent Smith and Neo battling back on the screen.
The reality was that this sequel had an uphill battle. We would never experience bullet-time for the first time ever again. We would never get a shocker like the one when Neo first wakes from the Matrix. We would never have the freshness of the first film without the exposition needed to explain the world further.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching “The Matrix Reloaded” on Blu-ray, and it looks fantastic. There were new elements added, including the Architect of the Matrix as well as the nods to ghosts and vampires. There are some slow moments in this film, but by the time we get to the big action sequences half-way in, it’s just as much fun as the first movie.
I was in awe watching “The Matrix Reloaded” at a press screening in 2003, and I had the same sense of wonder revisiting it again many years later.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Like most films in Hollywood, especially sequels, this movie is not perfect. It runs slow a bit in the beginning, and some of the special effects break down, which I excuse as the Wachowskis being overly ambitious. And yeah, that rave scene was just silly. But on the whole, as sequels go, this one was one of the best I’ve experienced.
The DVD features have been imported to this Blu-ray with embedded content into the film, plus a written introduction by the directors, two commentaries, four featurettes in the “Behind the Matrix” documentary, a documentary about the “Enter the Matrix” game, 23 live-action scenes from that game, nine featurettes on the car chase, two featurettes on the teahouse fight, a music video, trailers and TV spots. Additional featurettes include five episodes of “Unplugged,” four episodes of “I’ll Handle Them” and two episodes of “The Exiles.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the original film who aren’t expecting the first film all over again.