The Matrix ReloadedMay 15, 2003
Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. During this, Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams.
Release Year: 2003
Rating: 7.1/10 (211,168 voted)
Critic's Score: 62/100
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
6 months after the events depicted in The Matrix, Neo has proved to be a good omen for the free humans, as more and more humans are being freed from the matrix and brought to Zion, the one and only stronghold of the Resistance. Neo himself has discovered his superpowers including super speed, ability to see the codes of the things inside the matrix and a certain degree of pre-cognition. But a nasty piece of news hits the human resistance: 250,000 machine sentinels are digging to Zion and would reach them in 72 hours. As Zion prepares for the ultimate war, Neo, Morpheus and Trinity are advised by the Oracle to find the Keymaker who would help them reach the Source. Meanwhile Neo's recurrent dreams depicting Trinity's death have got him worried and as if it was not enough, Agent Smith has somehow escaped deletion, has become more powerful than before and has fixed Neo as his next target.
Writers: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Power Station Guard
(as Don Batte)
Old Woman at Zion
Bike Carrier Driver
Free your mind.
Warner Bros. |
Release Date: 15 May 2003
Filming Locations: 16th Street, Oakland, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $91,774,413
(18 May 2003)
(25 November 2011)
Did You Know?
The Matrix Revolutions,
Enter the Matrix, and this film were shot back-to-back.
When The Architect is talking to Neo, the tie tack he's wearing appears to have fallen out of the left collar (right side on the screen) in one shot. Seconds later, it's back in place.
Power Station Guard:
See you tomorrow.
Good but the heavy plot and Shakespearean tone makes it more difficult for itself
News reaches Zion of an army of sentinels amassing on the surface many miles
above the city, clearly preparing for an invasion. While the city prepares
for a counter attack on the sentinels, Morpheus pins his hopes on Neo and
obeys orders to stay with broadcast range to allow Neo to meet with the
Oracle. Neo meanwhile is plagued with dreams of Trinty's death in the
matrix. When the Oracle does contact Neo, she tells him of The KeyMaker
the man who can get him access to the very source of the matrix. A rescue
mission is mounted which is complicated by not only the agents, but rogue
programmes and the return of a `freed' Agent Smith.
Many reviews (here and in the press) have tended to go one way or the other.
Some have lavished praise on this film claiming it as a milestone and even
better than the original, others have hated it and laid into it heavily.
I'm not wanting to sit on the fence but I do feel that both camps have valid
points and that the answer is somewhere in the middle. The main reason I
found it hard to get into this film was the heavy tone it has now developed.
Seemingly the same bug that the Star Wars movies have caught (taking
themselves too seriously) the matrix appears in danger of getting in a bad
way. The plot here is quite straightforward and not as twisty as the
original however it is delivered as if every line of dialogue was
profound. This really sucks the life out of the film as it is not profound
but rather borders on the pretentious at times due to it's
I suspect that this was spotted and so the film is unnecessarily cluttered
with minor characters that detract from the central tale. And so screen
time is given to Link and his wife as well as a seemingly pointless speech
from Merovingian. This makes it feel baggy and also slightly unsatisfactory
when these strands appear to go nowhere but only fill time. Also the plot
is a little too complex (all this rogue programme stuff) and isn't delivered
in a user friendly way it is not always clear what the significance of
certain things are until later in the film and even then it is uneven.
However both these criticisms will be countered if, in Revolutions, these
strands are brought together and minor characters in Reloaded are shown to
have a bigger input.
On the plus side the action is very good. I must admit that it wasn't as
exciting as the original mainly because the plot wasn't as involving to me
I need a good story generally to get into the action side. However in
honesty the action still looks great and is a real leap forward from the
Matrix a great blend of wire work and visual effects. Occasionally the
special effects are slightly wanting (in Neo's fight with Agent Smiths it is
clear when it is a visual effect rather than the real thing) but these are
minor quibbles compared to some sterling work. The car chase on the freeway
may be a very easy way to get an action scene but it still works very well
and is exciting. The only downside to it is that I felt that an action
scene should have been part of the end of the film instead the `big' scene
occurs a good 20 minutes before the end of the film. The actual
cliff-hanger itself doesn't really work and it could have done better with a
general downbeat ending like Empire Strikes back had did it think I needed
a reason to watch part 3? I'm already there!
The acting suffers from the same problems as the plot it is all too heavy.
The clearest way this is seen is in Fishburne. In part 1 he was very good,
especially when he exposed Neo to the matrix with a mix of playful wit and
serious touches when they were needed. Here in part 2 he seems to be
mistaken that he is playing Othello again. Watch him speaking to the crowds
at Zion, he really plays it like he is playing Moses or something. In fact
all through the film he is very heavy even compare his big fight with his
previous face-off with Smith in part 1, there he was human and vulnerable
here he is more like a rock and less fun for it. Moss is also serious but
she was in part 1 too so it's not so noticeable. Reeves is good and at
least adds some humour but he plays it very serious again. The additions
add colour but are mostly distractions. The support cast in part 1 were
merely there, here the film feels it has to develop them to make a rich
tapestry but the end result is it feeling too stretched. It's hard not to
watch Pinkett-Smith and feel that her character is more to do with the video
game than the film itself. Happily Hugo Weaving is fun and is back with his
old sneer, while the twins are good value despite having minimal plot
Overall it was always going to be hard to follow up the first film. There
the plot was gripping and it is difficult to make the growth of Neo's powers
as interesting as his discovery of them was. I enjoyed the film but just
felt that the almost biblical significance that it tries to give itself was
it's undoing luckily the action and style was it's salvation. Hopefully I
will watch Revolutions and see how Reloaded works better in hindsight.
Without that knowledge, many of the plot strands appear to be left loose. If
I watched this as a film by itself then it would be irritating if the
conclusion to the trilogy can get back to the enjoyment and tone and
spectacle of the matrix at it's best then this will be a much better film in
company of it's brothers. Far from perfect but I don't see how anyone can
totally write this film off.