Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Sequel Spotlight: The Matrix Reloaded

Welcome to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. In this series, I’ll be taking a look at some famous (and infamous) sequels to see how they compare to the original. I'll do my best to alternate between the greats and the best forgotten. Leave your thoughts or a suggestion for a spotlight in the comments!

The Matrix Reloaded
Directed by the Wachowski Brothers
Released May 15, 2003

Expectations were insanely high for the follow-up to the gravity-defying, world-bending, visually mesmerizing “The Matrix.” Four years later, the Wachowski Brothers delivered not one but two films, released in May and November of 2003. The second film didn’t go over so well since it lacked the originality of the first film’s action, and instead went full-on into extravagant fight scenes that made even less sense than the first film’s. Keanu Reeves’ Neo was much more aware of his powers and now traveled around garbed in all black with Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus and Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity, rather than be led around with pills and phone calls, unaware of the ride for which he was in. That said, the fight scenes were pretty terrific, and some (this reviewer included) were still wowed. Ending the second film on an explicit cliffhanger was an intriguing strategy not done often at that time (now, Marvel films almost require a game-changing post-end credits scene) that probably frustrated more than it engaged. The third film looked completely different, and felt very much like a last-ditch effort to save humanity, with all characters going for broke in their attempts to die heroically and go down fighting. The Agent Smith scenes and attacks on Zion are most memorable from both films, but I think that the majority of fans of the first film would prefer to think of it as a one-shot story without any sequels.

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