A/V Room









Matrix Reloaded - US reaction

Story by: Jack Foley

AS LONDON waits to be gripped by Matrix-mania, the US critics have delivered their verdict...

Some have hailed the cutting edge special effects, jaw-dropping action sequences and the fantastical nature of the second film in the series, while others felt the film suffered from veering a little too much into psychological/destiny territory.

We kick off with Variety, however, which stated that Reloaded 'delivers enough thrills, kicks and cool moments to satiate geeks, fans and mere general viewers worldwide'.

Village Voice, meanwhile, wrote that 'the refreshing draft of effervescent movie magic leaves a sludgy sediment of metaphysics. The latter may be less than brain-buzzing; the former is something else, thanks largely to genius fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping'.

Newsweek declared that 'Reloaded is more of a straight-ahead action movie than the original, and it's filled with spectacular mayhem', while Planet Sick-Boy wrote that 'it only takes about 45 seconds for it to grab you by the throat and slap you across the face'.

And Premiere wrote that 'the intellectual aspirations of this series are just window dressing. Which left this viewer to enjoy the freeway chase sequence (which really is cool), Hugo Weaving’s smirk, and even the PlayStationish stuff'.

However, the negatives spoke of huge disappointment and an alarming parallel to the direction George Lucas has taken the last two Star Wads movies.

The Onion's AV Club, for example, wrote that 'in making The Matrix's leaden answer to The Phantom Menace, the Wachowski brothers seem to be afflicted with George Lucas Syndrome: They're so enthralled by the convoluted mythology of their own private universe that they've lost touch with its human core'.

Worse still, was Slant Magazine, which wrote that it 'arrives with the same chilling thud that accompanied the dashed hopes and ruined promises of the last two Star Wars movies'.

Hollywood Reporter, while not exactly scathing, wrote that 'while upping the ante considerably in the action and effects department, storytelling stumbles frequently this outing as the movie stops cold for philosophical digressions about fate and destiny and reality'.

Time, which has featured the movie extensively during the hype process (placing it on the cover of its current edition), was also less than impressed, writing that 'you are never exactly bored by 'The Matrix Reloaded, but there is something alienating about it, maybe because it fails to fulfill its possibly loony intellectual aspirations'.

But we conclude, for now, on a positive, and the Hollywood Report Card, which wrote that 'whether you get 20% or 100% of the intellectualizing, & even if there's no sense in fighting software with military hardware & Kung Fu; it's simply a marvel to watch'.

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