PURE EYE CANDY
Gary Moskowitz is the education reporter for the News-Press, the
Leader’s sister publication.
I always get the same reaction when I tell people I hated “The
“What? Are you crazy? Why? How could you hate that movie?”
And I always tell them the same thing -- “The Matrix” and its
newly released sequel, “The Matrix Reloaded” are high-tech,
well-polished, new and improved, sexier versions of the same idea
behind John Carpenter’s 1988 flop, “They Live.” That awful but
hilarious movie stars “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who learns that
skeleton-faced aliens are controlling the city of Los Angeles
through subliminal advertising. He learns this when he stumbles upon
a special pair of sunglasses that allows him to see what’s really
To me, it’s the same premise, just with less attractive actors,
horrible special affects and some of the worst fight scenes captured
“Matrix Reloaded” is what I like to call “over the top” and “out
of control” moviemaking. Nearly every scene is crammed full of
computer-generated images of buildings and cars exploding, or actors
like Keanu Reeves flying through the air or fighting off several
hundred enemies at once.
The thing to remember is that “Matrix Reloaded” is not a movie
about real characters we can connect to, and it’s not a story that
has depth of emotion or real human drama. The movie is two hours of
pure eye candy and visual and audio stimuli that completely takes you
out of reality from the minute the opening credits roll.
The sequel has some of the most amazing chase scenes and fight
scenes I have ever seen. People fight on top of moving vehicles on
the freeway as cars explode and launch into the air all around them.
I’ll admit, I found myself driving faster and more aggressively in
traffic after I left the theater.
Oddly enough, the movie also features an erotic party scene during
which hundreds of sweaty, tan-skinned, scantily-clad people dance in
an underground cavern to the sounds of loud, electronic dance- club
music. I can’t figure out why this scene was in the movie, but I’m
I’m glad I saw “Matrix Reloaded,” and I’m even more glad I caught
it at a matinee price.
COOL MARTIAL-ARTS ACTION
Ryan Carter is the business and politics reporter for the
News-Press, the Leader’s sister publication.
I left the theater Saturday night after “The Matrix Reloaded” with
two questions: If the title refers to a gun barrel, was the gun ever
empty? And if the title refers instead to reloading a computer
program, did the program ever need to be changed?
I kind of liked the original program. This one had a few glitches.
I give the sequel a B-minus.
Indeed, “Reloaded” has been reloaded with a lot of stunning action
that makes the first one -- with more of a cerebral emphasis on the
tension between humanity and its slave relationship with a computer
program -- seem like there were no bullets in the barrel, if you go
by special effects.
This film, with its big scenes of the masses of a city on the
brink of extinction and super-hero- epic tendencies, was in danger of
falling into the too-big-for-itself basket from the get-go.
What saved it from a C? It came down to Laurence Fishburne’s
acting and salvaging the vital elements of the original “Matrix,”
cool martial-arts action, a great style, and a waning but still-alive
ability to make us question our conceptions of human liberation and
Neo, played adequately by Keanu Reeves, might be the superhero of
our age, but Fishburne’s honesty, and the passion in his role as
Morpheus, kept it real.
He’s not “The One,” but he sure acts like it. I won’t be rushing
out to see this “Matrix” again, but it was worth the admission.
The Matrix Reloaded” is rated R for sci-fi violence and some
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