The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

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Neo receives a message from The Oracle and goes in search of The Source to fulfil the prophecy and end the war with the machines.

The sequel to the classic The Matrix was a massive anti-climax upon its release and it clearly suffers from being the bridge between the beginning and end of the story arc with little plot of its own to speak of. In fact the entire sequence in Zion is the same mix of pseudo political waffle and elaborate but irrelevant CGI that we endured during the Star Wars prequels, which renders first 40 minutes of the film utterly pointless. Things improve when Neo re-enters The Matrix and learns of the existence of rogue programs with their own agenda who exist within and Agent Smith makes a welcome return as an independent self-replicating villain with a grudge. But it’s amazing how little the two hours of this film actually move the plot along; it’s mostly a mix of verbose, dreary dialogue and tediously overlong set pieces that spectacularly miss the perfect balance of plot and action of the first film.

It’s not quite as bad as many make it out to be because the Wachowskis still display their eye for visual spectacle and there are some thrilling moments, but as a whole it’s a self-indulgent, noisy firework display that’s bloated and empty at its core.

5/10

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