A/V Room









Matrix sequels to push boundaries still further

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 film’s title, there is one sequel/trilogy which has to rate among the most eagerly anticipated of them all - and it’s 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 more.

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, ‘it’s going to make ‘The Fast and the Furious’ look like ‘The Slow and the Dimwitted’.

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 filmed’.

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 (we’ve 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. Click here 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 couldn’t 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, hadn’t 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 Gaye’s 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 humanity’s 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 like ghosts.

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 haven’t already. Click here to do so. In the meantime, we’re counting down to May 23, when the first of the sequels will finally be revealed. That’s a mere 116 days from the time this was posted!

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