Chris reviews “The Matrix Reloaded”

Is the second Matrix movie really the worst movie ever made? I don’t know, I refuse to watch the third one. Click the pic for my fair and balanced review of this steaming pile. SPOILER ALERT: There is no spoon.

2021 UPDATE: This is it, folks, the movie review that started it all. The online success of this review led me to get my producer’s license and start a little TV show called The Sci-Fi Guys. And while I’m not sure if anyone actually remembers this article today, it’s always held a special place in my heart. Without this little rant, there would be no sci-fi-guys.com.

Hey, Chris here. I started writing this review around 4 AM after getting home from the movie, on the night of the premiere. I’m not interested in looking up the date, but if any of you hard-core Matrix uberfans know the date this movie premiered off the top of your head, please come see me, and I will personally mule kick you square in the genitals. It’s no more than you deserve. Usually it takes me a lot longer than the ride home from the theatre to get this bitter, but this move struck all the wrong chords. What a piece of shit. Anyway, this was originally posted to Rotten Tomatoes and as a guestbook signature to The Atlantis Mantis under my clever-ass gangsta street name ‘C-Dub,’ but since then has made its way around the web. Surprisingly, I am still given credit most everywhere I’ve found it. Here it is, almost in its original form, but spell-checked to make me look more literater then me is. Enjoy.

Have you seen The Matrix Reloaded yet? Jesus, it fucking sucked. It sucked so bad, that I’m actually a little bit angry. I need to bitch about this movie because I think this was perhaps one of the stupidest films I have EVER seen. I just got out of the theater two hours ago, and I still can’t sleep because I’m so annoyed. So allow me to share…

First, we open up the movie with some more crap “bullet time” slo-mo shots of people falling through glass, and big fiery explosions. Apparently, in the Matrix, EVERYTHING is explosive. Wood, glass, concrete, metal, puppies, human skin, whatever – if two things make contact with one another in the Matrix, they explode into a big fiery orange ball of flame. But in slow motion. Same old, same old. God forbid we don’t catch every little tiny glimpse of an explosion, or the poor Wachowski Brothers (or however the hell you spell that) might actually have to write a fucking story. But, no fear; they’ve packed this movie so full of other crap, that there’s no time for story. Yee-haw, boys, we gots some ’splosions to watch!

Groundbreaking.

After Trinity jumps through the air in one of those interminable slo-mo-with-shattered-glass-and-bullets falling scenes, we see her get shot. But then Neo wakes up and its all been a dream (what a magnificent and entirely original piece of storytelling THAT was). Then Trinity wakes up and they spend some time looking at one another like a pair of malnourished, special needs junkie models, which I’m sure was a real acting stretch for Keanu (or however the hell you spell that). I cannot imagine these two people actually being in love, or even being able to maintain a conversation for more than about three minutes. They exchange a few lines of vapid, pseudo-intellectual dialogue and then stare long in into each others sunken, vacant eyes. The unspoken message they convey is clear:

“This movie is going to SUCK.”

Some other stuff happens next. I can’t really remember what it was because I at this point took a sip of my beverage. It was root beer – a favorite of mine – and it was so sweet and delicious that for a moment I forgot all about the horrible crapfest unfolding before my eyes. My mouth was all a-tingle with the complexities of the sharp-but-mellow flavor of the root beer, and I almost didn’t remember that I wasn’t having a good time, and that I was supposed to be mindlessly praising whatever I saw on the screen, and that I couldn’t get away because I rode there with a friend…

Groundbreaking.

Then Elrond showed up. Just as in the first film, he was dressed up just like the Secret Service/FBI/CIA agent from every movie ever made. He was obviously there to do something interesting, so he copied himself, and, in what was an unbelievable coup in motion picture special effects, we see TWO of him on the screen at the same time. It was clear at this point that the filmmakers wished for us to marvel at the fact that there were two of him there, even though that particular special effect was perfected some time back during the Korean War. But the Wachowskis (or however the hell you spell that) have just learned that they can cut and paste and flip stuff horizontally with Photoshop, and they want you to be impressed. At this point, I actually heard a guy behind me say, “Whoa!” Oh, how I weep for the future.

Next, Neo showed up and left really quickly just to show that he can fly. I must give credit here: the pre-flight special effect is actually pretty cool, although certainly not groundbreaking in any manner (except the literal one). It is one of those cool little understated graphic effects that add a bit of individuality to the character and to the movie. Which means, of course, that in this film, it is very lonely indeed.

These scenes belong here. Or not. It doesn’t matter. None of this matters.

Then some more stuff happened. Really, you think I’m being flippant, but so many scenes in this film could have been placed ANYWHERE in the movie and it wouldn’t have made a difference that it is really hard to remember what happened in which order. Eventually, Neo goes to the Oracle, but before Neo gets to the Oracle, we have to have yet another pointless kung-fu fight in which absolutely nothing interesting happens and no real threat is offered. At least the guy actually looked like he might be a kung-fu expert. But the fight scenes in this movie had already been scheduled to be dull and non-threatening, so any skill the actor may actually have had was mercifully prevented from actually making its way on screen. Thanks, Hollywood.

When Neo finally meets the Oracle is the first time you can really tell that the Wachowski Brothers (or however the hell you spell that) have absolutely nothing to say and no story to tell. The dialogue in the Oracle scene is the template for every other conversation that takes place in this movie. It went something like this:

Oracle: “Hi, Neo. I know everything. I know everything you need to know. I know how to help you. I know exactly what you need. But I’m not going to tell you until you dance a little, monkey boy. I’m gonna make you sit here and we’ll both pretend to be philosophical and a lot cooler and smarter than we really are, and we’ll have ourselves a nice, long, pointless chat during which I’ll contradict everything you say in a very vague and patronizing manner. And when you’ve kissed my ass enough and we’ve annoyed the audience a great deal, then maybe I’ll spill the beans. But even then I’m going to give you just enough so that you suffer needlessly for the rest of this crap movie. Now how do you like them apples?”

Neo: (staring blankly from behind ultra-hip Euro shades) “Uh. Er… huh?”

Oracle: “Good doggy. You want a piece of candy? I love candy.”

And then the Oracle starts talking about vampires and werewolves and ghosts. No, I’m not kidding. As soon as she fucking said it, I knew they we’re going to show up later. The first refuge of a crap sci-fi writer is, whenever you have nothing else to offer, to try to incorporate elements of fantasy or mysticism. It’s an age old trick that has NEVER EVER WORKED. Use some of the mildly interesting elements we’ve set up in the prior movie to create a new and interesting villain for our characters to interact with? Shit, no, let’s use vampires! And why not; the leather clad, pseudo-intellectual, self-pitying Goth angst mongers were already in the theater. That’s the vampire crowd, baby! Jesus, these guys are fucking amateurs.

So the Oracle leaves, and then Elrond comes back to show Neo his new self copying trick, and even though they start off the conversation like they were going to be friends or work together somehow, the writers obviously thought that this would be a far too interesting turn of events that might actually engage the audience’s brains in some manner. So they decided to throw in another annoying kung-fu fight. Elrond makes a whole bunch of copies of himself to fight Neo, which is apparently a completely new and interesting battle tactic that the audience did not see the Insecticons use on every single episode of The Transformers back in 1985.

The fight itself lasts for approximately one month, during which no one gets hurt at all, and nothing happens to advance the story in any manner. At one point Neo rips a metal pole out of the ground and swings it Sauron style, sending Elrond copies flying through the air, just like that battle scene at the foot of Mt. Doom. It wasn’t ’til then that Neo remembered that he could fucking FLY, so he takes off and leaves the Elrond clones looking at each other stupidly while a neon sign in the background flashed “Laughter & Applause.” The audience responds appropriately.

Sooner or later, we get to see Zion, the last human refuge. Imagine the Death Star was built down in Moria and you’ve pretty much got it. There were some decent special effects of the door mechanisms and a guy driving a mech from one of the BattleTech games, but nothing to write home about. Neo walks around and gets worshipped, and Morpheus gets yelled at by another black guy (apparently white people and Asians don’t last long underground, because there aren’t too many down there). Then Morpheus goes to the Great Hall Of Exactingly Precise Annunciation where people know and love him. Through his enormous gapped teeth, he gives Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and then the cast of Bring In Da Funk, Bring In Da Noise start banging on huge weird pipes and the crowd goes ape shit.

Before too long, this little scene turns into soft porn while we cut from what appears to be a mass orgy in the Cave of Many Nipples, to Neo and Trinity having sweaty sex in Yoda’s little mud hut on Dagobah. Of course all of this is accompanied by the requisite, mindless nu-metal house music, which throbs like a hammered thumbnail in order to make us forget that none of this really make a whole lot of sense, which seems to be the underlying theme of this movie.

Anywho…

Eventually we go to a really classy restaurant where Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity meet some Italian and/or French guy named Aggravogueaddocious, or something equally improbable. He and his lady are, of course, dressed to kill in the latest breast enhancing Euro fashions while our heroes are garbed in patent leather and more sunglasses. If anyone dressed like this in real life, they would be mocked and ridiculed, but apparently this is not the way things go in the Matrix. It is at this point in the film when Aggravogueaddocious delivers the ONLY good line in the entire script – the one about cursing in French. This is a damn good line. In fact, this line is so good, I’m willing to bet the Bros. W. stole it from someone else and then wrote the scene around it just to give their crap movie a tiny speck of credibility. Just a guess.

Then Aggravogueaddocious brings some lady in the restaurant to orgasm with a slice of Matrix pie. Again, I’m not joking. Aggravogueaddocious writes the code for Matrix pie, and sends this chick a slice. What sense does this make? I’ve stopped trying to figure it out by this point. Long story short; she eats the Matrix pie, nuts in her chair, and then makes her way to the ladies room to “freshen up” (that means she’s going to wipe off her creamy cooter, for all of you out there who find this intellectual d). While this is going on Aggravogueaddocious gives our heroes a VERY longwinded version of the Oracle’s speech in which he cleverly says nothing of value and establishes himself as yet another entirely interchangeable character whom the audience can immediately forget. He goes off to get head from the lady he gave the pie to, and his woman takes our heroes into the men’s room to betray her man.

Why? Who the fuck knows. She wants to betray Aggravogueaddocious, and her price for doing so is… well, you’ll never believe this. She wants to make out with Neo.

What?! Hold the fucking phone! She’s going to betray an enormously wealthy and powerful man, and in return she wants only to tongue Neo while Trinity watches in the men’s room of a pretentious upscale restaurant? Because she wants to feel loved?! Huh?!? All logic has gone down the drain at this point, and the film degrades into a high school freshman’s wet dream. This is stupid, but – as impossible as it seems – it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

After the kiss, they all go off to the big mansion to meet the werewolf/vampire creatures. Really. Stop laughing. They look just like people, but she tells the audience how bad they are, and how they come from an “old version” of the Matrix, and how they are really tough. And then – without any demonstration that this is actually a werewolf or vampire or anything but a regular human – she “proves” one of them is supernatural by shooting it through the head with a silver bullet and killing it. See? It died when she shot it. In the brain. It must have been supernatural. No normal person would have died if they were shot through the brainpan with a speeding silver slug. Makes sense to me.

So then there is another kung-fu fight, which includes a guy fighting Neo with a fucking trident, right out of Gladiator. Neo uses the Force to pull some sai off of the wall, and then runs through a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle moves, Raphael style. There is a lot of jumping and dropping of weapons, but fortunately for Neo every square inch of wall space in this mansion has been covered with sharpened ninja weapons and other useful tools of death. Trinity and Morpheus go off to fight two albino ring wraiths which look like Milli Vanilli and are supposed to be ghosts, I guess. Jesus fucking Christ.

They have a big gunfight on a freeway, as ghosts will. Ultra powerful agents easily destroy every car on the road by jumping on them real hard, but when they jump on Trinity’s car, they land softly and just can’t seem to do anything useful. Go figure. Morpheus kung-fu fights an agent on top of a semi trailer while Trinity rides a crotch rocket with a weird little Asian guy on the back. They ride with traffic. They ride against traffic. Blah, blah, blah. Then two semis crash into each other head on. Even though I’m positive this is not what a collision of this type would look like, this is the coolest special effect in the movie, so I pause to give it a modicum of respect. There. Now back to the movie.

“There is no spoon. We only have sporks here. You want original or extra crispy?”

Other stuff happens here. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t tell you what, because the movie was really on my nerves at this point, and I was enjoying the last of my delicious root beer. Eventually Neo meets Colonel Sanders, who supposedly designed the Matrix. He calls himself The Architect, and he is EXACTLY like The Oracle and Aggravogueaddocious. And he proves this by talking in circles in a very self important and oh-aren’t-I-just-the-cat’s-pajamas manner and not making any sense. He tells Neo that Trinity is going to die, and that nothing Neo does can save her, and then Neo goes and saves her anyway just to put Colonel Sanders’ panties in a bunch. There is some more flying, and lots of fire, and Trinity dies and Neo brings her back to life, because, as we learned in the fist move, Neo is actually Jesus. Some more trite things happen, and then we have some really loud music and lots of green credits, which include the “To be concluded” line that the Wachowski Brothers (or however the hell you spell that) stole from Back To The Future: Part II.

I stayed for the special, ultra-secret trailer at the end, which everyone else in the theater knew about also. Apparently the next movie is going to be just like this one, but with rain. I find it difficult to contain my anticipation.

Groundbreaking.

Let me save you some time and money; if you’ve seen Star Wars, Return Of The Jedi, and either of The Lord Of The Rings movies, then you’ve seen this film. This movie really wants to BE those films, but with a club soundtrack and lots of Goth chic nonsense. If you really want to get out to the theater, go see X-Men 2. Give this piece of shit as wide a berth as you possibly can.

See you at the movies,

Chris


2021 UPDATE: At least one good thing came out of this goddamned dumpster fire of a movie. This is Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves’s stunt double in The Matrix movies. He would later be made a stunt coordinator for the films before he moved on to directing. They apparently had a good working relationship because Stahelski has gone on to direct all four John Wick movies.

These concept art images for The Matrix Reloaded were made by film designer/conceptual artist George Hull. In case you were worried these vehicles were too interesting for this festering cinematic prison latrine, never fear; the frenetic onscreen shit show continually obscures the finer details, guaranteeing that nothing this good looking actually makes it on screen.

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