The Matrix Reloaded

Genre: SF
Series: The Matrix

Reviewed by Kathryn A (8th June 2003)

  • Written and directed by the Wachowski brothers
  • Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
  • Webpage at

Well. What a roller-coaster ride -- and then to end on a cliffhanger! I can't fully judge this movie until I've seen the third one, I think, because there are things left dangling which need to be explained in the third movie, and if they aren't sufficiently explained, then that will not be a good thing. As it stands, the first movie is slightly ahead of this one because (a) it is self-contained, stands on its own and (b) it is more focused.

But even so, this is still cool, a mix of style, action and philosophy.
The action is just as spectacular as in the first movie, with lots of kung-fu fighting, and an enormous chase on a freeway with much vehicular destruction. Some of the fighting seemed to be there just for the sake of it, though, especially one particular scene which just went on and on and then ended with Neo flying off -- something that he probably should have done much much sooner.

The philisophical part here was not "what is real?" but it delved into the question of choice: is there such a thing as free will, or is it all predestined? The Oracle says at one point: "You've already made the choice -- the important thing is to understand why." But then again, the examples given raise the question, to the discerning viewer, about the difference between prophecy and prediction, between manipulation, choice, and the illusion of choice. If this is all a game, then the House wins by making sure that the only choices left are ones where it can't lose. It also touches on the question of purpose: for what is freedom if one has no purpose? Yet, is purpose simply another kind of slavery?

Character-wise, we see people loving other people desperately, afraid of losing them to death. We see Morpheus being charismatic in his unshakeable belief, again. We see people desperate to believe in Neo. And we see others who do not.

And again the question is raised, and cannot be avoided: what do you do in a war where the enemy holds most of your people hostage?

One thing: there is no point in seeing this movie if you haven't seen the first one -- it won't make any sense.