You know, I wonder if I should rename this blog to something like Mark & Movies?!
Because... well, last night was my turn to check out The Matrix Reloaded, and TBH I wasn't particularly impressed. Okay, it was fairly good fun, but at points it was also fairly boring. Mountains of exposition with the occasional fight thrown in for excitement. Actually, this one probably needs classified as kind of okay kung-fu flick. The effects were as groovy as expected, but we saw bullet-time and flo-mo in the first one and they were too heavily relied upon this time round. And when you've seen Neo fly (funky take-off sequence or not) you've seen him fly, and the next time and the next one and the next one are just filler. And as for the fights: here is where the effects begin to have a negative effect (if you get what I mean). I love fight sequences. I get excited about choreography and speed and just the coolness of it all. But when large chunks of the sequence are computer generated I think they lose their impact. It's like, yay, look what computers can do. Huh. And the whole 'erotic intensity' between Neo and Trinity was played with a distinct lack of subtlety. Come on, guys, a bit of finesse, y'know?
On the plus, it gets a bit more philosophical. Where the first one loves the messiah riff, here the brothers Wachowski come across as a little bit Marxist (in a non-committal kind of way), pointing towards the mondo humanist finale I suspect is coming. I don't necessarily like their thinking, but it does groove in the movie. The Architect kicks. As does the Keymaker. And the twins were also well cool, although vaguely reminiscent of Nightcrawler in their moves - I'm sure someone's unhappy Bryan Singer released just that bit earlier.
My verdict: pretty good fun. A reasonable if not spectacular kung-fu movie, but as a big clever narrative it just doesn't quite do it for me. Not a patch on the first one. I guess I will see it again, though.