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THE MATRIX RELOADED

Lots of butt must be kicked, especially by Neo, to save Zion from obliteration by evildoers.

CAST: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Matt McColm, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci, Lambert Wilson, Harold Perrineau Jr., Harry J. Lennix, Clayton Watson, Daniel Bernhardt, Christine Anu

DIRECTORS: Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski

"It’s probably heretical to even ask, but do we really need all the futuristic deep-think Zen mumbo-jumbo in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’? Every generation deserves its defining myths, but that doesn’t mean we should pretend we’re dealing with ‘The Iliad’ here. This monstro-budgeted sequel to ‘The Matrix’ has more than twice as many special effects as the original, and a few of the action set-pieces—notably a fourteen-minute crash-and-burn highway-chase extravaganza and a courtyard brawl between Keanu Reeves’s Neo and a hundred look-alike Agent Smiths—are stupendous. But there is also more than twice as much philosophic bull as before—and there was plenty of that the first time around… The film should be called ‘The Matrix Overloaded.’" --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"Oh, I wish this film were better! Why does it have to be so annoying? Come on, guys, get it together or you'll squander all of the immense goodwill you achieved with your most bodacious breakthrough film…This is cybercombat at its most abstractly meaningless: It's pongs vs. pings, with nothing at stake." --Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"The speeches provide not meaning, but the effect of meaning: It sure sounds like those guys are saying some profound things… Part of the fun is becoming an expert in the deep meaning of shallow pop mythology; there is something refreshingly ironic about becoming an authority on the transient extrusions of mass culture, and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) now joins Obi-Wan Kenobi as the Plato of our age." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"‘The Matrix Reloaded,’ the second in the Matrix trilogy, wastes much of the goodwill of the first movie in gaseous speeches about theology, ontology, mythology -- any ology will do…The Wachowskis fail to bring their concepts home viscerally -- the outrageous spectacle feels less immediate and thrilling than in the first film because it rarely connects instinctively with their story. To thrash out the issues, the brothers rely on abstract dialogue that goes in one ear and disappears before it can go out the other one…The characters end up nattering endlessly and pseudo-philosophically about themes that should be embedded in their action…‘The Matrix Reloaded’ is thin on magic, charm, surprise and fun." --Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

"…an elaborately choreographed, rigorously stylized science-fiction epic rife with cool heroes, intriguing villains and eye-widening action set pieces that show us the money in no uncertain terms…It's simply not as satisfying as the original…the Wachowskis had more money and more complex effects to play around with this time, but on the debit side, what could possibly compensate for the loss of the you've-never-seen-this-before excitement the first one delivered…There is, for instance, now so much style evident in clothing and accessories, it sometimes seems that what this whole movie is about is having the right sunglasses." --Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"The staging of the action sequences is as viciously elegant as you've been primed to expect, though there is a dispiriting more-of-the-same aspect to the picture…This second installment is a blend of Hong Kong action, comic books, anime, philosophy and the New Testament and has the feel of a holding pattern…The martial arts sequences are breathtakingly staged; the 15-minute chase sequence on an multilane highway is alone worth sitting through the picture…‘Reloaded’ has one of the most excitingly subversive and radical points of view ever seen in a major motion picture: a postmodern purview that accords equal weight to philosophical ideals from people of color." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"While it's exhilarating fun, as an overall piece of storytelling, this reboot never really hits the heights of the ultra-cool ‘The Matrix’… Most of the movie's sluggish first hour is spent in Zion, an underground city where unplugged refugees live…this movie suffers from the same problems as "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," which also combined irresistible eye candy with eyeball-glazing speeches." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"The characters fall in love; battle for their ideals; and ponder the ways fate, destiny, and providence are shaping their individual lives and the future of humanity as a whole. In the end, though, the movie's psychological and philosophical sides are little more than window dressing on a spectacle designed to jolt the eye and ear, not stimulate the mind and heart. I suspect ‘Reloaded’ will be mystifying for moviegoers not versed in ‘Matrix’ lore." --David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"In ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ the philosophy is even less plausible. But the action - oh, the action! There's nothing else out there like it. The brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski, who wrote and directed the film, deliver thunderous fight and chase sequences with unprecedented visual clarity...You'll have to get past ponderous proclamations that add nothing to dorm-room discussions of being and nothingness. You'll inhale microscopic particles of meaningless religious references...And you'll hate the ending. It's a cop-out if ever there was one." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News