Don’t take candy from Oracles
How do you make a sequel to one of the most popular films of all time? Answer: You make it bigger, longer and part of a larger story that nobody knew about when the first film came out. The Matrix was all wrapped up in such a neat little bow that surely to try and carry on Neo’s story was madness…Or was it?
If ever there was a movie that divided audiences, it was The Matrix Reloaded. When the first trailers emerged in early 2003 appetites weren’t wetted – they were held under Niagara Falls. Neo versus 100 Smiths! Photo-realistic CG stunt-men! Zion! Morpheus attacking a car with a Samurai sword!
Fans swarmed to the cinema and 138 minutes later, they left feeling as if they really had been tossed around in Niagara Falls – and had loved every minute of it. But once the razzle dazzle of the freeway chase, the Burly Brawl and The Architect’s revelation that Neo was the 7th ‘One’ wore off, we looked back and wondered if The Matrix Reloaded was really ‘all that’. It was an astounding piece of action cinema – of that there was no doubt – but compared to the streamlined, original movie, it was always going to come off second best.
Playing fast and loose with time-lines, the Wachowskis choose to open with a series of random fight scenes with Trinity apparently running from an Agent and falling to her death. Is this a Neo nightmare or a warning of what’s really going to happen? Our heroes have arrived back in Zion, where Morpheus tries to convince the council that Neo can stop the machines digging down to exterminate them. Neo, however, isn’t quite so sure he’s up to the job.
Agent Smith is back from the dead and stronger than ever. His brush with Neo at the end of the first film somehow cut him off from the mainframe and he’s now free to create an endless line of Smith clones with a view to taking over the Matrix. Meanwhile, Neo visits the Oracle, pausing for a random tussle with bodyguard Seraph on the way. The Oracle sends them to visit the Merovingian to get him to free the Keymaker; a man who can unlock doorways between worlds.
Being French, the Merovingian isn’t willing to be gracious so a huge fight erupts with Neo, Trinity and Morpheus trying to get the Keymaker to safety while Merv’s albino assassins try to kill them on a busy freeway. There are two main talking points about Reloaded: One is the freeway chase and the other is the Burly Brawl (Neo fighting hundreds of Smiths in the park).