The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Four years after a genre defining movie, can the sequel shoot it’s way to success?

With the last human city only a few days away from being breached and destroyed, Neo Trinity and Morpheus must meet with the Oracle to help end the war. In Zion, the city is preparing for the biggest attack that humanity has ever seen.

The Wachowski Bros up the ante from the last film by expanding the real world from just a single crew of the Nebuchadnezzar ship to an entire city including an entire army and a huge number of civilians that will get drawn into the war. This expansion has made the real world seem more authentic with new characters helping build the depth in the old ones. Captain Niobe is used as Morpheus’ past love interest and transforms the preacher/leader into a more emotional human being with his own problems.

Hugo Weaving returns as Smith after playing an integral role in the first film. After the events of The Matrix, Smith has become a program fighting his own deletion and returns without previous restrictions; instead he has an instability which makes him even more dangerous. Again Weaving steals every scene and his portrayal of a character losing control is thoroughly top class.

Smith’s change from an agent to a rogue program and the introduction of many more programs has resulted in the good versus bad battle becoming much more interesting where a lot of characters have their own agenda. The character that shows this best is Persephone, played by Monica Bellucci; as her name suggests she is the queen of the program underworld but flits between sides opposing her machine mother world in order to aid Neo, Trinity and Morpheus.

The Matrix Reloaded has enjoyable moments and some strong performances but it falls down mainly due to a lack of substantial additions to the franchise especially when following such a strong and original first film.

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