Matrix Reloaded

Amidst productions delays resulting from the deaths of supporting players and injuries to lead actors, “Matrix Reloaded” has arrived. The wave of hype surrounding the film resembled the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” releases, and is the first of two sequels to complete the trilogy. Reloaded continues the story of a band of humans who are locked in a deadly struggle against alien/invasion. The majority of the population is suspended in a blissful dream state unaware that the world they live in is an illusion. Those that are able to be free of the dream state, battle the invasion over a vast network knows as “The Matrix” by enabling cyber implants in their bodies. While in the Matrix, people can fight the invaders and accomplish missions using a variety of skills and weapons.

The new film picks up after the events of the first film with Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburn), returning to the last human city of Zion to recharge their ship from battle and to prepare for another mission. It seems the forces of evil are burrowing toward the buried city and will soon arrive for an all-out cataclysm. There are those amongst the humans who believe that Neo is the chosen one, and others that do not believe the prophecy that Neo is the savior and this forms a point of contention for the human leaders. The film is awash in effects as Neo and his crew set off on a mission to save humanity but sadly the story seems to get lost along the way. While the film has plenty of effects and action, none of them seem particularly exciting, and I noticed a real lack off cheers and applause from the screener crowd during action scenes as much of it had a been there seen that look to it, that despite upping the quantity, was the same as we saw in the last film. The bullet-time effects are getting stale as it seems to be the only trick in the films arsenal, and the creative team behind the film goes to the well far to many times given a sense of tedium to what are otherwise well-crafted and designed scenes. There was also a severe lack of tension in the film and Reeves lack of emotion and his monosyllable delivery made it hard to really get behind the plight of the characters. Several people mentioned after the screener that they could not make sense of many of the plot elements and that they did not think that the characters were well defined or developed.

What I saw was a film that had some nice effects that quickly became boring as the setup and execution lacked any tension and the plot lacked cohesion making it difficult for many in the audience to get caught up in the film. This point was further underlined by the lack of any applause at the end of the film and several disparaging remarks being loudly uttered as the audience filed out of the cinema.
I found myself trying hard to like the film but despite the number of effects they were very ho-hum as if I was watching a FX real and many of the best effects had already been shown in the previews. Lets hope that “Matrix Revolutions” can end the trilogy on a high note, as “Matrix Reloaded” is a misfire.

2.5 stars out of 5