Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Randall Duk Kim, Monica Bellucci
Unfocused. Meandering. Inferior.
The Matrix Reloaded is at the top of any list made about disappointing sequels. Neo returns, now a full-blown super hero, and so does Morpheus, his mentor, and Trinity, the woman he loves. Neo is having visions (or are they just nightmares?) of Trinity dying in the future, while Morpheus and the rest of the resistance argue over how best to fight back against the computers. A sequel to the extraordinary original was a tough prospect. I think so much of The Matrix’s greatness depended on the mystery and not fully understanding everything going on. The Matrix Reloaded widens its story, clarifies a few things, and the film becomes less interesting as a result. The attempt at epicness also hurts it, seeming more pompous and rambling than grand scale. The special effects which were cutting edge and blew everyone away in ’99, are overused here and resemble more an old video game at times than human beings. It’s funny to me, but the first film, released four years earlier and made with less money, looks better than its sequels. The Matrix Reloaded isn’t devoid of all virtues. It holds several intriguing ideas mixed into its long ramblings, the world building, carrying over from the first film, is incredible, and Neo is a hero for the ages.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-