MATRIX RELOADED (BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
The Wachowski Brothers
Jada Pinkett Smith
What's it about
Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. During this, Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams.
Is it good movie?
I'm not going to go on at length about how big of a phenomenon this movie series was, but I will definitely let you know that I think the series is a failure. The first film was exciting and different, this one is dense and way off target and the third one serves as a neat action movie that is a complete departure for the series.
So now Neo is a superhero who can use all kinds of neat powers and see into the future. He unfortunately envisions his lady friend (Trinity/Carrie Anne Moss)'s death and heads out to see the Oracle. Unfortunately for him, he has to deal with Agent Smith who has broken from the system and can clone himself and disguise himself to look like other bodies. Amidst all this stuff is the meeting with the Merovingian villain, the Keymaker and the Architect. Whoa.
This movie was a HUGE disappointment for me and I remember walking out of the theatre shaking my head. I mean, you'd think that you'd be happy to see what Zion looked like and stuff but this is a talky and pretentious film that makes little sense to me and not even some cool fight scenes can save it.
First of all, everyone blathers on like they're professors at a roundtable and they come off like a bunch of pretentious d-bags. On top of this, the same themes are expounded upon over and over again until it gets truly tedious. And is Neo stupid? Does he not know how to use his super powers? He can literally re-write the Matrix and he's still getting his butt kicked on a regular basis. He spends most of his time flying around and punching people in slow motion.
This movie moves at far too slow of a pace for my liking. In the first one, even if you don't get it you can be going along for the ride with the film because of the blistering action sequences and cool effects. This film slows things down a lot and you'll notice a lot of talking and fewer fight scenes, which may lead you to see more holes in the plot.
Also, I find that the lovey-dovey relationship between Neo and Trinity is tough to watch. There's another one of those life-saving kisses here and when Neo flies out of a building to catch her before she splatters, I groan. I just can't believe the dialogue Keanu is spouting when he professes his love. Sorry. Also, Morpheus is almost completely wasted in this film and has very little to do.
The movie killer for me the first time I saw it was the chat with the Architect. I find this scene completely pretentious and difficult to listen to. The Wachowskis really seem to be showing how smug and smart they are in this scene. Don't get me wrong, the revelation is really important (if you catch it), but this scene goes on forever and is thicker than a phone book.
If you're looking for cool stuff, you'll enjoy the Merovingian's fun cake scene and every single scene with Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith. The guy's awesome and has a gift for making dialogue his own. He's pure evil and completely captivating, and the Burly Brawl, although silly at times by today's standards, is really memorable and pretty neat. The Chateau fight is pretty breathtaking too, without question. This is a film drenched in visual style and really looks incredible, although they may have overdone the whole 'slow motion rotate' effect a few times.
Video / Audio
This one is presented in a 2.40:1 1080P transfer and hasn't looked better. Seriously, this is a demo-quality disc.
The soundtrack is also incredible and is offered in both Dolby True HD 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 and the True HD track is truly incredible and is going to blow your subwoofer apart.
There are a ton of extras here, but to be honest I found that most of them were a bit repetitive and there were a lot of picture galleries. For time's sake, I'll give you a general overview here and list the specs underneath. If you're going to listen to a commentary track, you are in for a brain bender with the philosopher one and a lot of glad handing with the critical review track. I recommend the 'In-Movie Experience' because it's got picture-in-picture and the best bits from these extras, but the rest I could take or leave.
Written Introduction by the Wachowski Brothers
Commentary track by philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber
Commentary track by critics Todd McCarthy, John Powers, and David Thomson
Behind the Matrix Documentary
Enter the Matrix: The Game Documentary
Enter the Matrix
Car Chase Documentary Gallery
Teahouse Fight Documentary Gallery
Unplugged Documentary Gallery
Iíll Handle Them Documentary Gallery
The Exiles Documentary Gallery
P.O.D. Sleeping Awake Music Video
Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
This is a hugely disappointing sequel, in my opinion. There are a few good ideas, but the film seems to be caught up in its own glitz, glamor and hype and just feels like a chore to get through at times. I recommend to avoid, although this is a gorgeous looking disc that has a fair amount of features.