Preview by: Jack Foley
IN A YEAR which looks set to be marked by the number of the digit
placed at the end of a films title, there is one sequel/trilogy
which has to rate among the most eagerly anticipated of them all
- and its not The
Fast and the Furious 2!
The Matrix looks set to dominate 2003 with not one but two films,
Reloaded and Revolutions, which promise to astound audiences once
So, while Arnie prepares to do battle with another Terminator
and those Hobbits continue their quest to Mordor, Neo and co will
strive for victory against the machines and advance word suggests
that the four-year wait for the resolution of this trilogy will
have been worth it.
A recent 20-minute screening, attended by Warner Bros executives
and a lucky journalist from Newsweek, suggests that jaws were
hitting the floor by the time the footage concluded - and that
this really is special in terms of movie-making extravagance.
Just as the original redefined the action genre, so Reloaded and
Revolutions are set to push the boundaries further - or as cinematographer,
Bill Pope, puts it, its going to make The
Fast and the Furious look like The Slow and the
The footage in question is said to feature the long-talked about
freeway chase finale and finds Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and
Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) heading towards the nearest phone
line in a desperate bid to make good their capture of a critical
pawn in the struggle with the machines - a tiny Asian keymaker,
who has access to all the doors in the Machine world.
Only trouble is, with miles to conquer and with Agents everywhere
(assuming the identities of everyone using the freeway), the task
is far from easy, leading to one of the most thrilling action
sequences of all time.
Or, as Newsweek puts it, the ensuing sequence may be the
most audaciously conceived, thrillingly executed car chase ever
Mere hype? Well, the scene is said to feature two kung fu battles
in speeding vehicles - one in the back seat of a Cadillac, the
other on the roof of an 18-wheeler truck - as well as a motorcycle
chase through oncoming traffic and car wrecks galore (weve
already caught glimpse of a slow-mo car spin in the teaser trailer,
released last year).
You will have to go to the Newsweek article to find out more.
to do so.
When The Matrix was
released in the summer of 1999, few could have predicted the rumpus
it would cause. It overshadowed just about everything else released
in the blockbuster market, and gave George Lucas a run for his
money with The Phantom Menace
(few films can hold a candle to the hype surrounding any Star
Wars film, but this did).
Needless to say, as soon as directors, The Wachowskis, announced
that the film was part of a trilogy, fans couldnt wait to
know more. They have subsequently been asked to wait four years,
being offered DVD upon DVD galore to quell their appetite.
The reason for the wait, however, is down to technology and a
fair amount of bad luck. Firstly, Reloaded and Revolutions required
technology that, at the time, hadnt been invented yet.
When filming began in Australia over a 270-day stretch from 2001
to 2002 (at a combined estimated cost of over $300 million), it
started with a seven-week shoot involving the freeway confrontation.
The tragedy occurred. On August 25, 2001, 22-year-old r n
b star, Aaliyah, who had been cast in a supporting role, was killed
in a plane crash. (She was replaced by Ali
co-star, Nona Gaye, Marvin Gayes daughter.)
In September, 64-year-old Gloria Foster, who played the Oracle
in the original, died of diabetes, having shot her scenes for
Reloaded, and the events of September 11 also took hold.
Keanu Reeves also suffered more personal heartbreak, when his
sister suffered a relapse of leukemia and endured lengthy treatment.
The question of whether the sequels were jinxed is one that the
cast and crew are reluctant to acknowledge, but one which has
crossed their minds.
But they are confident that the marathon task and huge cost of
making the films will have been worth it.
Reloaded apparently begins where the original left off, when the
machines have discovered the location of Zion, the last human
city. Finding the aforementioned Keymaker is therefore seen as
humanitys final hope.
The Keymaker, however, is guarded by a new pair of villains, the
Twins, who come armed with switchblades and can vanish and reappear
The ensuing battle of wits will draw in the likes of Niobe (Jada
Pinkett Smith), a former lover of Morpheus, and Persephone (Monica
Bellucci), a shady temptress who tries to seduce Neo, as well
as the return of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) who has learned to
replicate himself - hence the images of Neo taking on 100 versions
of the guy.
Revolutions, meanwhile, features the final battle between the
humans and the machines and, according to producer, Joel Silver,
promises a 17-minute climactic battle unlike anything we have
seen before. And, for once, you can believe it!
Newsweek has a lot more to say on the films and we recommend that
you visit the site if you havent already. Click here
to do so. In the meantime, were counting down to May 23,
when the first of the sequels will finally be revealed. Thats
a mere 116 days from the time this was posted!