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The Matrix Reloaded
Directed By:  Andy and Larry Wachowski
Written By:  The Wachowski Brothers
Starring:  Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
MPAA: Rated R for sci-fi violence and some sexuality

    After a four year wait, the second installment of The Matrix has finally arrived!  After years of rumors, the real story can finally be told.  However, you won't read much about that here, for I am not one to spoil the picture.
 
    But, as this is a movie review, I suppose it's my duty to give you a run down of the film, so here goes...
  
    As with the first Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded begins with a promising bit of action featuring Trinity.  For reasons known only to the Wachowski brothers, what follows is talking, talking, and more talking.  Exposition in the service of the story is just fine, but this was twenty minutes of information most of us already knew, including an overwrought and overscripted soapbox sermon from Morpheus himself!  Then, for equally vague reasons, there is much rejoicing, Neo and Trinity play kissy-face, and everyone takes part in what appears to be a Madonna video.  Gawd, but the real world city of Zion is lame! 
   
    Meanwhile, over in the movie we really want to see, Agent Smith has a few new tricks up his sleeves, and Neo continues his virtual journey toward self-discovery as the chosen 'One'.  Inside the matrix, we are treated to more of everything.  More kung-fu, more high-flying action, and, of course, more bullet time.  Unfortunately, all of this brings us face to face with the fact that more isn't always better.  While the Wachowski brothers are very good at using proven stunt and visual effect techniques in new and interesting ways, there is a certain amount of 'been there, done that' for the audience to contend with, which lessens the overall excitement.  This is especially true of the fighting scenes, many of which just seem too staged.  However, The Matrix Reloaded does deliver in the area of CGI effects work.  The highlight is the freeway chase, a truly amazing action sequence that goes on and on and on... and on! 
  
    As far as acting is concerned, Gloria Foster has a good scene as the Oracle, and I was quite impressed with Randall Duk Kim in the small but memorable role of the Keymaker.  And, though Keanu Reeves does do a fine job of appearing in front of the camera while reciting lines from the script, I'm not sure that his performance should really count as 'acting'.
       
    I must also mention the ending of this movie, or the lack thereof.  The Matrix Reloaded is the first part of the second part of the first Matrix, with The Matrix Revolutions being the second part of the second part.  Get it?  Not to give anything away, but the end of this film left a bad taste in my mouth... the taste of carbonite.
   
    So, to sum up, if you are a fan of The Matrix, then yeah, it's no surprise that you're going to like this movie.  Just don't expect it to be equally good.  Lastly, stay seated through the credits, and you'll get a short preview of Revolutions!!!  Luckily, this time, we won't have so long to wait!
No one can be told what the joke is... you'll have to see it for yourself.
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A.J.'s Rating: 3 Virtual Stars
Review published
May 15, 2003
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