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Movie Reviews: The Matrix Reloaded – by Barry Mills, MD

The Matrix was a triumph equaled only by its monumental failure
– The Architect (Matrix Reloaded)
The original Matrix film blasted out of earth’s orbit becoming a science fiction pop phenomenon and winning four Academy Awards. In 1999 Larry and Andy Wachowski literally described their wildly successful Warner Brothers film as an intellectual action movie (Probst). For a sequel the Wachowski Brothers spent a much larger 300 million dollars sequentially shooting second and third pictures to be released in May and November of 2003 respectively. This second of a trilogy continues to blend martial arts, dazzling special effects and a bewildering smorgasbord of world mythologies. I confess one 14-minute highway scene had me twisting to avoid imaginary collisions and may set a new standard for Hollywood. Moreover, considering its commercial audience is teenage boys, the film pays surprising attention to deeper matters. The shallow will criticize the film’s pop attempt at soulfulness as distracting for a Hollywood blockbuster. I give the Wachowskis an A for effort. However, ultimately the film is a commercial compromise formulation that fails in its lost opportunity for serious depth. Unlike its predecessor, The Matrix Reloaded feels like the work of an ambitious screenwriter who has enthusiastically found an encyclopedia of world mythology.