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The Matrix Reheated

Er, "Reloaded." Whatever.

Steve and I went and saw it last night, at the invitation of two other couples. And...OK...I know a lot of you are big Matrix fans, so I'll try to be kind. But this movie, to all of us in the group, was unintentionally funny in quite a lot of places, and that's not good. It was fun, yes, and I had a good time watching it, and there were some really cool or entertaining moments. (My favorite was the dozen or so Agent Smiths standing around and slowly dissipating with various looks of boredom after Neo flies away from the fight. Hee. Hugo Weaving is so charismatic.) But overall...well, it's just screaming for parody. No, it already is a parody.


Let's see if I can sum up in a snarky little review...

It begins much like The Two Towers: There's a fight in progress. The good guy/gal falls from a great height. Suddenly our hero awakens: What is it, Mr. Neo? "Nothing...just a dream."

Neo spends a lot of time wandering around in one of Morticia Addams' more modestly-cut dresses. They take great care in slow-mo to show us how nicely it twirls when he jumps in the air during fight scenes (such scenes happen, incidentally, roughly every seven minutes and tend to last about ten minutes).

Neo is late for church, so he goes running into this cave-temple that looks a lot like Moria from the outside. As it turns out, this is the Church of the Almighty Rave. As if to demonstrate how cool it is to be a fleshly human, we get special closeups of nameless people's nipples, sweat flicking through the air from some guy's dreadlocks, and a string of saliva joining Neo and Trinity's mouths. Thank you, filmmakers; I needed to see that in order to understand the passion.

Throughout, I have no idea where we physically are in the world. It doesn't really matter, because "the real world" isn't the real world; or rather, it is, but it's not what people think it is; or something like that.

Five or six times, Neo gets into a conversation about Destiny with someone. These conversations always go roughly like:

Sage Person: You know why you are here.
Neo: No I don't. Tell me.
Sage Person: Yes you do. You merely have to understand.
Neo: What do you mean?
Sage Person: You already know, because you have already chosen.
Neo: Then why are you offering me this choice?
Sage Person: I'm not. You are just here so you can grasp your purpose in life.
Neo: My path is hidden from me.
Sage Person: No, your path is laid before your feet.
(Oh, no, wait, that last part was also from The Two Towers.)

Anyway, they never come to a solid conclusion about this issue.

Neo has a fight with three dozen replicas of Agent Smith. All the time, I'm thinking, "You can fly, you moron. Why are you sticking around, when you obviously can't even knock out one of them?" Ten long minutes later, he takes my advice and bounds off into the stratosphere. Doi.

Neo is told that he needs to find someone called the Keymaker. This sent Steve and me into suppressed hysterics, because we both instantly thought of Ghostbusters, with the disheveled Rick Moranis running around saying, "I am the Keymaster! Are you the Gatekeeper?"

They endure an apparently pointless dinner with a wanker with a French accent, who is holding the Keymaster – er, Keymaker – prisoner. Frenchie's disillusioned mistress is named Persephone (wow, subtle allusion!). Persephone, in a scene which also had me in suppressed hysterics because it looked like something a romance-fanfic writer would have conjured up, asks Neo to kiss her like he really means it, in return for letting them have the Keymaker. He does. Trinity is jealous. We move on.

In leading them to the Keymaker, Persephone tugs at a book and the whole shelf revolves, revealing a hidden passageway. New giggles from me: did this remind anyone else of Young Frankenstein? "Put...ze candle...back!"

There's an extended chase scene in the world as we know it, on Highway 101 as we know it. "Never go on the freeway – it's suicide," Trinity has been warned. California natives chuckle: "Haha, the freeway is suicide; it's funny because it's true!" Heh...hah...hm...ahem. Anyway...

Our heroes callously blow up a perfectly nice nuclear power plant in order to knock out the power in this one building they just told us about, just now. It doesn't exactly work, though. Chaos ensues. Neo gets into this room with The Architect, and I don't know who wrote The Architect's speeches, but they should be fired. I can't even parody them because I have no idea what the gist of it was. But the ultimatum was, Neo has to choose between saving Trinity and saving all of Zion. (Even though, naturally, This Choice Has Already Been Made Because Of Destiny Or Something.)

Well, Neo saves Trinity 'cause he loves her "too damn much." (Oh, Keanu. You delivered some lines pretty well, but not that one.) But there are mechanized jellyfish swarming their way down to Zion, so our band of rebels runs away further into the caves or somewhere. Truly, I have no idea where they were going, or even where they were to start out with. And chances are they'll save the world in the next installment, but by then it will be one little month till Return of the King, and I guarantee you I will not be caring much about our friends in the sunglasses and black latex.

I guess I'll watch it, though. If someone invites us out and we have nothing better to do.
:)

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
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jennae
May. 25th, 2003 04:04 pm (UTC)
I loved the first one, but this was decidedly blah.

Save for the sex scene which I was immensely creeped out by....not only because of the spit, but because it appeared to be some kind of massive town pagan fertility ritual.

Not that I'm opposed to such things per se, but it really had no place here...
sarcasticchick
May. 25th, 2003 04:09 pm (UTC)
This sent Steve and me into suppressed hysterics, because we both instantly thought of Ghostbusters, with the disheveled Rick Moranis running around saying, "I am the Keymaster! Are you the Gatekeeper?"

*snerks*

i thought exactly the same thing whilst watching the movie, but then i took a turn for the worse.

see, rick moranis and ghostbusters got me thinking about 'little shop of horrors' and thusly steve martin as psychotic dentist, which then got me thinking for some odd reason got me thinking about RHPS and dr. frank-n-furter which then amused me to no end thinking of hugo ala agent smith as dressed in a black teddy and fishnets with goth-style makeup and shades, approaching mr. anderson and commenting about neo's outfit and how humans really made for pathetic tailors.

had me in giggles.

hmm....right. i need to lay off the caffeine, i think.
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 09:00 am (UTC)
Judging from his 'Priscilla' work, Hugo would be a great Frank N. Furter...hmm...
(Deleted comment)
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 09:02 am (UTC)
I saw some 101 signs. Someone claims it was filmed near Oakland. Yes, there really should have been more traffic. :)
caitirdamisa
May. 25th, 2003 04:29 pm (UTC)
you're not alone
I was thinking the exact same thing when Neo was fighting the hundreds of Agent Smith's. Hellooooo, he can fly!
(uh oh) **little voices in Peter Pan...You can fly, you can fly!**

One of my closest friends in Colorado kept complaining about the sex scene. It was too long, it was unnecesary. And that prompted further discussion about the most tastefully passionate sex scenes in a mutual favorite film, The English Patient.

Anyhow......you gotta give credit to the little Keymaker guy. He still a helluva job holding on to Trinity on the motorcycle!! HA HA
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 09:03 am (UTC)
Re: you're not alone
Oh, the Keymaker was a trooper! He was great, hanging on all that time, not minding getting thrown from one moving vehicle to another. Poor little guy...
linaal
May. 25th, 2003 05:31 pm (UTC)
I sat watching the bookcase/door wondering why the heck they would even bother putting that in, except making the goth freaks happy...

yes, I'm a lurker, but I thought this might help. It's a transcript of the conversation between Nun Neo and the Architect.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/doofybatz/113804.html#cutid1
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 09:07 am (UTC)
Cool - nice to have a transcript handy.
Hmm...yep, that's about as I remember it. I guess I shouldn't complain that people tried to put big vocabulary words in a popular movie. It just struck me as...dare I say...pretentious, at the time. But then I imagine lots have said the same about my dearest LOTR flicks. :)
lush_rimbaud
May. 25th, 2003 05:42 pm (UTC)
ahahaha. I love you.
kateelvellon
May. 25th, 2003 06:29 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you know what's up. I liked the movie, in the end, because it was fun. But that's ALL it was. It was a well-done sci fi flick. Yes, there were some admittedly subtle and clever references to modern and medeival theology alike. But let's face it, I'm not such a huge god fan, so it really wasn't my kind of thing.

such scenes happen, incidentally, roughly every seven minutes and tend to last about ten minutes
Hahahahaha! Oh god I loved it at first, thought it was so cool-looking.
And I do mean AT FIRST. As in, THE FIRST TIME.

and a string of saliva joining Neo and Trinity's mouths
Nothing like a gratuitous sex scene to wipe away any shred of credibility the movie might have been able to scavenge. And damn that was nasty. I actually, physically cringed.

"I am the Keymaster! Are you the Gatekeeper?"
That is EXACTLY what I said to Doug. I think he was getting really annoyed with me by this time, because I was laughing at everything.

I don't know who wrote The Architect's speeches, but they should be fired.
I was thinking drawn and quartered. I think you did understand them. It's not that there was some deep intent, its just that they wanted to throw in lots of words to make us think there must be. Wow. The Matrix is so fucking deep. I needed to dig myself out of piles of philosophy just to get out... oh wait... nevermind, that was piles of something else it generated... my fault...

I did like it, as fun movie, really. I would've laughed and enjoyed it and not had anything else to say if it wasn't such a fucking big deal to the world.
Save your money. Go and see Xmen. Fun, silly, good acting, good characters.
Sez the fangirl...

mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 01:22 pm (UTC)
It's funny how many people have been cringing at the sex scene. They must really have done something wrong there.

I would have rather seen the X-men, since at least that movie realizes it's just silly entertainment. So perhaps I shall someday.

Oh, and don't worry about the italics thing. I usually read the responses on the email notifications anyway, and those don't convert to HTML; it's just the text. So I didn't even notice. :)
kateelvellon
May. 25th, 2003 06:30 pm (UTC)
Ok so I forgot the slash in my last italics line. Erm... that's not all a quote.
I should be drawn and quartered too, apparently. Sorry bout that.;)
trilliah
May. 25th, 2003 09:08 pm (UTC)
I agree completely
I had this all figured out: see, they didn't really have enough plot for two whole more movies. So they interspersed the occassional random plot element into two hours of alternately slow motion/rapid fire fight sequences. BUT even THAT wasn't enough, so in order to ensure safe recycling of some of the same plot elements in the NEXT movie (what do you want to bet they do?), they purposely made the plot elements in THIS movie ambiguous. See?

I was boggled by the whole rave sequence. Also didn't much care for the Morpheus turned Evangelical preacher bit. Odd. And Neo as the Christ? -__- Come ON...

In fairness, though--maybe Neo didn't fly away immediately when fighting the smiths because he first has to do that whole "hit the ground and make a shock wave" bit, and there were too many coming on too fast. I'd still have to say the scene of the Agent Smiths wandering away (all looking like 'huh.') was the only thing that made this movie worth watching to me. Whicn is NOT good news for the movie itself. It was quite the disappointment after the first one (and BUGGER all the talk of "well, they've already introduced the idea of the matrix; they can't do that AGAIN"--sure they can't, but it doesn't mean they have to insult us by assuming we'll be happy if they give us a bunch of those cool slow motions bullets again).

*wanders off looking disappointed but vaguely amused*
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: I agree completely
it doesn't mean they have to insult us by assuming we'll be happy if they give us a bunch of those cool slow motions bullets again

Heheh...exactly. That sums it up pretty well.

And you're probably right about the shock-wave thing. I wondered if that might be the case. Hard to know how this Matrix-physics works.
toady2moo
May. 26th, 2003 01:20 am (UTC)
The Smiths got me through that movie. Will probably get me through the next one as well....

Am I the only one who wants Smith to win the final showdown in Revolutions??? And how much does that guy cutting his hand look like Smith.

Wanders off mumbling about Smith in a green & sequined dress with black fishnets on
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind if Smith won. As villains go, he's quite likable.

Still hoping Hugo will put on one of his drag costumes from 'Priscilla' and do an Abba cover with Orlando (as Legolas in drag)...but I'm guessing it won't happen...
actually ... - (Anonymous) - May. 27th, 2003 01:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
i_kat_i
May. 26th, 2003 04:33 am (UTC)
Snickering
Didn't you find it amusing when Neo opened the door a second time to face towering mountain peaks?! I really expected him to find the Fellowship up there somewhere :) Or Elrond frowning down on Rivendell...

To infinity and beyond!
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Snickering
Hehe, yes, I thought of your comment when he started opening doors to new places. They really should have put the Council of Elrond behind one of them.
celticmommy
May. 26th, 2003 05:53 am (UTC)
I liked the movie, I must admit, but your review amused me anyway. :D

And for the record the "dress" Neo spent a lot of time wearing is really a coat ... I've seen it on various clothing sale websites, mostly goth. But I'm a freak like that and wanted the coat anyway. *grin*
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 01:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I could tell it was a coat from the way it parted. It just looked like a dress some of the time, so I had to call it that. :)

Yay! Kids in the Hall icon! Hee.
cenire
May. 26th, 2003 05:53 am (UTC)
Ahahahaha. I actually liked the film (though the first one is still better), but this is wonderful.

The rave/sex scene was one of the stupidest, least sexy scenes I've ever seen. That string of saliva? Please. NOT passionate. The cake/orgasm scene was bizarre and unnecessary as well. At least I got to see Trinity look jealous when Persephone suggested the kiss.

Young Frankenstein! That is EXACTLY what I thought of, and so few people understand that. PUT... ZE CANDLE... BACK! I kept wondering if she was going to stick them in there and trap them and then swing the bookshelf back, but nothing quite that interesting. Hmph. (Did you see "Shanghai Knights"? My sisters made me go, and there's a scene with a revolving bookshelf that blatantly rips off "Young Frankenstein". Well, it swings, anyway, and there are rooms on each side, and the two main characters have trouble being in the same room at the same time. But Gene Wilder did a better job.)

I think a second viewing is in order so that I can completely understand the Architect's speech. I've heard a lot of complaints, but I actually pretty much understood.

November 5th = The Matrix Revolutions. November 18th = LOTR:TTT extended edition. December 17th = The Return of the King. It's going to be a good winter. ;D
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 01:35 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad other people still think of Young Frankenstein at such moments. ;) No, I haven't seen Shanghai Knights, but I'll keep that in mind for when I do. (Probably will someday, just for Owen Wilson if nothing else.)

Oooh, I forgot about the TTT extended edition that same month. Sweet!
jedmiller
May. 26th, 2003 02:30 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad someone else thought that moment where all the Smiths were just /looking around/ was funny! And, in all your paroxysms of parody, has anyone ever mentioned that you have a fucking incredible memory? Or do you just sit through everything twice?

You're right that all the mumbo-jumbo bogs the movie down and makes too little sense. But I hold out the possibility that it /might/ make sense eventually. And the movie was still really cool.

"Doi." Nice one.
mollyringle
May. 26th, 2003 04:46 pm (UTC)
Heh - I'm very seldom complimented on having a good memory, so thanks! I only sat through it once, but while watching it I was mentally cataloging these satiric comments, and then wrote it down the next day. If I'd waited much longer I certainly would have started to forget stuff. In fact, I'm sure I left plenty out as it is.

I'm hoping to spread the use of "doi" farther than its apparent origins in my hometown of Corvallis, OR. It was a favorite in my family, and in my high school generally. It's basically the same as "duh," but is rather more refined; that is, it describes a more elaborately stupid situation, whereas "duh" is for obvious bits of stupidity. If that makes any sense. :)
(no subject) - jedmiller - May. 26th, 2003 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 26th, 2003 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
oloriel
May. 27th, 2003 03:12 pm (UTC)
*giggles*
You know, I've got to agree. This whole thing reminded me way too much of fanfic, or a parody, some giant music video. And I have the dark feeling it's all meant deadly serious. Gnah.
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