“The problem is choice.”
The Matrix: Reloaded
SPOILER ALERT! THIS REVIEW/RANT/LIST/WHATEVER THE HELL THIS IS CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Today’s post is going to be a rather aggrieved list of everything that is wrong with the second film in the Matrix trilogy, which I watched the other day.
Well, actually it isn’t, because that would take far too much time and ranting energy. So it’s actually going to be a list of the major things wrong with the second film in the Matrix trilogy. Which is still going to be a pretty long list.
In The Matrix: Reloaded (actual title; I am not making this up) we return to the ultra-dystopian world in which the human race is enslaved to intelligent machines without even realising it, in which the last free city, Zion, is being threatened by a contingent of these intelligent machines, in which Neo, the One, is said to be the only one who can stop all this.
Here beginneth the List.
- The plot. Or, rather, the lack of one. As far as I could make out, what little plot there actually was was there as an excuse for a series of extended fight scenes with absolutely no narrative tension. “Well,” you might say, “you could say the same thing about The Matrix.” To which my answer is: no, you couldn’t. Let’s think about that last scene in The Matrix, where Neo fights Agent Smith. Although long, it has a plot purpose (Neo becoming the One) and we don’t know what the outcome might be. Whereas Neo’s fight with about a hundred Agent Smiths (more on that later) in Reloaded has no plot purpose apart from telling us that Neo is basically invincible, which should not take 10 minutes. “OK, we’ve established that Neo is now a badass superhero, can we have the plot back now?”
- Agent Smith. This really falls into two parts: a) There are now about a million of him. What? Say that again? He can clone himself? That’s just laughably ridiculous. b) The suspiciously Harry Potter-ish “connection” between Smith and Neo which appears for about five seconds and then makes no other appearance.
- Zion. Here I will cite the ten-minute Roman-orgy-party thing (which, again, serves absolutely no plot purpose) and say simply, “That is not how I imagined Zion.” Also, its destruction takes place off-screen, seemingly as an afterthought. “Oh, Zion’s fallen? That’s a pity.”
- The Oracle. A computer programme? Where’s the magic in that?
- The weird alternative-world-door thing. I didn’t understand this. Is it another version of the Matrix? Another level of the Matrix, like in Inception? Although the “different key, different door” idea was a good one.
- The Matrix. The first film was so good, and now it’s ruined. What’s happened to the whimsy, the little ironic touches, the Alice in Wonderland stuff, and, most of all, the mystery and the paranoia? Now it’s just another sci-fi franchise with not a lot to recommend it. Although I will still watch The Matrix as a stand-alone, for the sake of my sanity.