Trying to fall in love with film again.

'The Matrix Reloaded' is what happens when a sequel can't keep up with its predecessor.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003) - IMDbStory 

The story picks up 6 months after the events of the first movie. Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus receive an emergency message from another captain who they meet on Zion, the last human city. The people on Zion are then informed that an attack is imminent. Neo then gets a message from the oracle who then tells him to go to the source of the Matrix. Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus then go on a hunt for the source with the help of Niobe (a captain of another ship) and the Keymaker who can take them to the source all while battling Agent Smith who appears stronger and more present than ever. They're tasked with doing this before the attack on Zion.

The story in this movie feels like a direct continuation of the first one. I mentioned in my review of the first movie that the ending was abrupt and I'm saying the exact same thing about this movie. I preferred the end of the first movie to this one because that feels like the end of a chapter, this ends on even more of a cliffhanger and leaves you with more questions than it answers. It even has the 'To be Concluded' title card at the end of the film.

Acting 

Overall the acting in this movie feels very flat. The actors never feel like they're giving much with the exception of Carrie-Anne Moss who has the best and most expressive performance in this movie by far.
It's plausible that the characters were written this way and the actors are doing exactly what they're meant to, however, their lack of emotion means I have no attachment to the characters or their issues. They don't seem like they care so why should I? That's not to say the acting is bad or the actors do a bad job, the actors in this movie are incredibly talented from Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving to Harry Lennix and Carrie-Anne Moss.
The addition of new actors means there are more familiar faces from Jada Pinkett Smith to Gina Torres and Monica Bellucci.

Neo is a lot more confident in this movie than in the last one, there's a definite growth in his character that we saw in the first movie and I wish we saw some of that in this movie. By the time this movie stats it seems like Neo has gained mastery of the Matrix and I would have liked to see him learn, fail and adapt to his surroundings. That would make him even more endearing to the audience because he can come across as cocky (although I would be too if everyone kept telling me that I was the 'one')

Of all the performances in the film, I enjoyed Carrie-Anne Moss' and Hugo Weaving's the most. Trinity is an emotional badass, which shows growth from the first film where she was a lot colder and calculating which is perfect segway into talking about Agent Smith.

Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith is a brilliant antagonist and is even more of a threat in this movie than in the first. As Neo grows stronger his opponent seems to grow stronger, faster and harder to beat which makes their conflict more interesting for the audience.

Writing/Direction

It's well known that these films have thinly veiled philosophical messages and in this movie, it's more obvious than ever. The film flat out tells you that it revolves around choice. Neo is put in an impossible situation and that he has to navigate that involve life and death. There is no room for you as the viewer to think about the movie because you are told all the important information mostly through dialogue. That doesn't leave you room to think about the movie the way you would if you weren't told that information.

The pacing of this film is also something that bothered me in this film. Much like the first film I wasn't engaged with the film or story until the half-way mark. This movie also has scenes that are too long, which can make watching the movie a chore because you're bored with what is going on and would much rather move on to the next part of the story.

As far as direction, the Wachowski's appear to have a solid story that they're telling and they rarely ever veer from that pre-determined story path. The world-building is adequate but I would have preferred more information about Zion and how it came into existence but we aren't really given any information about that city.

CGI/Set Design

It's rare that the CGI in the second film in a trilogy with a larger budget has worse CGI than its predecessor. It's not always noticeable but when it's bad, it's really bad. The blend of CGI and practical effects aren't as seamless as the first one, as there are moments where everything on stage looks rubbery and fake and that gives me pause
Especially in this scene.


This movie has the exact same visuals as the first film. I can understand using similar visuals as it gives the films a sense of continuity but using the exact same shots seems lazy and makes the overall film less engaging as you feel like you've seen everything before.

Score/Soundtrack 

I preferred the score in this movie much more than the first one, even though it's not very memorable. It had more emotional weight to it than the first and actually brought genuine emotion, dread and weight to the scenes. This is one aspect where the sequel improved on the original

Overall Thoughts

One major complaint I have is the same one I had with the previous movie, it doesn't really start till halfway through the runtime. That's forgivable with the first movie in a franchise like this because a lot of world-building needs to take place, but for the second movie in a trilogy, I'm surprised that it took almost half the movie for the pace to pick up.

This film is clearly suffering from sequelitis, it's trying to live up to the original which was released 4 years prior and it kinda falls flat.

The first film is one of the most iconic sci-fi films ever made and even though it's not my favourite I can agree with that sentiment, with this film it feels a little hollow and somewhat boring. My overall feeling towards this movie is indifference. It's not bad but I wasn't as invested in this movie as I was in the first one. That disinterest stems from some of the pacing issues and the really heavy-handed storytelling.

If you want to read my review for the first Matrix movie click here

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