*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've just returned from the premiere of Matrix Reloaded. My brain lobes are sensationally dripping with thoughts, images and reflections on Reloaded.
I loved it.
My mind is noisy though, not because I have doubts about the movie at all, but because I don't know where to begin reviewing it. There are so many things, so many references, so many 'in-jokes' that I honestly don't think most people will get and so many spectacular moments where you can see the Wachowski's are having fun with you.
In fact the movie is constantly playing with you. I wish I could spill the guts on all the wonderful references to the first movie and the way the characters play off of each other.
It's a much more human movie than the first. Great emphasis is put on the contrast of machines and humans and what lies between, and while I was worried it would have a hard time expanding the universe of the Matrix, I think I can put a piece of lead through the ribs of that notion now.
It's a very different movie, but that isn't a bad thing. And quite frankly I liked the non-action parts of the movie the best. And the action pieces are pretty damn impressive mind you.
The CG, while not necessarily convincing isn't bad, and if people would get their special-effects-cravings out of their heads for a short moment, perhaps they could lean back and enjoy the movie a little. I swear people are spoiled these days.
Besides, it's the matrix, the sets in the matrix don't look really, why should a person defying all the laws of physics? Grow a sense of disbelief...
Movies like this make me thoroughly enjoy being a geek.
A lot of people didn't like it; I think they were possibly expecting something other than a sequel to the Matrix then. From where I'm standing it's just right. With very few exceptions they went where I wanted to go (without knowing it!) and did what I wanted them to do (ditto).
Now as I said in my entry, I'll make a proper review when I can get a copy of the movie to frame-step, but until then I'll say this. I think what most people were expecting was something of the same, just more so. What they got was instead an evolution of the first movie.
People wanted more revelations, more `Welcome to the real world' and more `I know kung fu', or rather they were expecting that.
Instead, what they got was a movie that, to my opinion, transcends all that and deals with the characters as human beings much more than the first one ever did. All of them are fleshed out much more, their role in the big puzzle, and I love where it's being taken. I was caught unprepared.
The relationship between Neo and Trinity really worked for me, much more so than a certain relationship in a certain other movie (that starts with an S and ends with tar Wars). It feels like a movie that is much more for grown-ups than the teenagers that will undoubtedly be the primary audience.
People are already busy little bees, criticising page up and page down on forums across the virtual recesses of the net. I hope they at least take the time to step back and see the movie with the eyes its supposed to be seen with, and if they do, I think they will see it sliding perfectly into the first one, and I have no doubts in my mind, the third on.
I've seen several people who seem to think that Reloaded takes itself too seriously and plays out more like a drama than an action flick, and I think they need to understand too things. Thing number one is that they're obviously not seeing the same movie that I am. I'm seeing a movie that is constantly having fun with itself, dropping small jokes, hints, reflections and musings along the way, and if you've paid enough attention in the first one, you'll pick those up.
Secondly, let go of any presumptions that you might have about the movie and enjoy it for the perfect evolutionary sequel it is, realizing that it's not X2 (no disrespect), it wasn't meant to up the stakes, but to drive them forward.
Wachowski's and crew, should you happen to read this, you leave me inspired.
I wobble between 8 and 9, leaning towards 9 (so that's what I gave). Though really it's unfair to judge it until Revolutions concludes.
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