May 16, 2003

This is my haphazard, not very well written review of "The Matrix: Reloaded":

After 4 years of hype and anticipation, for a real action-flick with zero nudity/immorality....I was grossly disappointed.

The first movie was absolutely great. It indeed should have been rated PG-13. Other than adult themes and violence (although only partially realistic at best) the movie captured us because of it's underlying Christian-like theme, its excellent script, it's ability to make you think and ponder about life, and of course it's spectacular special effects.

"Reloaded" however, is pretty void of plot. Same old thing, but this time the directors/producers decided to focus more on the special effects (which WERE amazing, admittedly) and on the developing romance of Neo and Trinity. If I had it my way, I'd cut out about 25 minutes of film after the opening scene (which is crucial to the weakening plot). It felt disjointed and altogether out of place. While I understand the necessity of introducing the viewer to the city of Zion, its people, and the separation that exists between those who "believe" and those who do not, the entire Zion scene was eeriely out of place. Morpheus' appearance before the masses, dressed in tribal-like clothing, spouting off apostolic prophesies and testimony, rallying the crowd as an unexpected incensed zealot, came across as oddly out of character and completely contradictive of the strong, poised and graceful Morpheus we met in "The Matrix".

Unfortunately, I find that a more accurate name for Zion would be Babylon (and Babylon was destroyed, remember?). Not only is it ladled with sexually-tense tribal music, provocative dancing, semi-transparent blouses and partial female nudity, but the Wachowski brothers decide that appealing to the younger demographic (and, consequently, that demographic is primarily made up of young boys UNDER the age of 17) was more important than plot development, and they decided to try their hands at what Hollywood does best - eroticism. Never mind that the first movie was an unexpected hit, even without it. They throw in a steamy love scene between Neo and Trinity, which only feeds the idea that their relationship is purely physical - at no point in the movie do we actually see a strong, developing love between them (although the words are there - but action speaks louder than words, right? And passionate love-making in Hollywood usually isn't the equivalent of deep and abiding love - it's sex, and that's all there is to it). Fortunately my contact was bothering me at the time and I did not see the scene. But from the vocal approval of the audience (namely, young men in their late teens and early twenties) I could gauge the level of immorality without having to watch it.

This greatly disappointed me. They ruined what could have been an excellent film. While be it that the plot was indeed weaker, it still could have been a perfectly acceptable film for ALL movie-goers. Does the film industry not realize that they are creating weaker fan-bases by introducing strong sexual content into films? Sex sells, yes. But Hollywood has also proven that films with no explicit sexual content can sell even BETTER. Any movie by Steven Spielberg is a prime example. Or the fact that almost all of cinema history's blockbusters were PG-13. They will make millions of dollars on this film, yes. Everyone who loved the first one will see "Reloaded". But you can bet your bottom dollar that the numbers will decrease for "Revolutions". It sickens me that Hollywood believes that what we ALL want to see is sex. They believe that in order to demonstrate a powerful love between two people they have to have a steamy love-making scene, but to those of us in the know, we see what is really going on (or rather, what isn't).

All in all, I give it a 2.5/5.

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