Ethan Switch - Friday, 23 May 2003
There is this Superman one shot—it might have been a miniseries—with Superman fighting back an Alien onslaught from the Aliens mythos. As a lot of others are saying, The Matrix Reloaded is the best Superman film ever.
Certain parts of the film were weighing up the scales with the at times extremely long dialogue or explanations concerning the concepts and ideas based around philosophy which in turn are the basis for The Matrix itself. An extensive application of the heavy laden scripting occurs when Neo (Keanu Reeves) engages with a character calling himself The Architect (Helmut Bakaitis) to discuss and dissect the nature of the Matrix itself. In the first, Mouse (Matt Doran) contemplates the reasoning behind how strange or different meat often defaults to the simple taste of chicken. "How are we to know what chicken really tastes like and what if the makers of the program got it wrong and thus why everything tastes like chicken?" Or words to that effect. As The Architect resembles a younger version of Colonel Sanders there's reason to believe that it could be some kind of joke on the whole premise.
The Matrix Reloaded is a witnessed ordeal of the work of many, many sculptors, rotoscopers, animators, conceptualists, carpenters, tinkerers and other such artists. In an attempt to show as such the credit roll at the end of Reloaded is crammed tight with names and roles running into each other. It's madness trying to read the thousands of names often appreciated only in trivia, like the name of the gaffer, caterer or the foley artists. It's even harder trying to figure out what kind of logic they put in place for the ordering of the cast. Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) is a main character who appears from the start but her listing appears some several names well below that of the top of the roll.
A lot of new faces to this chapter of the legacy. Introductions were by way of a motionless, actionless scene where one of the established looks at the person and mentions their name. No such help there for the other Agents running around in the system. Apparently Agent Jackson is the one jumping down on the bonnet of one of the cars in what is a pretty amazing car chase scene. Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Ghost (Anthony Wong) are onscreen for a brief amount of time but then if they weren't their feature roles in the Matrix game would seem to be a real stretch. It's not done to the detriment of the film though. There's plenty of back story to wallow in like the reaction The Kid has toward Neo. Action and reaction that all starts in the Animatrix DVD release about the same time.
As the first one dealt with the question, "What is reality?" So the second asks questions such as, "What is destiny?" "What is control?" and "What is life?" One main sticking point is one left behind from the Wachowskis and producer Joel Silver, a question they should have asked themselves, when is too much dialogue and analysis too much and too convoluted?
In a scene featuring Tori Musset riding an orgasmic wave of chocolate cake a man known as The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) utters something along the lines of, "Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculé de ta mère." According to some, what he said translates roughly to, "Name of God, of whore, of brothel, of shit, of filth, of jerk, of arse-fucking, of your mother." OR "Name of god of whore of bloody hell of filth of jerk of asshole of your mother." Something about wiping his arse with silk. No other feeling like it.
But with words spilling fervently across the board there felt like a need for lengthy action scenes to balance it all out. The burly brawl featuring the hundred or more Smith clones against Neo was pretty stunning. Sure, there was the odd face not belonging to Hugo Weaving himself, but split second flashes matter not when you've got to consider the scale of the fight choreographed largely in virtual reality. Fitting perhaps. Then there's the freeway chase that at times looked pretty stilted. The result of watching Neo fly around like Superman redeemed the entirety of the boggling underground rave sequence.
The credits anomalies didn't end with the mere mention of names and the logic applied to the order. The end of credits roll is marked by the words The Matrix Reloaded followed too quickly by the words "Coming Soon."
Then a pause.
A pause longer than the one wedged between The Matrix Reloaded and Coming SoonThe Matrix Revolutions. The timing between these three sets it all off and it stunk up what would have been a compelling credit roll.