Matrix Reloaded, The

Rated: R
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Hugo Weaving, Clayton Watson, Nona Gaye, Monica Bellucci, Anthony Zerbe
Directors: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Screenwriters: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski

It’s a wild and furious ride as the Matrix gets Reloaded and we wend our way to November’s wrap of this truly awesome sci-fi/action trilogy with Revolutions and I can’t wait.

Reloaded explains a little more about how the matrix, a massive computer program, came to overtake humankind and what our heroes Neo (Keanu Reeves), his mentor Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and his soul-mate Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) must do to save the world from the machines. As it opens, the last human city, Zion, located in the Earth’s core, has been discovered and an army of evil sentinels is sent to destroy it. Neo, whose powers have escalated since the last film, but apparently not his ego, gets another earful from the Oracle (Gloria Foster) and is sent on a ‘ mission to find the “Keymaker” (Randall Duk Kim) who can lead them to the matrix’s power source. Meanwhile, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) goes rogue and has cloned himself, many times over. His mission remains the same – stop Neo at all costs. Only now, in addition to the Agents Smith, there are a set of evil albino twins to contend with.

You’ll enjoy eyeball-popping martial arts sequences: Neo fighting about a hundred of the Smith clones all at the same time and not one losing his ultra-cool sunglasses; Neo holding back various evil forces on a mansion staircase; Morpheus kicking agent butt atop a speeding tractor-trailer on the freeway; Trinity holding her own against a set of agents while she escapes from the top floors of a high-rise.

It’s a gorgeously mounted production with handsome scenic design in Zion as the human inhabitants, living deep below the earth’s surface, have carved a new world for themselves. Cubbyhole apartments line the walls and are as cozily appointed as a hobbit’s; there’s a magnificent cathedral-like chamber amid the stalactites where Morpheus delivers his speech of hope; a massive ship docking bay sits at one end of the city and different levels are devoted to engineering marvels that recycle air and water.

Features: Harold Perrineau as Link, the new operator on Morpheus’ ship, the Nebuchadnezzar; Jada Pinkett-Smith as Zion ship Captain Niobe; Harry Lennix plays Morpheus’ nemesis, Commander Lock; Anthony Zerbe is Zion Councilor Hamann, Neil and Adrian Rayment play the evil Albino Twins. Playing captors of the Keymaker are Monica Belucci as Persephone and Lambert Wilson as Merovingian.

The film ends in a cliffhanger, setting up the trilogy’s finale and if you sit through the credits, you’ll get a nice surprise – the first run trailer for The Matrix Revolutions.

Lotta says: There is one critical information scene with the architect (Helmut Bakaitis) of the matrix.  Pay close attention to it. There’s much information given with not enough time to process it, but it’s absolutely key to the story.

Reviewed 5/15/03