The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 science fiction, action film directed by the Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Gloria Foster. The film serves as a sequel to the 1999’s The Matrix and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy and is set six months after the events of the first film and follows Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus who learn that an army of Sentinels tunneling toward Zion and that the rogue program Agent Smith has returned.
- Great performances by the main and supporting cast.
- Very fast paced story
- Terrific score
- Memorable characters
- Great direction
- Topnotch writing
- Great visual effects
- Well choreographed action scenes
- Overuse of cgi
Plot: The story does go in depth more in the real world and in the Matrix and answers many questions left over from 1999’s The Matrix. There is more emotion which does add depth to the film. This is definitely one of the best sequels in terms of character development, action and story. The film goes at a pretty fast pace, especially as it gives more exposition into the Matrix, the real world, and what it means for Neo to be “The One”. (4 out of 5)
Characters: Features not only great characters but also some really memorable ones too. Great relationship between Neo and Trinity and think that it does transition well from the first film. There are some emotional moments between Neo and Trinity, who have a great romantic relationship. Morpheus is another of the protagonist and he has several great moments. The film features several antagonists. The Architect, who created the Matrix, was a pretty cool character, especially with all the calculations and how he presented it. The Merovingian, a trafficker of information, was pretty cool to especially with his sophisticated personality. Then there is Smith who makes return and the guy is just straight up creepy, but also makes him pretty memorable. (5 out of 5)
Cast: Great performances by the main and supporting cast. Reeves is excelletnt as Neo and the chemistry between him and Moss is great. Fishburne gives the character of Morpheus a very commanding presence and has some great moments. Weaving completely kills the role of Agent Smith who comes back with a lot of new tricks. Other appearances include Jada Pinkett-Smith, Helmut Bakaitis, Collin Chou, Anthony Wong, Lambert Wilson, Monica Bellucci, and Harold Perrineau. (5 out of 5)
Visuals: The action scenes are dialed up with some of the best cinematography in film. The Neo vs. Smith fight, the highway chase, the Chateau fight, the climax all are incredibly exciting, well shot, and well choreographed. The film does rely more on martial arts than gunfights which was utilized more in the previous and for some will take away from the experience for some viewers. Admittedly there are some sequences that are shot as cgi but do feel unnecessary especially considering how well other scenes in the film were shot. (4 out of 5)
Score: The score is for lack of a better term, brilliant. Don Davis is a genius and his craft is definitely apparent. Not only does he emphasize the traditional Matrix theme but also introduces many others; the Burly Brawl and Chateau being the most prominent. Definitely keeps the experience engaging. (4 out of 5)
Writing: The writing is definitely top notch and the Wachowskis do a fantastic job with the direction. The action feels more refined yet still maintains that same intensity. The setup of the Matrix gets fleshed out a lot more and it is built on some solid foundation. Even the dialogue has a lot of edge, especially the banter between Neo and Smith. The film actually goes at a pretty good pace, balancing exposition with drama and the action, to make the storytelling pretty immersive. It doesn’t feel overwhelming and it doesn’t feel underwhelming either. (4 out of 5)
The Verdict: In the end, The Matrix Reloaded is better than its predecessor in every way. Despite some overuse of cgi, the film has so many great highlights. Neo is a badass, Morpheus and Trinity are badasses, the acting good, the characters are good, the story is engaging, the action is terrific, and a score that is just brilliantly crafted. The Matrix Reloaded gets 4 out of 5.