Trent Reznor, for some reason, was not credited for providing all the inspiration for this movie. Oh, and it is Keanu Reeves, not Christopher
I’m sorry to report this, but The Matrix Reloaded sucks a big one. Like almost everyone else in the world, I enjoyed the first Matrix enough to watch it half a dozen times. I just loved the message – $90 million worth of special effects and still nothing looks better than a woman’s ass in tight vinyl. Our arch enemy, The Filthy Critic, did a pretty funny review of the first Matrix where he pretended to be a fourteen year-old dungeon master/Trekkie and said that The Matrix was the greatest movie ever and the only thing that could have made it any better is if there had been Vampires in it. Why do I bring this up?
There are fucking vampires in The Matrix Reloaded. Worse than the Vampires though, are all the other characters, the boring, redundant fight scenes and the opaque, turgid plot. Oh, the dialogue is cornball, too. I mean, the most entertaining part of the movie was when the asshole sitting behind me actually answered his fucking cell phone and said, “I’m in the Matrix, dawg. This shit is tight!”
Pretty much any other review you read will tell you exactly what is wrong with The Matrix Reloaded. So, I’m going to tell you how it could have been better. Basically, where the Wachowskis fucked up. Ambitious? Maybe if I was trying to explain how The Unforgiven could be improved upon, but in the case of the second Matrix installment, your family pet could probably have come up with a better script. By crapping on the rug.
Cadillac – The Choice of Smug, Sword-Wielding John the Baptists Everywhere
Before we get into that though, I need to point out that the Wachowskis fell victim to George Lucas’s disease. Millions upon Millions of dollars, enough computers to run NASA and an uncontrollable media chorus singing the praises of your “brilliance” seems to cause this ailment. Think James Cameron. Basically, just because computers and $350 million dollars give you the ability to do anything you want, doesn’t mean that you automatically have to do so. But, the Wachowskis, like the terminally ill Lucas before them, do. Story be damned. Viewers be damned. Common sense be damned. “We can make everything blink and beep constantly? Cool.” Funny how it only took the Wachowskis only 4 years to fall victim to this seemingly irreversible and fatal affliction, where as it took Lucas about 22 years to succumb. But, whatever, because The Matrix Reloaded is infected and highly contagious. Part III will no doubt be worse.
OK, so there is this scene where a giant breasted Italian woman (Monica Bellucci) wants Neo (Reeves) to kiss her. Otherwise, she ain’t going to hand over the Keymaker (The only redeeming character in the movie). Trinity (Moss) says something like, “Fine, but if you don’t then give us the Keymaker, I’m going to shoot you.” [Ed Note: Actually, Enourmous-Cans tells Trinity to shoot her. Big boobs… tee-hee] So, Neo and super-boobs kiss and Trinity does nothing when she won’t take them to the Keymaker. What happens is that Neo kisses her again, this time with his sun glasses off, (So he can look more androgynous?) and mega-boobies swoons and gives them the guy they want. Now, if they had consulted with me about this “key” scene, I would have scripted it like this. Uber-chest and Neo kiss, she refuses to hand over the Keymaker and Trinity shoots her. Boom. Just like that. Only, since Neo is Superman (Literally, more on this later) he stops the bullet in midair and then kisses her again. Trinity would have not only shown a little personality (Moss just sort of sulks around the entire film) but it would have been bad-ass. That little flair would have added wallop to an otherwise goofy scene (We’re betting that the Wachowskis didn’t get laid too much in high school. Or college, etc). To prove that my point is valid, in the very next scene, Neo stops bullets in midair. Yet, instead of being a single bullet (and being slightly subtle yet still cool) he stops two-hundred that were just fired at him by two vampires, a werewolf and a ninja. Sigh…
Before the Breast-Implants only Lars van Triers Would Hire Her
Another improvement: There are these two albino rasta-guys (This whole movie played like the Poochie Simpsons episode… “Sunglasses means attitude”) who can literally turn into vapor and crawl under floors and teleport around and shit. They are sort of neat because they fight with straight razors. However, they get involved in a car chase. Look, and I am sure someone else has said this, but if you can instantly appear anywhere, what the fuck do you need a Cadillac Escalade EXT for? (The car that P.J. O’Rourke brilliantly said looked like his El Camino would if it had to marry Liza Minelli) Right, you wouldn’t. You could just float down the highway and attack. That whole scene would have been ten times better if the dread locked guys had been temporal and just slashed away at everyone and got slashed and punched back in return. But, because three-hundred CGI dudes gave the Wachowskis God-like abilities, the albino twins would morph into vapor whenever Morpheous swung at them. Sigh… Oh, and contrary to what every single reviewer said about the now infamous 14 minute car chase scene before the movie even came out, (infamous because an actual freeway was constructed for the shoot) it is not the best chase seen ever. That honor lies with the late John Frankenheimer and his massively under-rated Ronin. He didn’t use no computers, just bad ass cars and bad ass drivers.
Poor Agent Smith. Agent Smith (Weaving) was really something else in the first one, cause he was one mean ass son-of-a-bitch who was really hell bent on fucking Neo up every chance he got. I guess he is mean in this one, but there are 80 of him in every scene. What’s that? Oh, right, Agent Smith now has the ability to replicate himself just by sticking his fingers into somebody’s chest. “Hey man, if one bad guy is good, then five dozen is rad!” I’m sure the writing session went something like that. And yep, sure enough, Neo is fighting with a totally unrealistic number of Agents and I started thinking about if the forthcoming videogame would be rendered with as much cheese. Oh, and at the end of the big fight, Neo just flies away – like Superman. Why didn’t he just do this off the bat when the gaggle of Agent Smith’s attacked him? I don’t know. How to improve that scene? Well, like we saw in the first Matrix during that great subway fight scene, one Agent Smith would have done just fine. Also, in the final scene Agent Smith(s) has a gun(s) on him(s) the whole time but he only draws it when Neo grabs Morpheous and flies like Superman through the doorway. Why wouldn’t Smith use his gun right off the bat? Oh yeah, cause bullets can’t hurt Superman. Sigh…
Do You Think Hugo Got More Than One Pay Check?
The part that really killed the movie for me was the rave. Oh yeah, so there are 250,000 “machines” bearing down on Zion to kill all that is left of the human race and Morpheus pumps up the crowd by holding Burning Man. I swear to God. Wretched techno, barefoot hippies, drum circles, everything. So bad. So Stupid. I mean, if someone tells me that I got a night or so to live, the last thing I am going to do is dance. I’d be cleaning my gun or anything else besides Club MTVing it up. So, how could this scene have been made better? Simply by hitting delete. Running side by side with the rave is Trinity and Neo’s over-rendered love scene. If you thought I was being cruel by suggesting that the Wachowskis were/are losers with the ladies, concentrate on this part. First of all, they are humping in Yoda’s hut. Second, if this is the first time in my life that I am going to screw someone on a bed, I sure as hell ain’t going to do it lying on my side. I would have had Moss’s legs so far behind her head she’d be standing up. I digress. What would have been cool would have been long shots of the two lovers so we could see the weird plugs sticking out of both of their bodies. Instead, we get treated to their heads and shoulders. Yawn…
This leads us to Neo, who one character actually refers to as “Superman.” At the end of the movie, Neo meets “The Architect,” who is supposed to be God or the Master Control Program from Tron or something. Neo is given the mind-numbingly dull choice of either saving the woman he loves, or the entire human race. Neo of course decides to save Trinity, because, well, you’ve seen her ass. Anyhow, what was cool in the first Matrix was that Neo wasn’t Jesus/Buddha/Superman. He was told that he was, but he grappled with it. Here, he struts around like a bi-curious Jedi Knight in his weird, collared trench coat and never for a single second are you ever even slightly worried that something bad might happen to him. Make him vulnerable! Shit, any sort of chink in his armor, besides his love for Trinity and his confusion over the Oracle’s prophecies (Oh, all the prophecies in this movie are sci-fi 101. “The answer is 42. Now, what is the question?”) would have at least caused a little sense of danger in the viewers mind. Instead, we are left to watch Superman-Neo’s ability to fly save the day. Twice. Sigh… Sigh…
Splinter Cell for My XBOX has Noticeably Better Graphics
There is so much more wrong with The Matrix Reloaded, but I’m tired and probably getting too old to really care about shit like this. See, the first Matrix was sort of like Star Wars, in terms of the audience excitement it generated after people walked out of the theaters. You were not only transported to a magical place that could only exist in the movies, but you wanted to be a part of it to boot. Reloaded made me glad that I’m not letting my girlfriend drag me to Burning Man this year. After the near fatal blow that Lucas and his gang of ILM gremlins hit me with (Episode I) I was really ready to be disappointed. Reloaded is little more than a Cadillac advertisement surrounded by meaningless fight scenes and really persnickety psuedo-philosophy. Even Morpheous, my favorite character the first time out, is dull and predictable. And his costumes went from tasteful and fly to over the top and goofy. I don’t know about you, but if the real me is seeing itself walking around in an armadillo skinned Nazi-officer coat, well, I got problems. That is actually an accurate metaphor for The Matrix Reloaded. New and exciting at first, and overwrought to the point of irrelevance now. Too bad. Cause, it could have been, should have been great.
- Overall: 3
- Direction: 3
- Acting: 3 and way too fucking serious.
- Story: 1
- Re-watchability: 3
Special Ruthless Ratings:
- Number of times you wondered what the fuck Cornell West was doing in the movie: 3
- Number of times you realized that Professor West supporting Al Sharpton’s bid for the presidency makes him a half-baked publicity whore anyway: 2
- Number of times you noticed a bowling ball sound effect Neo hucked one Agent Smith into ten others: 1
- Number of times your girlfriend noticed it: 4
- Number of conversations you and other people have had about how lame Reloaded is since seeing it four days ago: 7
- Number of times you wanted to write a more thorough review of the movie’s crapulence but couldn’t be bothered to do so: 19
- Number of times you felt like booing during the rave scene: 48
- Number of times you realized how the only redeeming quality the movie had was its treatment of race – meaning that even though 75% of the principal characters were black, this fact was never brought up: 12
- Number of times you felt like an even bigger idiot for sitting through all the credits to see the preview for the even dumber looking The Matrix Revolutions: 23
- Number of times you realized that the significance of the character name, “Merovingian,” is going to be lost on most viewers: 10
- Number of other sci-fi/action flicks that were cannibalized in order to make Reloaded: At least 7