I have to admit, after seeing MR, I was a little disappointed. I’ve tried not to discuss this with my friends who loved it, because I know I’ll just be frowned upon as a stuffy curmudgeon, but when I read Adam Gopnick’s essay in The New Yorker, I realized I wasn’t alone. Here’s a guy who felt a lot of the same stuff I did. For example:
It would have been nice if some of that complexity, or any complexity, had made its way into the sequel. But–to get to the bad news–Matrix Reloaded is, unlike the first film, a conventional comic-book movie, in places a campy conventional comic-book movie, and in places a ludicrously campy conventional comic-book movie. It feels not so much like Matrix II as like Matrix XIV–a franchise film made after a decade of increasing grosses and thinning material.
Now, I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time. It was mostly really fun. But there was enough repetitive exposition to choke a virtual horse. I felt like I was watching late-vintage X-Files, with all the awkward logic that it took to make sense out of that ambivalent ad-hoc “plot” structure. The action was lovely, and riveting…even edge-of-seat-hanging…but so many scenes were such sci-fi cliche’s that they didn’t even seem to be ‘homages’ or anything…they seemed like filler between cool special effects.
Of course, I’m interested to find out where all this leads in November, but I hope the Star-Trekkish council meetings and retread “you didn’t follow my orders!” intrigue will take a rest and get out of the way of all that phat kung-fu.
(And next time Zion throws a rave, I’ll be curious to see if they include any pudgy people over 30…otherwise, how am I to relate to the protagonists???)
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