The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
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The Matrix Reloaded re-evaluated... Nope, still think it's probably the weakest piece of the franchise. Just a MacGuffin race that goes like this: We need this. Extended action scene to get to it. Character gives an extended philosophical speech that boils down to... We now need this. Repeat. I watched it with podcasting mate Elyse and she boiled it down to this: It's Waking Life with action set pieces in between each conversation. Yep. That's it. And it might have worked if everything weren't sooooo overdone. Every action scene takes too long. Every discussion takes too long. The rave in Zion, too long. Running through corridors, why is this taking so long? If the philosophy is supposed to make us think, it never lets us because we immediately have to sit through loud extended action. It's all so tedious. Even the world-building pushes the limits of my patience. Show Zion, yes, of course. Create an entire culture of rogue programs inside the Matrix? And they're ghosts and vampires and stuff? Enough already, that's too much to digest in one go. Oh and let's tie into alternative media by introducing characters from the video game and Animatrix that really don't bring a whole lot to the story here. Gooey CG is the least of the middle movie's problems even if that's what a lot of commentators at the time got stuck on. For me, today, it's how Neo and Trinity have absolutely no chemistry. There's a lot of cool stuff in Reloaded, don't get me wrong, but it's choking on padding to the point of frustration.
In trying to make the Matrix a multi-media experience, Reloaded comes off as incomplete (you need other sources to fill in the blanks), so it's all effects and action, and the big ideas are rushed and opaque. Still, that highway sequence is great.
There's some great scenes in this movie. It doesn't quite gel together but I think it's unfairly criticised.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #107 in Butler's Fantasy Cinema: Impossible Worlds on Screen
This movie ranks #121 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
This movie ranks #132 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #154 in iCheckMovies's Most Checked
This movie ranks #594 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life