Saturday, September 17, 2005
The Matrix: Reloaded
I've been going through my DVD collection these last several months, and I'm presently on The Matrix trilogy. I just got through The Matrix Reloaded, and I still can't believe how off the mark that film is.
Let's look at The Matrix. The Matrix is an amazing film because it's concept is grounded in philisophical/existential roots. What is real? What if everything, the world we know, is false? What can we be capable of in a false world where the reality we thought existed is a lie?
The Matrix has a ship and a small crew deal with exactly that, followed by the audience through Neo, the new guy that discovers the truth as we do. He is the ordinary guy thrown into an extrordinary reality, yet one that is all too human; all too real.
Though people can have super human abilities in The Matrix, they are still ultimately human; they have limits. These limits are the film's conflicts displayed through the excellent martial arts and effects sequences. The battles are a means to convey a larger point, they all have purpose.
The Matrix Reloaded takes everything that makes The Matrix such an amazing film, dumps it, and overdrives the "means" with no end.
The big thing about The Matrix Reloaded is the concept of choice, of purpose, yet the film fails at this. Many of the battles are pointless to the story, too long or drawn out, and even sport some sub-par 3D work. The opening scene over uses bullet time, the Neo/Smiths battle is 10 minutes over done, and the highway sequence, well, whatever happened to the subtlty of the original?
Not to mention things like the wussifiying of the Agents (if even Neo says they've been upgraded, then how can Morphius and Trinity stand up to them so well when they were raped by them in the original film), the society of Zion, the introduction of the Merovingian and his flunkies; why didn't Warner Brothers jump straight into The Matrix Revolutions? While not a perfect film, at least Revolutions has more plot, purpose, and mortality to it.
The moral of the story? All we have to do is understand why we've already made the choice. And Warner Brothers made this choice simply to cash in with all flash, and no substance.