Film reviews

The Matrix Reloaded - Dir: Andy and Larry Wachowski - Cert: 15

'Don't Go Home Early'

Now be warned, I say this because even after the final credits roll, you will find something of pivotal significance to the die-hard 'Matrix fan', and the main feature clocks in at 138 minutes so don't arrange to be anywhere in a hurry either. But this, the second in what has been announced is so far a trilogy is once again filled with special effects and 'bullet time' moments that mean almost 'every second will count' and there's eight thousand two hundred and eighty of those.

With the maths out of the way, perhaps I should first confess to being one of those who was absorbed by 'The Matrix' when it made it's appearance in 1999. In fact long before this when my understanding became aware of the concept of 'man pitted against machine' in Disney's (now that's a concept I've never been too sure of) Tron was I a confirmed a 'anorak' of this genre. Now perhaps this is something of a surprise, but in essence or maybe at 'grass roots' level, can these two 'code busting' celluloid affairs be compared. One blew the mind of a child, whereas the other would test that of a man. This is how I found myself enjoying the first of these two epics, the choreography that was in fact a martial art, the concept of clunk-click every trip, or as the film-makers would put it - "welcome to the real world" and the invitation that was 'follow the white rabbit' and much more besides, became my entry level as I 'reloaded' to consider what it was this installment had to offer.

All of this in mind, I sat 'bum firmly in seat', but had to admit that the first 45 or so minutes left me wandering whether or not the wall I had built around this film was in fact to high for me to climb? As all I got was a presentation that came across as too grounded and lacked much of the 'free your mind' moments that made the first film such a success for me. I had heard less than complimentary reports of this movie and now can only assume that these had come from those who had decided 'enough was enough' and left at this point, as the moment Neo meets again with the Oracle, did the 'out-there' questions start to be asked in my mind and the script became a tangle of riddles that begged answers did the real enjoyment start for me.

In 'The Matrix', if there were one theory I remember against all others that would have to be that of 'human's being a virus'. Now much to my satisfaction this once again proposes such concepts and at this early stage in the film's seeing I remember that of 'machine's having the power to give life', perhaps not such a powerful image and maybe not such a graphic one, only time will tell if it's the one that will remain with me, perhaps it could be that of 'cursing in French being likened to wiping your arse with silk', I don't yet know, but come to think of it that's pretty graphic!

'The Matrix Reloaded' was so fast, so furious that concepts such as these came thick and fast, and I'm sure each time I see the film (and I will see this film many times) I'll find something new to get my teeth into. If there were one questionable point here (apart from the annoying inclusion of the character 'the architect', a man who would've appeared to have fallen asleep and at some point during his slumber swallowed the entire volumes of the 'Oxford English Dictionary'!) it was that this book remains open. However that said I was happy that we hadn't stood still and were in fact introduced to many more characters and expanded on the original theory, not just jumped into bed as soon as we'd reached 'Zion' and fallen into a deep sleep. Two pills, had become two doors and the cast of stunts actors appeared to exceed that of the performers themselves, I left a little tired, but blissfully happy. Bring on '...Revolutions', although maybe we're starting to sound a little too much like 'Star Trek' at this point! 9/10

Nick James

Odeon Online


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