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Tuesday, May 27th, 2003

Firing Blanks

Okay, so The Matrix has been Reloaded… Reloaded with crap!

Dear god, what an utter waste. I’m not really sure where to begin. Maybe the point that if you’re going to make a movie predicated on incredible special effects, you better have incredible special effects? Or more accurately, special effects that I didn’t see plenty of in the first movie? Whenever one of the combatants did some slow-motion spin-kick, I could only think of the stick-man fighting Flash movie circulating a couple years ago. And that was more entertaining. Another point about the fight scenes, and it’s not that everyone looked so damned bored participating in them (though I suppose I just made that point), but why didn’t Neo just KILL the other guys who were causing him such irritation? “Here comes a bad guy, and all I have to defend myself IS A BIG FUCKING SWORD. I better just hit him with the hilt so he falls down, but can get back up and come at me again.” What the fuck. And what’s with the martial arts? Big honking guns worked wonders the last time through.

But I was thankful for the action sequences, gratuitous though they may have been, because it STOPPED THEM FROM TALKING. I don’t think there was more than a dozen bits of dialogue in the whole film. Everyone spoke in horribly melodramatic monologues. Laurence Fishburne should win an Oscar for being able to deliver that dreck and keep a straight face. I was truly and seriously bored for far more of the film than I ever thought possible. I won’t even start on Keanu Reeves’ performance. After all, he’s Keanu. Not much else needs to be said. I will refrain from discussing the rave/sex scenes – enough virtual ink has been spilled on the uselessness of those scenes already.

Oh, and you know how everyone says, “stay through the credits!” because there’s a sneak preview of Revolutions there? It’s not worth it. Every scene looks like it could be an outtake from Reloaded, and you have to sit through quite possibly the most annoying end credit music ever conceived. First you get a feccid hunk of shit by Linkin Park, and THEN an even more awful Oakenfold remix of the Dave Matthews Band. Ever wonder how bad Dave Matthews could sound over an absurd electronic/hard rock backing? Now you know.

But credit goes to the freeway sequence, which was pretty impressive, and the Neo vs 100 Smiths though if they’re going to do a slow-motion shot, they should really choose a sequence where Neo isn’t so obviously CGI.

So yeah, a more polarizing film you probably won’t find this year. There’s those who see layers and layers of social commentary, religion and philosophy in ever nuanced shot of the Warchowski brothers’ magnum opus. They will pick apart the hidden meanings and subtexts of these films for years to come. They are the chocolate to the peanut butter of those who see it as a landmark in special effects, CGI and martial arts coreography. These are the people who will be camping out in front of theatres in November so they can be the first to bask in the glory of Revolutions. And then there’s those who just thought it stank the joint up. But that said, I will see the last one, the same way I will see the last Star Wars even though I didn’t have many kind things to say about that one either. Something about closure. If I have one saving grace, it’s that I did not pay full price for this movie. Though considering I walked out wanting very badly to go see another movie to get the foul taste out of my mouth, that probably would have been more expensive in the long run.

So yeah, The Matrix. Blah.

np – Bedhead / WhatFunLifeWas

By : Frank Yang at 10:05 pm
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. kyle says:

    I think the main problem I had was the fight choreography. Every movie released has to have these arty choreographed fight scenes, with slow motion effects, and it’s grown tiresome.

    But I wasn’t as dissapointed as you. It was basically what I figured the first Matrix was going to be like. When people started telling me Keanu was in a good movie, I was extremely sceptical.

  2. lo_fye says:

    You saw this with Vic, didn’t you. DIDN’T YOU! You both hated that lovely little darlin’ of a movie :( Sure the rave scene went on for 1000 minutes, and there was much too much bullet-time… and Keanu still can’t act… but, but… at least this time his eyes were red and he seemed sober… and he could be superman… and Trinity is still a hot bitch… and was it just me or did Morpheus look kind of fat throughout the movie and then he was ripped for his speech in Zion?

    I loved Reloaded… yes – too much bullettime – but whatever. They had advanced it a bit at least — if you think about the "camera" you’ll notice that it now floats and flies up and around and through moving objects (such as the truck scene) — which is to say that bullettime is now 100% CGI, whereas in the first movie it was just a huge physical camera array.

    Can’t wait for them to reveal that Neo is just software, like the Oracle. That’s my prediction. Also that they’re in a Matrix within a Matrix… etc etc…

  3. Five Seventeen says:

    matrix within a matrix, the more i think about it the more obvious it becomes. And yes Frank, the movie will never make my top 5, 10, 20, 30, etc… but to be fair, I never walked into it thinking Keanu would stun me with his acting, the plot would rival the completixy of say…The Goonies. I went for the special effects and because really, seeing it on a 17" monitor when it comes out on DVD just won’t be the same.

    Star Wars, however, I will never see.

  4. Frank says:

    ironically, I thought the basic plot development, and the revelations in the Source, were really pretty clever and interesting. To see how that plays out alone will be enough to get me to see the last one. But while I didn’t expect to see a fantastic film with wonderfully realized characters and dazzling dialogue, I didn’t expect to be so bored. And I was bored. I found it so tedious.

    Carrie-Anne Moss – never done anything for me. She’s got this weird pinched look thing going on that just bugs me. And I don’t care much about the patent leather outfits, either.

    Honestly, I didn’t even notice that the bullet time worked with moving targets, because I didn’t care. All I saw was, "oh look, they’re stopping the action and spinning around again. Yawn."

  5. graig says:

    ah, the problem with bullet-time is it’s become a cliche… it’s been parodied so much people are tired of it… I honestly thought the Wachowski’s would not have used it because it was so beaten to death by every Rob Schneider movie in existence.

    That said, I went in to be entertained. I was entertained. The only thing that really bugged me was the music during the 100Smiths fight scene… otherwise it went down like the red pill should.. for me at least.

    Oh, and expectations only let you down, so don’t have any. A life lesson for us all.