Ed Driscoll

THX-1138 RELOADED

My wife and a couple of friends and I saw the Matrix Reloaded yesterday, and I think I’ve figured out what the film is all about. Its plot makes far less sense than the first Matrix. Long scenes go on that could easily have been edited–or even cut–for pacing, and no one would have noticed. The dialogue is circular and often incomprehensible. Its best scene is a long, bitchin’ car and motorcycle chase. It’s about people trying to escape from a hermetically sealed world in which millions have no control over their lives after centuries of devastating war.

In short, The Matrix Reloaded is George Lucas’s seminal dystopian quasi-classic THX-1138 remade on a gazillion dollar budget, for the same studio that released THX (Warner Brothers). It’s the only reason that makes sense as to how such an otherwise self-indulgent, poorly scripted and edited film would be allowed to be released.

There are two action scenes that work: the afore mentioned car chase, and the Mission Impossible-style break-in to a nuclear power plant and hi-rise office building. The “wire-fu” stuff was fun in the first movie, and endlessly overdone in this one. And as a few critics have already noticed, Neo can fly in this movie, a power he acquired at the very end of the last film. So when 250 Agent Smiths open up a can of whoop-ass on him, why doesn’t he just skedaddle, instead of sticking around and trying to fight them, particularly when they try to clone Neo into another Agent Smith?

(Why, because everyone liked the wire-fu scenes in the first film, and this being a sequel, you’re going to get them rammed down your throat, over and over again.)

The last scene in the film though, sets up the last film of the trilogy quite nicely, which should be very interesting though. Hopefully they’ve done a better writing job on that film, however, and are currently doing a better editing job, based on the comments that this film is generating.

Speaking of editing: please, please–no more Cornel West in the next film, huh?

So should you see it? If the box office take is any indication, you probably already have. But if you haven’t, as Jami Bernard wrote in the New York Daily News, go see it for the action scenes. (Monica Bellucci and Carrie-Ann Moss are pretty snazzy as well.) Don’t bother looking for a plot, though. That corner of the Matrix’s program seems to have been corrupted after the first movie. We’ll see if they can rewrite the code in November.