I think that’s a fair enough warning shot for those who haven’t seen the movie yet. Now I can move on.
Go read Scott’s full review of Reloaded first (www.pvponline.com). He pretty much said most of what I wanted to say about the movie. Let’s rip the movie apart and see what I can get out of it:
1) Neo’s first dream (of Trinity): Trinity breaks into random facility. Gets shot. It really would have made me feel something except for the fact that right afterwards, Neo wakes up and Trinity is fine and dandy, sleeping next to Neo.
2) Transmission on the last flight of Osiris: The stake of the movie was laid down in about a minute worth of dialog. As much as I don’t want to see Zion destroyed, that scene really is too short to give people the feel of any impending danger; nobody got killed at this point (not on screen anyway). It’s only until I start playing the game today that I realize what a hassle it was to pick up the package; you’ll also need to see the Last Flight of Osiris in the Animatrix shorts to actually witness the attack.
3) Returning to Zion: This part is really upsetting. The docking control was surprisingly clean; in fact, it looks like a construct room in the Matrix (maybe that is true, why what’s the point?). The rest of the Matrix varies between Water World esque metallic structures and this… cave, which looks wierd and medievalish. Everything just went completely inconsistent…
4) 30 Minutes worth of SEX: Look, I love sex scenes (moreso that most, in fact), but this section of the movie served no purpose at all… okay, it might be parallel to the rave scene in the first movie, which then reflects that Neo is suppose to get a hint to peel another layer of “reality onion”, but he didn’t, instead Neo and Trinity just went animal style for no particular reason. And after the initial encounters in the first movie, there’s no explanation that justifies why Neo and Trinity are all lovey dovey; okay, maybe Neo is cute and has tons of Kung-Fu powers, but that’s no ground for anything beyond a skin deep relationship; To make me believe that there’s some unsurpassable emotional between the two worked as well as trying to read me a public announcement about two people getting married over the newspaper.
And man, I thought Morpheus would be saying something really cool, but the way he ended his speech is just… just… I mean, WHAT THE FUCK?! That felt like a bad rip of some terrible Engrish in game cut scene. Yeah, let’s fight the machines with music! Then a bunch of Jamacians start dancing and the camera swoop around the “cave” John Woo style, but since it has NOTHING to do with the rest of the story, that has none of the John Woo cool in it…
Putting myself in the director’s mind, I think this is what is suppose to indicate how people in Zion are more “free” than those in the Matrix… yeah, nothing beats partying day and night… better than working as a corporate work drone. I guess I’m suppose to care about the people in Zion now because they’re so happy. Or I don’t want them to die. Or something like that. I just feel so remote that I really can’t bring myself to actually care about anyone in Zion. I mean, hell, the Matrix IS better than that kind of crap.
The Chat with The Counselor: The theme of “control” is being spoken very, very blatantly in the movie. Of course, this brings up the ultimate question in the movie: “Why does Neo exist?” Of course, this is really not as cool as “What is the Matrix?”. The worst part is, there is no connection (if you watch the entirety of the movie) between The One and Saving Zion. Whether Neo exists doesn’t really matter; I mean, he’s pretty useless when it comes to fighting millions of machines in real life.
Seeing the Oracle: Neo knowing who the Oracle is – cool stuff. Neo asking the right questions – cool stuff. Why he was sent on an errant run to get the Keymaker – WHAT THE FUCK? All the answers to his questions are brilliant except for the part where she just gives him something to do and then walk off the stage. Oh, don’t forget the part before that where Neo has to fight just to prove that he’s the one. I mean, so what if he loses? He won’t die or anything, is he? He can always run. I mean, now he’s kicking that guy’s ass just because he CAN?
Oh, also notice that the Oracle offered Neo some candies. Notice that when she open it, it’s a red pill. So I’m guessing she’s either the distributor of red pills or it’s suppose to be a subtle hit of the Oracle showing Neo a new layer of reality. Okay, now that I think about it, she did – about the backdoors. But that’s irrelevant to the movie since Zion is the thing at stake and The Matrix can go to hell for all I care.
Fighting Agent Smith: Coolest part of the movie as far as action is concerned, but then again, pointless. Since Agent Smith cannot assimilate The One, why bother trying to kill him? Is this some sort of Mad Cow revenge where he wants to get Neo just because, again, he can (try)?
Not to mention there’s no explanation as to how Agent Smith is able to make copies of himself, and why the other agents wouldn’t react to a dangerous “virus” like Agent Smith (I mean, sooner or later he’s going to make EVERYONE IN THE MATRIX Agent Smith if nobody stops him)
Council Meeting: Honestly, it serves absolutely no purpose to advance the movie plot. I have a feeling that I’ll see the purpose to having two ships “assist Morpheus” when I play the game. Other than that, why does Niobe change her mind? Of course, you’d know practically NOTHING about Niobe unless you start playing Enter The Matrix – in which Ghost makes the vital one liner about Niobe: “Once she has set her mind on something, you’d either follow her or get the hell out of her way…”.
Seeing The French Guy: The meeting makes no sense. Okay, fine, the French dude has every reason to toy around with Neo since he’s not going to be able to offer the French Guy anything; But why does he need to hold the Keymaker prisoner? What would he ever do for the French Guy? Where in the world does it indicate that he has power besides the fact that he can program a cake that blows up somebody’s stomach and have a couple of goons to serve him? He raised the question of knowing “Why” again, but nobody is able to answer him. Is that guy trying to make fun of the movie by pointing out its own plot hole?
Seeing The French Chick: This is even worst. I can believe a guy who would do anything to try and sleep with a hot chick (a la X-Men 2), but to free her boyfriend’s most important prisoner for a kiss. Okay. WHAT THE FUCK? And then she just plays the power game again by killing one of the goons and sending the other off to tell the French guy and Neo, Morpheus and Trinity just stands around and go “okay man, you do want you want, psycho bitch”.
Neo fighting the goons is just completely pointless – in fact, any fight with Neo now is pointless. We’ve pretty much established the rules of combat here, like rock paper and scissors:
Neo vs. Anyone : Neo wins.
Any Rebel vs. Agents : Agents win.
So much for unpredictable outcome. When I first thought about how the sequel might be, I thought the biggest question for the machines would be, “Okay, now we got a guy who has the power to do ANYTHING in the Matrix. How do we stop him?” Of course, that question did get answered, but it’s being done in just about the worst way possible.
The ENTIRE CAR CHASE SEQUENCE: POINTLESS.
The short moment before executing the final plan: Morpheus gave his emotional speech. That was cool, except for the fact that since I’m already so disappointed I can’t bring myself to feel emotional about his speech. Not to mention I still don’t understand why Neo needs to hack the mainframe. Neo not wanting Trinity to go is predictable – but okay, I mean, it can become good if this same plot device is used effectively.
Meeting the Architect: This is the place where every question gets answered (supposingly). Besides the fact that it’s one person talking non stop for like 15 minutes (which I don’t mind, since I want the answers; others would probably see this as very bad storytelling. I mean, you paid for a movie ticket and you get a book on tape in return?). Here’s the things that I can recollect from the speech:
– This is the 6th Zion. Good for shock value, but otherwise pointless.
– Neo is an abnormality in the system. I think this is a valid explaination.
– The Matrix is semi-perfect because it is infused with Neo’s emotions. Okay, hold the horses – just one person? You’d think that since they enslaved so many people, they could have used more than one sample to create the Matrix, not to mention it would probably prevent Neo from being perfectly harmonious with the rest of the Matrix, thus solving the entire problem of having singular abnormalities.
– The one is meant to restart Zion. Okay, here is where I break down and come to conclude that either there’s some crazy twist in the final movie that would blow my mind or this movie just plain sucks. Okay, first of all, the guy being the architect and all, why didn’t he just do something to kill Neo when Neo is in his room? He can delete a part of the world with Neo in it, or something – they are equals in terms of power, I’m sure he can work something out. Next question – WHY? You can try to restart Zion with anyone, but why Neo? In fact, why restart Zion? Just let the robots keep drilling, kill off all rebels, and I’m sure Neo wouldn’t be able to do much if it’s just alone. And then, both doors lead to the same conclusion – You try to rescue Trinity, Zion goes to hell; you restart, the old Zion STILL goes to hell. You call that a “choice”?
Notice that he mentioned “take 7 men and 16 women”. If you count Neo himself, that would make “8 men and 16 women”. I still can’t think of a reference to these numbers other than the fact that these are powers of two, indicating that the machines still think in binary.
Neo Plays SUPER Superman: Why are the streets deserted? Just because the powers are out doesn’t mean that nobody would stay out to watch superman fly. The entire final sequence feels like they’re playing around in the construct than something that can happen in the real Matrix – you’d think that someone would have noticed a big freaking tornado of stuff flying around, but nope – no witnesses, just Neo, Trinity, and an agent, partying all by themselves. Trinity’s resurrection is not as dramatic as Neo’s – I’d feel it’d be better off if Trinity dies, then Neo would at least find some reason to destroy the machines (this time, it’s personal)… instead, Trinity lived because “she is a plot device and cannot die”; come to think of it, Trinity and Morpheus are far better off this time; nobody abused them, nobody imprisoned them, hell, save for that last bullet they’re hardly scratched druing all the massive swordfights and gunfights. You’d think that since Agents have super reflex, their bullets can actually hit something; well, think again.
By the end of the movie, I’m left with this really baffling question: what’s the point of having an Oracle, the French Guy, the Keymaker, and the entire ordeal of the gayway to the architect if “yeah, I’m the dude who made the Matrix, meet me up at StarBucks at 5” would just do the same thing? This either has some tremendous meaning that I can’t figure out, is an obscure reference that I can’t figure out, or it is one big sorry excuse of a plot line for the first two hours and 15 mintues of the movie.
You’d bet I’d still be in the front line to see the conclusion, just to see if this rabbit hole stinks so much it explodes in some funny but satisfying way. By the way, all of the Alice in Wonderland references are suddenly gone – you’d think that something that gives the first movie so much style and sense of common link would appear again big time in the second movie – no such luck.
I swear, it’s like some random dude out of film school got the license for the first Matrix and then bastardized the whole movie. Or like Episode One (thank God I didn’t see it until it came out on network TV). There’s so many unexplained things in the movie that I thought it’s either I’m completely oblivious to the final layer of reality of the Matrix trilogy or the second movie just plain sucked.
Sadly, I think the movie just plain sucked.
However, on the good side, Enter The Matrix is pretty amazing. You get the feel of the first movie at the palm of your hands and the plots are actually a lot more intrguing than Matrix: Reloaded. I mean, these people can actually get killed, for one – not like the supercrews on board Neba… you know what I’m talking about.