December 13, 2003
Deja Vu Revisited

Finally - after most of the reality around me happens to have watched it already - I’m amazed by how the time since it being first released to an eagerly expectant masses until I watched it today, has not involved me being “spoiled” with all the gory details already.

So, this being a wet and windy Saturday afternoon, I slotted the rental DVD into the player - sat down at the end of the sofa that is the optimum point for glorious surround sound immersion - and absorbed myself into the world of The Matrix Reloaded.

And pleasantly surprised coming out at the end of it I was. If not a little frustrated. At the sudden “to be concluded” that is. Well, at least it was “concluded” rather than “continued”. Overtly biblical as many others have reported it? Nah! Too Shakesperian an overtone? Nah! Not as involving a plot as the last one? Nah! Morpheus taking himself too seriously? Nah - come’on people: if you analyse it too much then you are guilty of taking it too seriously. This film is simply, ever-so-implausibly fantastic-ingally, Hollywoodingly Sci-Fi:

  • Neo really does think he’s superman! Even his “flight controller” says so in the film.
  • In the last film, it was the human experience of “deja-vu” that was explained away as the matrix being reloaded, this time it’s the heavenly experience of biting into chocolate dessert cake that is entirely due to a matrix program designed to make people orgasm (cause and effect)
  • The last time I saw cars take-off at high speed into the air like that was in The A-Team and the Dukes of Hazzard! Give me more!
  • The scene in which the agent is standing on the bridge surveying the freeway just before the trucks collide is a 21st century version of the famous similar scene in the first Dirty Harry film - where Clint is angry and he’s out to hunt down the murderer.
  • And of course, all that Kung Fu and martial fighting artwork - better than all the best Bruce Lee I’ve ever seen!
  • The freeway car chase scene - when some car crashes into a row of barrels full of water at an exit junction - haven’t we seen that before? Why yes, of course we have: Speed - starring none other than Keanu Reeves himself! (You remember: the film in which the bus can’t go below 50mph or else it’ll blow up.) Only this time it was far better! (Or was I experiencing deja vu?)
  • Some agent jumps on the bonnet (hood) of the car that Trinity is driving: she takes a few shots at him - but he kind of sways around in a blur that looks similar (but much better) than the times in Terminator 2 that the liquid metal terminator gets hit in the head with a shotgun.
  • In fact - there are lots of Terminator 2 type effects in this film! I don’t need to explain them here - only to say that they are much better!
  • The kung fu fight between Neo and the oriental-looking chappy in a smart white top who wants to check out if he is “the one” - that fight was like a superbly coreographed dance. Even better than those in Westside Story!
  • The way in which the white-faced dreadlocked agent gets back into his car as it whooshes right through him - in exactly the same way that Patrick Swayze jumps onto passing underground (subway) trains in the film Ghost - but done with much better whoosh. Excellent!
  • The humans living in a massive cave deep underground in that place known as Zion: that place was like a mixture of the same human colonies in the Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Total Recall! Only rendered far more superior.
  • The thoroughly public-school accent in the English of the white-dreadlocked agents (“We are most aggravated”) - reminiscent of the shaken-but-not-stirred heroes of the agents in James Bond films - and in this film: an excellent touch of class endowed on villians. Simply brilliant!

This film is great because it’s a melting pot of all these other great Hollywood films: Dirty Harry, Bruce Lee, Ghost, Total Recall, Planet of the Apes, Terminator 2, Speed, Superman, Westside Story, James Bond - and probably more that I’m sure I would discover if I watched it again. An audio/visual/anamorphic-widescreen/surround-sound juxtaposition of 40 years worth of previously enjoyable Hollywood classics. An experience where the whole is much greater than the sum of all its constituent parts. I am surprised at what all the fuss was about.

Posted by jag at December 13, 2003 03:39 PM

i loved your analysis of reloaded! well me being a fan it’s nice to hear other people’s perspectives of it who aren’t as sucked in as i am.

i agree with you on one important thing, you cant take it too seriously and over analyse.. critics did that, looking for the holy messiah kinda thing… dear me

Posted by: Jaina on December 13, 2003 04:20 PM

Thanks Jaina! You can see that I really enjoyed the film. My kids watched it too. (Although I did send them out during the rude bits.) My little girl laughed her head off at the way the people in Zion were dancing after Morpheus did his speech. (Just before the adults-only bit.) And my little boy somehow managed to spot the fact the mobile phone that Morpheus used just before the freeway chase was a Samsung!

A very entertaining film.

Posted by: Jag on December 13, 2003 04:27 PM

The movie was an excellent one. But I have never viewed it as a conglameration of all the other stuff that you have mentioned.
It was loads better than revolution and just the sort of sequel for the first part. I didnt like the abrupt ending in the movie, though. Revolution was a letdown after that. Granted, graphics were better in Revolutions, it did not have the spice, stunts, action that was there in reloaded - the hundred men fight, the highway chase, for examples.

Posted by: sat on December 15, 2003 06:55 AM

Haven’t seen Revolutions yet - but would agree that the action in Reloaded certainly leads me to think that it’s going to be hard to do better.

Posted by: Jag on December 16, 2003 12:51 PM
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