Matrix Reloaded

Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Warner Home Video
Extras: Featurettes, Trailers, MTV Movie Awards Spoof

I’ve heard many things about "Matrix Reloaded, " but frankly, nothing prepared me for how this movie stinks. I had trouble finding anything enjoyable about the film and only found myself bored and annoyed to the point that I repeatedly fast-forwarded through the movie.

While the original "Matrix" had an involving plot with plenty of twists, an intense world and interesting characters, the sequel "Matrix Reloaded" has none of that. The film boasts an unimaginative linear plot that only serves to connect a series of repetitive action moments. Full of pseudo-intellectual gibberish on the philosophical level of a 14-year old, the movie falls flat in every possible aspect, I am sorry to say. Only the action scenes serve as somewhat of a highlight… or do they? Not really, because the Wachowski brothers essentially dish out the same fight over and over again. There is one fighting template for Trinity, and one for Neo, and they are repeated ad nauseam during the film, once again presenting us with ridiculous wanna-be martial arts and inept wirework that just makes you laugh out loud. And what’s up with Neo’s ridiculous Superman antics?

The unqualified use of slow motion throughout the film would make John Woo blush. While the bullet-time effect was cool the first time around, I really do not enjoy seeing it every 5 minutes, even during moments where it is utterly nonsensical, such as a group of people running down a corridor. It is clear that these effects are self-serving and in place only to pad the movie – which is running way too long for its minimal plot – and to hide its other shortcomings.

All in all, "Matrix Reloaded" is a bitter disappointment and just seems to underscore that the Wachowski Brothers may indeed be one-hit-wonders.

The presentation of the film on the DVD is spectacular, of course, with an image that is rich in detail and free of any defects. For the most part the movie uses a unique color palette that is perfectly restored in the transfer and renders every shade and gradient without flaws. Skin tones are natural at all times. Shadow delineation is superb with deep blacks and detail that never breaks up. The transfer is mostly free of edge-enhancement and the compression has been handled very well, making sure that all the definition of the transfer remains intact during the viewing of this DVD.

The audio comes as an explosive <$5.1,5.1 channel> <$DD,Dolby Digital> track that bombards the viewer from all directions. Like the images, the movie has been designed to stun the viewer aurally, and it succeeds. The surrounds are aggressive and dynamic, making for a mix that is truly explosive. Frequency response and dynamic range are wide, to add to the presentation.

"Matrix Reloaded" comes wit ha second DVD full of extras. I will be perfectly honest with you, though. I did not really watch them, because I found the film so superficial and bad that nothing could entice me to even consider diving deeper into it. I only browsed them. For completeness sake, here is a listing of what you can expect from the second disc. "Preload" is a 25-minute behind-the scenes featurette with cast interviews and footage from the set.

It is followed by a 5-minute promo featurette called "Matrix Unfolds," which also features interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

"Get Me An Exit" is a featurette about the world of "Matrix" filled with commercial footage and interviews.

A look at the freeway chase – which was way too long in the film– is also included, taking you on the set as the crew prepares for the shoot of some of the scenes. It also features interviews with cast and crew members.

A look at the Matrix computer game, trailers for the movie and the 2003 MTV Movie Awards spoof of the film is also included.

I know I’m not making a lot of friend with this review, but I have to say how it really is. "Matrix Reloaded" is a film that clearly serves only to exploit an existing popularity of the franchise. The film is so overrated that it seems to gather momentum all by its hype rather than its merits. I am hardly bored of movies to the point that I fast-forward through them – "Matrix Reloaded" made me do it repeatedly. The DVD may be a great package with phenomenal extras and all, but in the end, who cares, if the movie is so abysmally bad that you can’t even enjoy it? And to think there will be another one…