First off, I’m crazy for what I wrote in both those reviews below. I have seen this movie surely 5 or more times now and, again as with the original, it was only this time around that I finally realised just how brilliant the effects sequences – not just the big lorry crash climax – are here. It’s not as together as the first movie, that’s for sure, and it does end with that hideous cliffhanger that still makes me laugh my ass off … also, kinda like what I noticed about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when watching it with non-readers, I noticed here how you really need to have seen the Animatrix shorts between the original and this because there are at least a couple of “huh?” moments if you haven’t. It is still a hell of a lot of fun though, all the way, and especially having watched Revolutions again just now and realised how bad it is, as a sequel to a movie that really didn’t need ‘em, they don’t come much better than this.
April 14th, 2004:
My initial reaction to this installment of the Matrix Trilogy was a little spoiled, a basic, “Whatever,” aside from the lorry crash which continues to meet my highest expectations like no other moment in the whole trilogy.
One of the series’ biggest flaws struck me on this viewing of Reloaded – Don Davis’ score. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great music, but I find that it’s a little like Joel Silver’s hype interviews that filled movie news shows all around the movies’ release dates – it overplays every single moment, making it sound like something is happening that’s infinitely, even impossibly, grander than what is actually happening on screen. It’s impossible to put this into words on the page, I’d have to play you clips of the score or something… but I’m sure it’s a definite problem.
The Burly Brawl is the biggest let down in the trilogy – call me spoiled, tell me that ridiculous defence “It’s all in a computer anyway, it’s not meant to look real!” (seriously I read this a few times…), but the virtual actors just don’t cut it yet, I don’t care how much they spent developing the technology. The funny thing is, there are places where they do work, in fast motion, etc, you can tweak them to make them work; but like idiots, they just had to go too far, put virtual actors into slow motion bullet time, so there’s no escaping scrutiny, and they fall apart before your eyes.
After watching the whole trilogy in order once more, I’ve changed my mind a lot about Revolutions and realise that this installment, Reloaded is the real letdown. Having said that, it’s the biggest ride and I could still watch it perhaps more readily than the other two. Like I said in my review of The Matrix, the jury is out on what the Matrix Trilogy means to me… but they’re endlessly intriguing.
Old review found! Courtesy of Archive.org – May 23rd, 2003:
I just wanted to write a few words on this movie, ‘cos despite my (current) slightly undecided feeling about it, it still blew me away. Why am I undecided on the matter? Why because, that is my purpose… just kidding :-p The third movie Revolutions is gonna be absolutely crucial to anyone’s final judgement on Reloaded and the whole series (though it has to be said, whatever the outcome, the first movie will always be a standalone masterpiece).
This may or may not be spoiler laden, I don’t know, I don’t care, there, I mentioned it. The movie ends, perhaps unsurprisingly, with the title, “To be concluded…” But that’s not all. It ends with a lingering shot of the ‘evilly-bearded guy’ and a hysterically funny music stab (I kid not, we’re talking of the dun-dun-DUHHHHHH brand of musical cue found only in parodies). I sincerely hope there was some tongue-in-cheek here and I don’t mean Trinity’s tongue or Neo’s cheek, ‘cos personally, I almost had to laugh out loud at the cheesiness of this moment.
Secondly, the BIG effect (you’ll know it when you see it) that ends the much-touted car chase is the ONLY thing in Reloaded that reaches the jaw-dropping peaks that the first movie was filled with. Revolutions simply MUST have more scenes of this calibre to make the series worthwhile. But boy, when it hits that peak, it goes beyond, any movie for the next 5 years will be pushed to match this effects shot.
A lot of people don’t like the Wachowski’s dialogue… I say they’re missing the point, I don’t know how to elaborate on that. They did the same in Bound, and I personally love the coldness of it.
This is all surface-matter. I think the true value of this installment in particular will be revealed in further more scrutinising viewings. There’s effects here that are hidden, like the matrix itself is described by the Oracle, when it goes right, people don’t notice, but when it goes wrong, you hear about it a lot. There’s a lot wrong here. But there’s LOTS to like, so pay attention. I’d recommend the Animatrix for anyone wanting that little bit extra depth (“Beyond” in particular… I want to write about that at another time, simply the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen… the light… but I’ll write about it another time).
Like the ad says… Free your mind. You might like it.