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In Defense Of The MATRIX Sequels

Nordling here.

Let's get this out of the way first - do I think THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS are perfect movies?  Hell no.  Not a chance.  There's way too much fat on both these movies, and they have probably too many characters for their own good.  Accusations, I might add, that could be made against the Wachowskis' and Tom Tykwer's CLOUD ATLAS, and have been made already by other critics.  I forgive a lot when filmmakers are trying to make a thematic point, but even I have to struggle during the Zion rave sequence.  For one thing, many of those are freed from the Matrix, and I can't help but think a good half of those people were in their former lives trapped behind a computer monitor, inert and rhythmless, before being freed, judging by their dancing.  To intercut that with a love scene between Neo and Trinity, well... yeah, that was pretty disastrous.

Yes, they have issues.  I'm perfectly willing to accept that.  I think the Kid is pretty much a waste of a character, and his one bright shining moment isn't nearly enough to justify that annoyance.  For a group of people trying to lead humanity out of bondage, the Council is pretty much worthless.  Lock, as the war general, actually makes quite a bit of sense in the context of what's going on, and he's undercut at almost every turn, by the Council, by Morpheus, and by Neo.  I understand the need to introduce new characters to a science fiction saga like this, of course, but most if not all of them are mere distractions from the Neo/Morpheus/Trinity/Smith story, which is what made the first movie so compelling.

So if we're going to take a fine-toothed comb to these movies, we're going to be doing an awful lot of hair-pulling.  THE MATRIX gave us so many ideas in its running time that we were all dying to see more of this universe, and the Wachowskis complied, but they did so in such a manner as to disappoint the massive fanbase of the first movie.  Except... I think the fanbase had pre-conceived notions about what the sequels would (or should) hold, and failed to realize an essential point.

The MATRIX Trilogy is an anti-war trilogy.

It might not have started that way, but something important happened between the first movie and RELOADED.  September 11th, and the ramping up to the war in Iraq.  The portrayal of Muslims as "the other."  The rampant xenophobia and the isolationism that set in.  We can rattle off political outlooks all day and never get any closer to understanding each other or our viewpoints, and do it with a complete lack of empathy or willingness to at least step in each other's shoes for a minute, and I think the Wachowskis knew exactly what they were doing when they started shooting these movies back to back.  Even in THE ANIMATRIX, with "The Second Renaissance," these new ideas about the world of the Matrix are introduced, and that this is more than simple man versus machine, that there are metaphors being used here that make this world a bit more complicated than even the first film showed us.  Perhaps the Wachowskis didn't stick the landing in the way fans would have wanted, but I have no doubts that the message they conveyed was absolutely what they intended.  

And I think it still rankles people.  I think that many people wanted Neo to defeat the machines, to free everyone, and all of humanity would rise from their underground realm into a world of sunshine and rainbows.  To quote Samuel Jackson, "I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth."  In the world that THE MATRIX RELOADED opened in, we were wounded, hurting, and wanting to strike out at those who hurt us, never making the leap in trying to understand why these horrible things happened to us.  Just simply, why?  Not to place blame, or to find fuel for our revenge, but just to understand.  Too many people mistake the need to understand as some sort of an olive branch to the enemy.  And so comes THE MATRIX RELOADED, which sets the stakes - the machine world is a bit deeper and more complex than we were led to believe.  Even the Oracle, a being who humanity trusted implicitly, turned out to be another program - in fact, one of the very programs that helped build the Matrix itself.  It is a kind of betrayal, and the idea that there were forces in the Machine World that wanted to see humanity freed as much as humanity did suggested that perhaps things aren't so black and white as they seemed in the first movie.

And yet, I think that the Wachowskis do something brilliant here - they feed us more when it comes to the battles, giving us what we want, trying to sate our bloodlust, but they do it in a subversive way that I think does a fly-by over much of the audience at the time.  These battles, while visually amazing, don't amount to anything.  I'm quite certain that was intended, too.

Ever notice that the many fights in the MATRIX sequels really never had any winners or losers?  We get our first taste when Neo faces off against some new agents.  "Upgrades."  And they fight, with that terrific choreography that these movies are known for, but it's merely to buy time for the other humans to escape.  Even when Neo briefly fights Seraph, it is merely a test - there is no resolution.  This becomes a pattern, not only in the Matrix but in the real world as well.  The action scenes are wonderfully directed, with terrific pacing and choreography, and none of them change a thing.  

Every combat becomes a stalemate and any victory only lies in either surviving it or escaping it.  When Neo faces off against the Smiths in RELOADED, it may have seemed cool at the time, but as a whole it was pointless (except for progressing the plot a bit).  Neo couldn't win, and Smith couldn't consume Neo.  It was an impasse.  What was Smith?  Was Smith supposed to represent our own self-destructive tendencies, our need to keep fighting.  Neo fought Smith because that's what he does.  But he, at this point in the movie, doesn't question why.  As the Oracle tells us, "We can never see past a choice that we don't understand."

Even the preparations for war by the humans were nothing more than delaying the inevitable, as Lock would remind Morpheus and the Council.  And when Neo discovers the truth from the Architect - that they are as trapped as they ever were, stuck in a loop of constant conflict and war which they will never escape, Neo chooses to save Trinity over continuing the war, even though it meant that humanity would not survive.  Humanity has always known war, from the very beginning when we figured out that rocks can not only make great tools but can bash the other guy's head in quite effectively.  We depend on war to exist.  Neo tries another way.

At this point, at the end of RELOADED, I think much of the audience was caught offguard - not at the cliffhanger ending, but the true themes and meanings of the movie.  Sure, the fight scenes were cool, but what did they mean?  And the answer is an uncomfortable one.  Is conflict our natural state?  What does it mean not to fight?  Can we exist as human beings in a place where there is no conflict, and how are we defined by that?

Once we meet Rama-Kandra at the train station, Neo is sturck off guard like we are - these programs feel love, for themselves and their child Sati.  How can this be?  And it becomes apparent that these programs are just as trapped as the humans are - in constructs created simply to hold them to their purpose.  I think the casting of these actors was no accident - especially in regards to their race.  Perhaps audiences weren't prepared to deal with or understand what this scene meant in the larger scheme of things, but I think it's perhaps the most important scene of the movie.  They cannot be your hated enemy if, for a moment, you begin to empathize and understand them.  And in that moment, Neo begins to see the larger perspective, beyond his own, and I think the Wachowskis were hoping we would as well.

It beame apparent after that scene, that this was not a movie about winners and losers - no, what the Wachowskis were trying to do was to posit a tale in which war actually ended, with perhaps a chance of a deeper understanding between enemies - that there just might be another way.  For the machines, the endless war becomes a trap - for the programs inside who will never know anything but the world that they are also trapped in, and their lack of understanding for anything outside their realm meant they would never know.  Trapped by their own rules.  As for humanity, they would forever be struggling in war, never allowed to grow outside of it, never allowed to do anything else but prepare for death.  It was a horrifying world to exist in, and no one would ever gain any ground.  And death for them all was surely coming - Smith was the hunger of war, never placated, always feeding, and it would consume them all, machine and human alike.

Any of this sound familiar?  Perhaps it's heavy-handed.  Perhaps it wasn't told in a more efficient manner, but I think THE MATRIX Trilogy was absolutely a parable about the futility of war.  And in 2003, that wasn't exactly the message that we wanted to hear.  Looking at the first film, that may have not been where the Wachowskis were intending to go with this story.  In fact, I think it likely wasn't.  The first MATRIX is a wonderful salad of ideas, thrown about almost as an afterthought, and it was a rich movie because of it.  The Wachowskis had no idea that 9/11 would happen, or the ensuing conflicts afterwards, but once these events happened, I think they shaped the films that came later in a way that is impossible to deny.  And judging from the reaction, I think that people either weren't ready for that message or didn't want to accept it.

When THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS ends, the war is over, and seemingly the status quo is the same, but with one important difference - humanity, and the machines, are free.  What they do with that freedom, is a choice left up to them.

Does that excuse the sloppiness of the sequels?  Not at all.  But I think it does paint some directorial decisions in a new light.  The ideas of faith, love, hope, and the need for people to find common ground, even when it seems an insurmountable gulf - those are ideas too important to be brushed aside because the delivery method may not be completely up to snuff.  I think the Wachowskis wear their hearts on their sleeve, making movies that they feel might actually better our place in this world.  These are noble goals, noble aspirations for any artist, and be it the need for true acceptance, or the love of a great family, or the need to find our connections with each other, the Wachowskis are telling moral stories with conviction and passion.  With these films, BOUND, SPEED RACER, and CLOUD ATLAS, the Wachowskis have assured us all that true art can be messy, earnest, and absolutely essential.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST


    by Gus

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Well thought out.

    by John

    I suppose we can always agree to disagree about some things but I like your thought process here.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST


    by vini77

    They just sucked.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    I'm not sure i'm gonna read all that.

    by chien_sale

    Maybe somebody. When i'm old.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Nice. Well done. Saw cloud Atlas today....

    by MainMan2001

    I like it more and more after the fact. It's a hard movie to digest. I hope it makes millions and millions of dollars just so we don't have to watch crap anyway. please do so.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Good stuff

    by Fat and Curious

    I buy it. Well done.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:44 p.m. CST

    You can't polish a turd

    by iharlequin

    Unless it's Turd Ferguson. And the Matrix prequels are no Turd Ferguson. In short, this article is a waste of internet.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Revolutions is my favorite of the two Matrix sequels

    by lv_426

    Reloaded is good too, but I liked the darker pulse beating furiously towards a note of finality that Revolutions had thrumming underneath. Plus, Neo's battle with Agent Smith in the rain at night was one of the best action set pieces in the whole damn trilogy. Revolutions also has one of my favorite moments in the whole trilogy... when Neo and Trinity take the Logos up over the layer of storm clouds and soak up a few rays of sunshine before diving back down into the lighting and thunder.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST


    by Luke

    Absolutely agreed...especially about the sequels having a huge amount of fat. But I always thought that if you trimmed both the sequels down into one, epic film, you'd have another classic. I think a lot of whether you liked the sequels or not depends on two things; 1, if you liked the dock-defending scenes (I did, very much) and if you liked the super-Smith storyline (I did.) Revolutions is by far the better film than Reloaded, because it does away with, in the most part, the ENDLESS pontificating about choice, purpose, etc etc, dialogue that feels out of place and tacked on. I think there's a huge amount to love about the sequels, and some of the visuals are, to my eyes, iconic. I just WISH they'd only made on movie. I'd love to know if that was ever an option.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Ah, no...

    by Theodore Sidle

    The sequels sucked because half of the W Brothers were focusing on getting tied up, fzcked, and turned into a girl. If he/she could've gotten that done before they started on Matrix 2, it probably would've been fine.

  • People shit on the battle of Zion in Revolutions too harshly. If you really think about it, besides maybe Starship Troopers, Zion's last stand is the closest we've ever gotten to a proper Aliens: Earth War type scenario on film. I mean, the mechs that the Zion troops use are basically militarized power loaders facing off against swarms of insectile biomechanoidal enemies. I always pictured giant swarms of xenomorphs behaving and moving in similar swarm-like ways if you got several thousand of them all in an open space during a battle.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST


    by Keblar

    Lazy Action films shrouded by pretension. The Wac's blew their wad on Matrix.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Why are the Matrix sequels so bad then?

    by WalrusSAS

    Well, I don't want to blame it all on 9/11, but it certainly didn't help.

  • Though I still think the Matrix sequels were wholly unnecessary and inferior films that diminished the impact of the original.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    You statt off by asking if it's a perfect movie

    by Director91

    Is there any perfect movie?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Why why why?

    by RawheadRex

    Why does this shitty article exist?? Um, your points about the sequels, um, no. The sequels were overly rushed productions with shoddy scripts. For sure, they had moments where cool visual things happend, but overall they were scattershot crap. No deep meaning, no secret hidden plot points that can be read past the mess that appeared on screen. The sequels production problems were covered on many sites years ago. Most of your points really gloss over too many of the terrible choices these movies made. Points like Morpheus being reduced to a nagging co- pilot in the third film whose sole contribution to the final series was "Go left! Watch out! Don't go that way! Robots! They also broke the cardinal rule that says you don't kill a character twice. Trinity dying in what basically was nothing more than a car crash invalidates most of your points at deeper meanings or avant guarde decision making. In the end it was just rushed and sloppy film making, end of story. I'm guessing from reading your article you thought Prometheus was a deep and intelligent movie too....

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    There's no excuse for BORING

    by thefreshestthing

  • The first one is pretty damn amazing. The second one just felt like the Wachowskis wanted to make an action movie with digital puppets, and the third felt like they were trying to be "deep", but just wound up with a garbled, incoherent mess. Also the conclusion to the series was just shit. Shit shit shit shit shit.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    The movies also brought in Vampires, and ghost.

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    Which I thought was a neat idea.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:05 p.m. CST


    by Johnno

    It's a nice article we got here. But all of this is pretty much obvious to anyone who watched Animatrix and the 2nd Renaissance. Sure the time the film releases was at a point where we had to go in there and blow up them terrorists or soething or mass destructive weapons or whatevs because the Saddam was a bad guy or to protect the petrodollar hegemony or whatever it was that America thought was a good excuse. Are the films perfect? Well, heck no! But by God I love 'em. Enter the matrix was shitty though. niceambitious idea, but the Wachowskis got carried away by not including IMPORTANT SHIT from the videogame and the anime in their films that most audience members would've needed to know to not feel like a lot of stuff was just random! Anyway tell the brothers that if they'd like to follow up on that Matrix 4 & 5 rumor Harry bullshitted us about awhile ago, I'm ready for more! If Hollywood is gonna churn out sequels because they're so risk averse, they might as well make something I wanna see! More Matrix I say! Doesn't need to be a continuation, just set it back in the past and tell me a cool story with more wi-fi woo shoo kung fu bullet time shit! In 3-D and 48 frames per second!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    This is pretty much how I feel about the Prequels

    by StarWarsRedux

    btw, I wonder why there haven't been any comments about Camille Paglia proclaiming Lucas in her new book. Too obscure?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Yeah no the first one is the only classic in the bunch.

    by dahveed1972

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Aint It Not Relevant News

    by Logan_1973

    Or news at all. Seriously, what the bleeding christ was the point of this? The MATRIX thing is a decade past. Where's the relevance? Half of you paid AICN staff should be restricted to blogspot.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    There's a difference between intelligence and pretension

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    The first Matrix straddled this line quite well. For instance, the initial scenes with Morpheus and the later scene with the Oracle both present smart philosophical ideas, but quite succinctly and with a purpose, and easily digestible even for a mass audience. The sequels, on the other hand, devolve into a morass of pseudo-profundity, philosophical babble and talking heads that completely kills any forward momentum of the two movies stone dead. In short, it's okay to have ambitious ideas, or to make unconventional narrative choices, but they have to be executed well within the storyline. The Matrix sequels utterly failed at this. So there's no point in defending them on those grounds, as in this article. Anybody with a brain already knew what the Wachowskis were attempting, and the ideas they were trying to express. The movies simply do not work, not in 2003 and not today, either. All the intent in the world does not matter if the movie doesn't work as an engaging, well plotted or entertaining movie at a surface level.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Who gets rankled over the Rave/Celebration of Life?

    by D.Vader

    I mean, really? Out of all the issues the movies have, *thats* a big problem? The actor playing The Kid was no good. Too bad.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Definitely not reading this on my phone.

    by D.Vader

    Must save for later.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Best fight

    by GeorgieBoy

    Is the one that DOES have a winner, and it's Neo. The one in the Merovingian's mansion. Neo kicks those guys asses single-highhandedly and KILLS them too.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Agreed! And I have zero problems with the Matrix Trilogy

    by Zardoz

    I never got the huge backlash the films got on their initial release. I like the first one best, of course, and the sequels are definitely bloated, but I like them, and the end resolution just fine. In fact, I just bought the 10 disc HD-DVD set for $12 the other week! The films looked great, but I was surprised how dated the CGI/SFX looked just a few years later. The machines are getting smarter!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:17 p.m. CST

    No defense for X-Men: The Last Stand

    by D.Vader

    Ratner made some shit decisions there. A few cool moments but overall Bleh.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST


    by Rick Webb

    My thoughts exactly

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by Luke

    Best fight is the one that does have a winner, and it's Neo.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by Luke

    Meant to add, 'Nice.' :-)

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Good article

    by quicksilver80

    I liked The Matrix trilogy, sue me.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    What's the relevance, Logan?

    by D.Vader

    Nordling loves and has been deeply affected by Cloud Atlas and is disappointed more geeks aren't seeing it and didn't want tickets to his screening. So he is hoping that by defending the Matrix sequels he can change some hearts and minds and get people interested in seeing the Wachowski's new movie. Tis my guess.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    For the record, internet...

    by vanchimera

    "Yeah, no," or "No. Just no," aren't really great arguments.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    The Wachowskis are getting a lot of ass kissing on this site.

    by Randy

    Like holy shit, first all the praise for Cloud Atlas and now defending the Matrix sequels? Give it a rest.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    I'll tell you exactly where they went wrong.

    by kingoflight

    The movie should have been about what it was in the first movie. Smith wanting to get out, neo being the one and winning the war. Yes smith got out into a flesh suit but that was cast aside and the threat was in the matrix.... boring Neo from the end of the first movie was immortal, he died and came back why would the last fight be inside the matrix which he (should) control. I think they got it wrong not badly wrong but just enough. Remember when in the first movie whenever they were in the matrix it was almost panic inducing, they got killed off inside and outside of the matrix and it was a big risk to go in (hence the training programs) There was really none of that up till the ending where trinity dies and neo gets blinded. Also clearly the smell got better in the matrix.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Morpheus's fight scene on the big-rig in Reloaded is legend...

    by ThulsaBoom

    ...don't care much for Revolutions, but Reloaded is solid, if not worthy of the original.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    I always like morpheus's fight with smith in the matrix

    by kingoflight

    It was devastating fist fight.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Here my problem with your defense...

    by ViktorBC

    Your defense was indeed well thought out. Did you defend George Lucas too? Jar Jar, Pod Racing and Midiclorians? How about Han shooting 1st? Was that OK with you? I completely understood what you are saying the 1st time I saw the squeals. Believe it or not, I understood all the parables you just mentioned and elaborated on. I knew what the Wachowskis had in mind and compared it to the war, the terrorist attacks, etc. However, I didn't care. I didn't go see the Matrix for the Wachowski brother's political views, I went to see anime-level super powered Kung-Fu ass kicking! Instead I get "a message" reemed down my throat. That's what everyone wanted and you know what? Fuck the Wachowskis! We paid to see what we want. McDonald's had to suffer to see Super Size Me accuse them of "forcing" the public to eat and get fat, but its OK for the Wachowski brothers to shove their agenda down our gullet? No thanks. I don't buy it. It was not cool what they did. They are supposed to wow up with innovation, not preach to us from a soap box.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST


    by RawheadRex

    Why is AICN resorting to an increasing number of opinion pieces and less exclusives, less inside scoops, less production stories? The site has really deteriorated over the past 4 years and this article reads like throwing another log onto the smoldering remains. It kills me to see rot like this becoming the standard when compared to what AICN stood for in its glory days. I would expect a poorly thought through piece like this on some crap fan blog, not AICN. If you want to publish articles diving deep into hidden meanings, hire Rob Ager to at least ensure its thoroughly covered. Whether you agree or not with the man, at least he puts in the research. Have some standards, dammit!

  • The sequels were 267 minutes of wank-fest. Bad dialogue. Bad casting choices. Bad story direction. And bad, very bad, decision-making. The Wachowskis freaked out when The Matrix became a cultural phenomenon, and starting writing in pseudo-psychological, navel-gazing circles - interrupted by escalating, over-the-top action sequences. "Oh no, now we've gotta try to be even MORE deep and philosophical and bad-ass with the sequels, cos everyone's gonna expect MORE - MORE of everything! MORE MORE MORE!" What a load of dung. They kept trying to top themselves, and it just became ridiculous. They've claimed The Matrix was always planned as a trilogy, so they had it all planned out from the beginning. That is a load of horse-hockey. There are so many awful moments in both films, not the least of which is when the brothers just vomit pure CGI onscreen and the films become nothing more than cartoons. Why not just watch The Animatrix again - which was certainly much more entertaining and true to the first movie than the sequels. Ugh. I could go on all day... but I won't, because the original Swamp Thing is on right now, and I must re-visit Adrienne Barbeau's magnificent rack.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:51 p.m. CST


    by VinnyMac666

    YES! I'm not alone!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST


    by VinnyMac666

    I don't NEED anyone else to like them or see them how I do, but it is nice.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST


    by Media Messiah

    There is no defense for the Matrix sequels!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Or Speed Racer!!!!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    War can be won.

    by Smerdyakov

    You just have to wipe out the enemy.

  • My eyes! Not the bees! Not the bees!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    They weren't able to rip off the Invisibles in the sequels

    by Crooooooow

    The only decent movie to their credit is a complete and total ripoff.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    Filming started over 5 months before 9/11

    by Nem_Wan

    AICN should know that because they had spy shots in March 2001. I remember cast interviews talking about 9/11 as being yet another tragedy that shook them up during filming, closely following the August plane crash death of Aaliyah who was playing the character Zee and earlier the drunk-driving death of Keanu Reeves' girlfriend Jennifer Syme which occurred days after filming began, and which itself had occurred months after the couple had a stillborn daughter. There was certainly a heavy mood on the set but 9/11 was just icing on the cake, certainly not a thematic influence on the script unless they started winging it halfway through production.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    sorry, but they just don't work

    by Detached

    they have their moments, but that's as far it goes. overall, neither film succeeds. and some of that dialogue is so astoundingly pretentious, you have to have the thought level of a fourth grader to really believe it "means" anything. if they were anti-war movies, they did a very poor job of it. it seems virtually everyone who saw them missed that message (or any other message). the first film deals with the nature of reality. it's focused, coherent, has a destination, and keeps you on board as it logically gets there. the other two are just - "huh? what was *that*?"

  • and all along I thought they were just lame unintelligent studio moneycows. Thankyou for enlightening us without just using mere speculation to guess what the directors were thinking. Thankyou so much.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Good perspective on a flawed trilogy

    by Dan Anthony

    It's actually pretty well structured, both as a trilogy, and individual films, and you bring up some really good points Nordling (though mistaking Indian characters for Middle Eastern is a bit of an undercut). I hadn't thought about the movies as an anti-war allegory before. I preferred Reloaded to Revolutions, but I can see why some prefer the latter. Where they got it wrong was in the bloated exposition. I think the same concepts could have been conveyed much better without Colonel Sanders spending 20 minutes in monologue. Given Keanu's character was essentially a cipher, the exposition sections of the movie were what dragged the pace. I have to admit though, it helped that as a nerd, I understood some of the implications of what the architect was saying from an engineering perspective.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:12 p.m. CST

    I like the Ken Wilbur commentary

    by entrainer

    I got Nothing.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Well said, Nordling

    by Ruben

    No sarcasm intended. These films weren't as amazing as the first by any means, but they had great ideas, and some great visuals to boot. I think sometimes people expect movies to be too simple, spelled out for them.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Excess without purpose. That's what ruined the movies.

    by Baked

    No one is angry at the themes. Most of us aren't even that angry with the ending. And no doubt more people love "Second Renaissance" than either of the Matrix Sequels. And that's why this post rings a bit flat. The problem, as I explained to someone after watching Revolutions, is that the Wachowskis had 2 and 1/4 movies worth of content and 1 and 1/2 movies worth of ideas and they pretended that they had a trilogy. In fact, I'm believing more and more that that old black lady with the FBI report really did have her movie ideas stolen by Warner Brothers and transformed into the Matrix...poorly. The Merovingian takes up 40+ minutes of film time and serves NO PURPOSE. There is no reason for him to even be in the movie. The "Train Man" should never have existed. And the subplot with Sati and her parents, while interesting, could have been resolved in a much faster resolution. Kid was fascinating in the Animatrix but went absolutely nowhere. They might as well have just used the kid who told Neo "there is no spoon" to be Kid and cut out useless backstory. It's like they never even heard of an editor. The studios just let them staple every unfinished idea together into a rickety framework of a plot and said, "Don't ruin the surprise!"

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Effects of 9/11...


    So in addition to killing 3,000 Americans and launching us into a war that led to hundreds of thousands of civilians dead and another 3,000+ American soldiers killed, it pussified the Washowski's (literally?) and made them ruin the sequels, when they probably would have been bad ass and straight forward? Thanks Bin Laden...

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Interviews killed AICN I think

    by ViktorBC

    Hey AICN is still my 1st film news place to go, but, it has declined quite a bit when the contributors became corrupted by the dark side. The problem as I see it is this: real nerds interviewing real celebrities. How can you be unbiased when you are interviewing the same people you spend most of the day worshiping? What do you think the odds are that Nordling had interviewed the Wachowskis? Or at least met them? Harry and most everyone else here has been indoctrinated into the Hollywood mentality and culture. Once they were fanboys and now they themselves are celebrities. Some of the AICN crew get invited to Hollywood parties, award nights and have at least one or two famous friends. One moment they're rightfully condemning Batman and Robin and then wrongfully defending Godzilla. I have also noticed a tendency to talk politics on AICN in past the 10 years to have increased exponentially. Hey guys, not a lot of people like George W, but I can assure, none care worth a shit that you hated him. I don't care what you are pro or against, I just want reviews, spoiler warnings and exclusive reports. OK?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Love looking back

    by JordanHunt

    Aside from agreeing with you about really liking the sequels despite themselves, I have to say I love looking back on big moment movies like these. Yes, it's common knowledge that The Matrix, Pulp Fiction, or Fight Club rule, but it makes my movie loving heart swoon looking back at movies that really had a huge impact during the time when I was really discovering movies and genres and actors and directors at a rapid pace. I'd really love to see you do more articles like this. Of course, I've immediately aged myself by only naming movies from the 90's, but that was the time I was growing up, so sue me. Keep 'em coming, man.

  • The rest was crap. The whole play on the Book of Revolutions from the Bible at the end was really crap. Smith as the Anti-Christ battling the Christ in Neo was too ham handed (naming it Revolution as a play on Revelations was too). All of the Christ (Neo) followers were raptured to Zion and the all that was left in the world were Anti-Christ (Smith) followers. And an epic battle for the souls of the people left on Earth (the Matrix). It was too corny for my take. Reloaded was far better, but was boring crap in between action scenes for the most part. If they trimmed 45 minutes to an hour, it could have been a great movie.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST

    The Matrix sequels made zero sense and sucked thy balls

    by Lostboytejas

    Fuck Cloud Atlas, no go!

  • Not to mention that Neo lost half the powers he gained at the end of the first movie. After what they showed he could do at the end of the first movie, why would he ever have to fight again? They showed him as all powerful...

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Didn't the Oracle say something akin to:

    by RandySavage

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    You can't explain being in love, you just know it.

    by RandySavage

    Same goes for movies. If they suck or if they're great, "you just know it." And the Matrix sequels sucked shit... we all know it.

  • There is absolutely no reasonable excuse for murdering 3000 people at World Trade Center.

  • That is the biggest most illogical problem with the whole concept. Just like Cypher, who was angry at Morpheus for having "freed" him. People would rather pretend to eat a juicy steak in the Matrix, than eat the amino slop that Morpheus fed to them. Once "freed", people would rebel for the right to get jacked back in. Once they saw the state of the world, and not being able to go outside into sunlight, and fresh air. So in essence, it had to be a stalemate at the end because if billions of people were suddenly unplugged, those people wouldn't be happy at all, they'd be furious, and also helpless. The Wachowskis knew this, but had to tell the most interesting ending they could. It just wasn't the ending most envisioned after watcing the first installment.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST


    by Rawhead Rexx

    Looks like the sequels were too rushed. Probably another year of pre-pro along with actually having a script might have helped. I do love the part with Colonel Sanders though. Whenever I sit naked in my pitch dark basement watching my glittering pristine laserdisc copy of Star Wars with my huge greesy shit-tub of KFC on my lap, I always think back to the Colonel. Of course then I remember how much I hate remembering things that suck and then I get angry and start the cycle all over again.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST

    You know, people ripping this article just proves the author's point

    by christpunchers2007

    that some people can't accept the concept of a movie being just "grey", somewhere between good or bad. Even though the Matrix sequels aren't very good to watch because of how bloated they were, it doesn't mean that they lack deeper layers.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    You ever notice how when people make good movies...

    by theBigWasted

    there aren't a lot of articles like this written to defend them? The Matrix sequels were dull and overwrought even for my then teenaged brain. There's zero chance that they've improved over the years. They are bad enough to have kept me from Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas, two movies that look about as thematically deep as a papercut. The whole "everything is connected" thing has been done a dozen times in the last decade and is not interesting. Sorry, we need real storytellers with real ideas, taken from literary heroes when story meant more than flashy effects and caked on makeup. Story is king. Out.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Fuck these movies, Defend Speed Racer

    by Pipple

    There's a cult classic. And for the record, although they're a over stuffed bloated mess, I really enjoyed the matrix sequels when I saw them back in the day. Revolutions anyway... Reloaded was a let down because it didn't fucking end. It's so lame how they just copied back to the future's style there... Shitty rave seen too. That movie's just a videogame disguised as a film. sorry.

  • about the sequels. (Trinity jumping out of the skyscraper window being chashed by an Agent was pretty cool.) I love "The Matrix" but Reloaded and Revolutions were an incoherent mess.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST


    by Detached

    there's a difference between having deeper layers in a movie and being a good movie. a good storyteller will handle themes properly. people will be able to pick up on what's going on. the matrix sequels just don't work, either as movies or as "messages."

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST


    by Detached

    Story is king.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:51 p.m. CST

    @bigwasted II

    by Detached

    Story is king.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Don't use 9/11 to defend these fucking movies.

    by John Brennick

    That really pisses me off.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Script first, movie second

    by Rawhead Rexx

    I dunno about grey or good or bad, I am just a simple man who enjoys the small things in life, like watching movies that have a written script before they start shooting. I enjoy digital explosions and punchy time as much as the next millennial delinquent youth. I guess I just ask too much from the world

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    The Matrix sequels jumped the squid.

    by Banned-ki-moon

    Reloaded is ok. I like the part where he flew up in the sky and then down, taking the cloud with him or something. Revolutions was worse.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:01 a.m. CST

    What do Fight Club and The Matrix have in common?

    by entrainer

    I 'm just a gigolo, everywhere I go, People know the part I'm playin'. Pay for every dance, sellin' each romance, Ooohh what they're sayin'? And there will come a day and youth will pass away, What will they say about me? When the end comes I know they'll say just a gigolo as life goes on without me 'Coz I... Ain't got nobody and there's Nobody cares for me

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:12 a.m. CST

    The first MATRIX blew my mind...

    by Mikey Wood was just a great bit of film. Beautiful, stylistic, interesting, smart, exciting. Nearly perfect on its own. Didn't NEED a sequel. BUT it was successful so sequels were inevitable. RELOADED was like watching someone's douchebag roommate play a video game for two plus hours. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT cut scene FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT cut scene FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT If I wanted that, well, I'd go watch someone's douchebag roommate play video games for two plus hours. REVOLUTIONS was more of THAT, not more of the first, and that was disappointing. By the time the big ol' battle happened, I was already so...BORED. It's non-stop action, really, and I was BORED. How does that HAPPEN? Then I heard rumors of how the premise for the original Matrix was pretty much stolen from a woman named Sophia Stewart and her story THE THIRD EYE. The case was apparently dismissed but it almost makes perfect sense. The first one is so good because they snagged the ideas from someone ELSE.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:12 a.m. CST

    My fan edit RELOADED REMIXED

    by RaySquirrel

    I absolutely LOVE The Matrix Reloaded! It is my favorite film in the trilogy. Why? Because it is two movies at once, an idea movie, and an action movie. Some movies like Minority Report, which was released a year prior to Reloaded, combine action and ideas in a nice convenient digestible package, and I absolutely love Minority Report. But in Reloaded the action and the ideas exist purely for their own sake. Reloaded focuses on many of the exact same ideas as Minority Report, such as how can choice exist in a purely deterministic universe, but it presents them to the audience differently. For years I've wanted people to see Reloaded and Revolutions the way I saw them. After listening to the work of intellectuals such as Lawrence Lessig and Kirby Ferguson, I found a way that I could. I've taken footage from Reloaded, scenes shot exclusively for the video game tie-in Enter the Matrix, and plot specific portion of the Animatrix short films. My intention was to create a film that was a tribute to the original films while creating something completely new. I have finished the fan edit of The Matrix Reloaded which I call [RELOADED_REMIXED] and am currently working on [REVOLUTIONS_REMIXED]. The biggest change that I made is I gave the film a non-chronological structure. I took the six minute long conversation Neo has with the Oracle (I isolated the track its six minutes) and used that as an indirect omniscient narration. Think of the way Aaron Sorkin uses the two depositions in The Social Network and you get the idea. At the point where Neo says "Then something happens. Something bad." It cuts to exactly what that "something bad" is. You can view several clips that I've posted on YouTube at the following link: I was able to meet the Wachowskis' at the Cloud Atlas premiere in NYC this past month. I was able to give Andy a copy of my fan edit on DVD. Included with that I inserted a fan letter telling them how I appreciated their work. Also I suggested that they release my fan edit. The same way artists release Remix albums, why not release a Remixed movie? Me meeting Andy and Lana:

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:13 a.m. CST

    good apology, but misses the mark

    by Enderpilot

    the original concept for the sequels dealt with both the concept of "what if our world wan't real" and the concept of changing our "fate." When they couldn't pull it together they went solely on the fate angle and left the what if our world isn't real angle behind. the result is a tragedy of weird beats and hanging threads. The end idea that we could change our fate and end the cycle of what? human sacrifice to maintain the status quo. Think about what happened at the end of the movie, Smith was going to overrun the matrix causing it to be destroyed, which, according to the old guy would have happened in any event. The old guy needed Neo's code to correct the matrix to make the 7th iteration, and then Neo gives his code to stop Smith. I think there was a better draft out there that captured the ambiguity that was in total recall , that made the audience think only later "Wait, did we win? was that a trick, was that real?" Instead we have to make sense of the ending we got.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    I agree Logan 1973

    by Fart Magnus

    And in OTHER news from 2002........ Holy shit guys - no wonder people are bagging on this site and it's in apparent free-fall financially!!! NOBODY comes here any more for *news* or *scoops* - that is what DH is for. There are times when ALL you can see on the main page is *Live in Hoboken? Wanna see the new film from Iranian director Cosmir Yakfucker?* or *Here's a list of DVDs we get three cents for if you buy them - come read our lame, not thought out reviews!*. God DAMN this site is irrelevant. And if I want videos of big cartoony ginger muppets talking to me in baby talk I can youtube Seseame Street clips. GET A FUCKING CLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:18 a.m. CST

    They weren't good because

    by antmanx68

    the Wachowskis came up with their own ideas in stead of stealing them from Grant Morrison again. This is why they were able to introduce such a compelling world but not sustain it. I really feel like they should stick to adaptations where they're not forced to be so "creative". The sequels were just fucked... especially the second one. We get all the psychology/thematic stuff mentioned above but it amounted to nothing. Very heavy, no payoff, just kind of random and not enjoyable. Those movies didn't go over my head much as flink my nut sack.

  • I agree, it was plain as day what they were shooting for if you saw this stuff. There should have been no surprise as to how it ended. Was it well execution? Eh, to each is own. I prefer the Animatrix over all the films, simple because it's so transparent in meaning.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:19 a.m. CST

    I did like the idea...

    by AndoSoundsLikeAMong

    That "the one" was basically a trap planted by the machines, a way for them to find the small % of people what for whatever reason still can't accept the reality presented by the Matrix and escape. Then, in the third film, in reference to the guy who explained this to Neo, the Oracle just says "Oh, he doesn't know what he's talking about." Fuck you. I don't care what else you can read into these, that is just shit. As is the handling of almost every character, Trinity's death, the resolution with Smith, everything. Shit, just the fact that the single "Upgrades" line totally overwrites the end of the first film. I remember the dissapointment I felt when "yes, it's the frst fight of the second film with his new powers!" and it plays out exactly like the fights did before.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    @rawheadrexx--well fucking said

    by cgih8r

    if audiences today thought like you we'd have better, smarter movies.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Not sure about all of that....

    by MagicJesus

    but I still regularly pleasure myself to Trinity.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Nordling, you high bro?

    by baldalienprobeinhighheels

    Yeah, you high

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Love The Matrix trilogy...

    by pax256

    I only wish they'd do more.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:27 a.m. CST

    A genuine good effort, Nordling, but ...

    by Tjarren

    ... the typical reader of this site won't accept it. The first movie was an awakening to find out the world was not what you thought. The second was the same, but made the scope of ignorance so much larger that it was off putting for many. The third was the final acceptance that the overcomplication distracts from the simple truth that billions in the world simply can't accept: that love is the only way to truly win. People wanted Neo to win in a way that he came to realize is not winning at all. But, as you stated, it's just not something they're ready for. But I disagree that 9/11 had a particular impact on this. Anti-war sentiment had plenty of fuel long before that horrible day.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Careful, raysquirrel...

    by Mikey Wood

    ...that might be asking for trouble. While I think fan edits are a fun and, sometimes, rather successful idea, it's also sort of like saying "Hi. Big fan of your work, but I think I can do better". That may not be the INTENTION (and, frankly, based on the RELOADED and REVOLUTIONS we got, you probably CAN do better) but it may come off that way.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:34 a.m. CST

    I have always seen the 'rave' ....

    by Zappatude

    ... as the remaining members of the human race embracing their physical/animalistic nature, a feature that both distinguished them from their enemy and rebelled against the mental prison most of them had been born to. I thought it played. I didn't understand the need for the two follow-up movies to be two movies. If you edited down (not necessarily eliminated altogether) some of the drudgery that was the overly long highway fight scene, the Kid, Link and his girlfriend...they would have been one coherent, very good/possibly great movie.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:42 a.m. CST


    by Keith

    They're rubbish.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Rama-Kanda is a Hindu Indian name, not Middle Easter or even Islamic

    by onezeroone

    A case of forcing evidence to suit your line of thought. They were halfway through shooting when 9/11 happened. They couldn't have changed script to include 9/11 impact. Besides, if they did, it flies in face of who "planned as trilogy" argument. It is not about war. It is about what it means to be human and goes on to explore how programs/machines can be "human" too. What machines are doing is no different from what humans have done, try to survive and not be annihilated.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST


    by Perceptor

    Perfect! I hear __NEGATIVE_ADJECTIVE__ __POLITICAL_CANDIDATE_YOU_HATE_MOST__ loves the Matrix sequels. He watches them while nude and __ODDLY_SPECIFIC_CRIME_AGAINST_HUMANITY__ ! Great way to defend __CANDIDATE'S_FIRST_NAME__ and his plot to fleece the American public, Nordling. Happy voting!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    This is one big meme and joke, right? Nordling?

    by CodeName

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:04 a.m. CST

    darth_t, it's not that I don't accept, it's just not real

    by Rawhead Rexx

    Been well covered for years now: the sequels were rushed and they didn't have a full script for the third one before production started. All these bigger themes people claim to see in the films might have some small tasty nuggets in there, but they made a lot of that shit up as they went along The Matrix sequels are like 3 day old hard Cinnabun rolls that have the face of Jesus appear on them. True believers claim something important is in there, but its probably just some afterspray man-sauce when the cook started having one of his morning seizures People keep making the same assumption that because the first one was so good that surely there must be something important or relevant in there if they just sprinkle enough fairy dust and click their heels together

  • Really, did that sequence feel cool at the time? I thought it was painfully bad then, and even worse now that its become even more dated. A definite case where they needed someone level headed to step in and say hey, this CGI looks like shit, we can't use this.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:17 a.m. CST

    watch the fanedit The Matrix Dezionized

    by Matt Szczerba

    it cuts out all "the fat" as in all the scenes in Zion in the 2 sequels and edits whats remaining into one long movie. i loved it. nonstop action pretty much. funny, but i think most people didn't get any of that meaning from those movies that the reviewer here did.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST

    How much did the Wachowski's pay AICN???

    by sydbarrettcrazydiamond

    Something like 5 reviews here that all make Cloud Atlas sound like the modern Citizen Kane while most critics are not impressed. Now this bit of non-NEWS at the same time the movie comes out. Seriously... come on... come on... Maybe Lana gave Harry the best head he ever got or something... this is just fishy to me man.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:30 a.m. CST

    When Neo faces off against the Smiths in RELOADED...

    by Keith's the most boring fight scene in any movie, ever. I didn't mind the siege of Zion in REVOLUTIONS, though. It had some nice moments.

  • Faint praise indeed.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:39 a.m. CST


    by Wheel99

    They were horrible.

  • I love love LOVE The Matrix trilogy.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Now y'all know why I left it, and leave it, at that.

    by justmyluck

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Fatty Morpheus

    by allouttabubblegum

    fighting Smith on the truck in Reloaded was the reason the sequels sucked ass. Mortheus was bloated. The Wachowskis egos were bloated. The films were bloated. Bloated.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Interesting read Nordling. The movies still suck mind you.

    by Gabba-UK

    They were one movie stretched into two and made them worst. It took all of my self control during Revolutions when Trinity is telling Neo she cant come with him and he asks why, for me to not scream at the screen, "Because she's clearly fucking got something sticking out of her chest and is about to die!!!!". Disappointing is too small a word for these films. As my friends say, there is only one Matrix film in this dojo.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:55 a.m. CST

    "The Matrix" is a brilliant film that didnt need sequels

    by Tristan

    "Matrix Reloaded" and "Matrix Revolutions" are just great looking films. Thats it. Forget story and ideas. All WB/Joel Silver saw was $$$. Throw in lots of action and special effects and TRY to come up with new "woah" moments, but they failed. Story is king...cough, right George? Face it, Wachowskis didnt plan The Matrix, as a trilogy. They paniced and were rushed by the studio to make SOMETHING. Give audiences, what the studio/producers THINK they want...but they too forget, as the first film really proved...great ideas AND story make a good film. The sequels were made, not because a story could be continued, but because there was no continuing story to tell and instead, greed is what made/killed the sequels.

  • about how everyone had expectations about how the sequels would go. I understand that, and I did have my own ideas going in to the second movie. Among other things, I would have found it very interesting to see how the people in the Matrix reacted to all of the bizarre things that they were witnessing- Neo flying, etc. As it was, there seemed to be no consequences at all to their actions. Kill a person in the matrix? Who cares. It's just a video game. Except- it's not. Those are real people. One of the critical mistakes that they made was treating the matrix like a video game. As a result, I didn't take any of it seriously, and I didn't think there were any consequences. But beyond all of that, I want to share a story with you. I saw the second movie in the theater, but I had to get up to use the bathroom about halfway through. As it turned out, I left right when Agent Smith managed to inhabit the body of the guy who was trying to get out of the matrix. I get back to my seat, and all of a sudden, some guy who I have never seen before is acting like a lunatic, with all of these scary foreshadowing scenes that suggest that he and Neo are going to have a fight. Except, I didn't know what the hell was going on. To me, that's the sign of a poorly constructed movie. Yes, I realize that it's my fault that I missed a critical moment in the movie, but we had NEVER seen the guy before that, and it is NEVER explained again or even alluded to. He just acts like a psychopath the rest of the movie. Again, the movies were stupid.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Reloaded is very entertaining

    by Mark

    Up to the Architect garbage this is actualy a very entertaining movie and easy to watch over and over. Revolutions was a mess. The sentinals attacking the city had it's moments but was rubbish. I think they should have gone down the Inception route and had 'the real world' actually another layer of the Matrix just like everyone thought it was going to be.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:10 a.m. CST

    I liked Reloaded, but Revolutions rendered it pointless

    by SifoDyasJr

    I'm also still trying to figure out if I loved Cloud Atlas or just merely liked it. It did feel like 3 hours. Tom Hanks made it worth the journey though.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Twisted Wisdom wins the Internet today.

    by Nichole

    Nice post.

  • I've re-posted Twisted Wisdoms dope comment. That is the biggest most illogical problem with the whole concept. Just like Cypher, who was angry at Morpheus for having "freed" him. People would rather pretend to eat a juicy steak in the Matrix, than eat the amino slop that Morpheus fed to them. Once "freed", people would rebel for the right to get jacked back in. Once they saw the state of the world, and not being able to go outside into sunlight, and fresh air. So in essence, it had to be a stalemate at the end because if billions of people were suddenly unplugged, those people wouldn't be happy at all, they'd be furious, and also helpless. The Wachowskis knew this, but had to tell the most interesting ending they could. It just wasn't the ending most envisioned after watcing the first installment. -By Twisted Wisdom Pimp.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:29 a.m. CST

    TL:DR but i made up my mind long ago. The matrix needed no sequels

    by rakesh patel

  • What I remember about the Matrix was how surprised I was. . . how full of fucking joy. I also remember that same feeling walking out of Magnolia, Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, American Pie, Office Space, South Park, American Beauty, and Being John Malkovich . . . all unique and surprising movies. Have we had a better year since?

  • Seriously, the first movie created so many avenues they could have strolled down, so many dark alleys to be explored, opened so many doors, and the sequels BARELY touch on any of it. The first movie WAS a revelation. The sequels were giant action movies with some of the philosophy and ideas of the first movie hung on them as set dressing. And you could see everything that ended up happening from jump. By the end of the third movie I was beyond disappointed, all the way to angry. No defense. <p> And this is coming from somebody who WILL defend Speed Racer.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:52 a.m. CST

    sequels that make you like the original film less are unforgivable

    by i_got_worms

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    I think Three Kings was 1999 too.

    by Righteous Brother

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Never saw the 3rd one

    by saint seiya

    after reloaded came out i didnt bother with the 3rd one. I purchased the fist matrix on blu ray for like 7 bucks from amazon and what a great great film.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:57 a.m. CST

    i_got_worms - Yes! Exactly!

    by Jaka

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:58 a.m. CST

    2000 was a pretty solid year as well

    by Jaka

    But I'll agree that there hasn't been a year as good as 99 or 2000 since.

  • But still not as good as 99 and 2000

  • Strange feeling. Hell, i didn't even end up reading the whole TB on the way to posting. Doesn't happen often like that.

  • Its comments on overconsumerism and dependance on petrol probably went over our heads too. oh and please don't start your review with: do i think (fill in mediocre movie) are perfect movies/the new citizen kane?? No, BUT..... I makes you sound like Harry (and that's a very bad thing, just read his cloud atlas 'review'if you dare)

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Speed Racer was just Matrix 4, hell is Cloud Atlas Matrix 5?

    by btc909

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Speed Racer was a live action Speed Racer cartoon...

    by Jaka

    ...on technicolor acid. Not sure what else people were expecting, really. Particularly anybody who watched Speed Racer cartoons growing up. Because it ain't all that different.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Interesting but flawed defense.

    by Reelheed

    Let's look at some of your core points- 1) The fights are an impasse... You with the example of the very first "upgrade" fight as an example. This fight is a clear win for Neo. In fact there are several battles that have decisive results. The stairwell fight. The highway fight. Trinity v Agent. Neo v Smith IRL fight. The race to Zion. And these are just the physical confrontations. 2) Neo chooses to save Trinity... Your reading of this is Neo chooses a path other than war. However I think it's very clearly stated that Neo is in fact resisting the path that keeps the status quo and in so doing initiating a final war that could lead to humanities end. 3) The Train Station scene... Some people are Muslims and they are just like us, is your reading of this scene. Except, if you start down that line of analysis, the film is saying fundamentally Muslims are not like us because they are machines and machines can be Evil (Agent Smith) whereas humans are not. As an argument in favour of the sequels it's pretty weak. The problems with these 2 films are so numerous and occur within every part of it's execution. Poor writing, badly crafted characters, artless cinematography, dire acting, clumsy CGI and the most depressingly hollow, Jesus analogy of an ending all built up to a pretty bitter unsatisfying experience.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:38 a.m. CST

    My FINAL WORD...

    by macheesmo3

    Good art, good paintings, good sculpture, good films......over the long haul, they do not need defending. It's really that simple. In the short term? of course! People may not engage the transition from what they are used to appreciating and what comes next. I get that. Most good art doesn't swing on the pole of yesteryear and yet bring in a new tiding. however, IF, one feels the need to defend a piece of art. literature, infinitum ten+ years after it's making then they are either pushing an agenda or wrong. it's really that simple. The Matrix sequels are bad movies because they failed to entertain. Not because us plebians"didn't get it" or because we were somehow stricken with "the dumzzzz" NO, these films were bad because they were masturbatory examples of what happens when you give marginal talent full control. You give Picasso carte blanche. Kubrick, Scorsese, Duchamp..... you don't give Brett Ratner this kind of treatment, nor Paul WS Anderson, nor the Wachowski's. Why? because they have produced mediocrity, this is why. Sure The Matrix was cool when I was 19, but I'm not 19 anymore. the themes,concepts and ideals of that movie strike me as juvenile now. (and not even in a nostalgic way) they strike me as ........prenatal... I had hoped they would evolve as they progressed, but they haven't, they dug themselves into a masturbatory hole of repetition and wanted us to pretend it was a new experience!! but it wasn't... I hate to quote the Incredibles, but I've outgrown them

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:46 a.m. CST

    jaka:"Not sure what else people were expecting,"

    by Windowlicker74

    maybe an exciting movie?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST


    by Koschei

    I've never understood why Americans spell it as 'Moslem', no one else in the English speaking world spells it that way. It's a proper noun, there's no reason at all to spell it like a spastic.

  • Yes, I'm kidding.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST


    by DJGPROD

    I have and always will be a Reloaded sympathizer. In terms of its action sequences, it leaves the original in the dust. That being said, I did always feel that the sequels got a little too wrapped up in their own mythology. You're essay has changed that sir. I can't wait to take another crack at these films from a new angle. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:04 a.m. CST

    A human-scale RELOADED to overpowering-REVOLUTIONS

    by Bloodhound

    THE MATRIX RELOADED at least has some battles fought on a one-to-one human scale, but THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS goes all out for over-powering and overwhelming eye candy, and, I think, loses out all the more because of it.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:05 a.m. CST

    i agree with the points made but they are pretty bad

    by alpha

    I think Nordling is right about the ideas behind the sequels but the execution was off and the script too padded. That said they are still two visual masterpieces. The big problem is that whilst the ideas are good they really didn't mesh well with the first film nor did they have the punch scriptwise.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:08 a.m. CST

    The Matrix Trilogy is a prime example of TTTO Syndrome

    by Bloodhound

    ...Two Thirds Tacked On. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:15 a.m. CST

    If a movie can't stand for itself...

    by Vladimir I. Lenin's a failure. If it needs additional explanation outside of the movie itself, it's a failure. If it needs additional comics and/or books to let the viewer understand the movie, it's a failure. Plain & simple.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:21 a.m. CST


    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:22 a.m. CST

    The Wachowskis have made ONE great movie

    by MustGoFaster

    Bound. Everything else has been either an amalgamation of old sci-fi tropes done in an admittedly cool and entertaining fashion (The Matrix) or a complete confusing clusterfuck of pretentious wank (Reloaded, Revolutions, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas). Reloaded and Revolutions are just unwatchable. You can try to pseudo-intellectualize them all you want, but nothing can detract from the fact they were BAD movies. If you lose the audience, you have failed - simple as that. And there were NO 9/11 and war on terror analogies - you're dreaming that up. The scripts were written before it happened, filming had begun. Saying that the Indian programs were meant to make us emphasize with Muslims, is quite honestly the dumbest thing I've read all month.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:25 a.m. CST

    The Matrix Reloaded was appalling.

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I'll never forget the opening night screening with all the fanboys pumped. Two hours later after the non-exciting cliffhanger everyone trudged silently out of the cinema. Just garbage.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Mr Anderson welcome back.

    by kwisatzhaderach

    We've missed you. <p> Thank god for Hugo Weaving.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:27 a.m. CST

    They were terrible ... Biggest disappointment in movie history ...


  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:32 a.m. CST

    I was way into these movies, always liked the sequels

    by Autodidact

    I recently rewatched the whole trilogy after several years away. Yes there is a bit of slop and uninvolving stuff in the sequels. But they are genius.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Neo is Pi!

    by Mel_Gibsons_Nazi_Dad

    That's all I remember

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:40 a.m. CST

    We see what we want to see in these films I guess

    by FlandersBum

    The vast majority of analysis on the sequels I've read claim the films are religious metaphors. Some can actually break down scene by scene, character by character and find their equivalents in the bible or other religious texts. This is actually the first that has tried to do a 'war on terror' analogy. Guess it depends on the viewer and what's important to them.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:48 a.m. CST


    by Keith

    You're right, that was a banner year. The one movie to which everyone was looking forward with excitement - The Phantom Menace - turned out to be an utter turd, but there were so many genuinely great movies in '99. Add The Iron Giant to the list above. The Insider was solid. Three Kings, Toy Story 2, Election, The Straight Story. I liked The Talented Mr Ripley as well, although a lot of people didn't. I think my favourites from that year were Magnolia, The Iron Giant and The Matrix. Excellent year.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:50 a.m. CST

    This article at the same time Cloud Atlas is the talk of the town?

    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    AICN Wachowski Wank Week is more obvious than I ever imagined.

  • the first ones both are simple, black/white, there's the hero, his girl, the villain, the wise mentor... everything's straight forward, good against evil, a battle won at the end, although the war still continues... that's simple and not too complex, and for many people that's in their comfort zone, because their thinking is also simple and not too complex... but then the sequels appear, and it turns out that the villain is actually the hero's father, the girl is the hero's sister, and nothing's quite that simple anymore... "The One" (= faith in some kind of savior figure) is just another control mechanism for those few who have escaped the Matrix. and clearly, a lot of people didn't get that and actively resisted the idea, because they love their savior figures, their religious leaders, their prophets, their politicians... apparently many drew the line of how much critical thinking is acceptable, somewhere between "wake up from the system and see the real world" and "don't follow some leader figure into an endless war against some others, who are just as human as you are". looking back, what THE MATRIX did was give people this hero, this chosen one, this savior, and pretty much everyone bit and thought "yes, Neo will save them all!" (including myself)... just to pull back the curtain in the sequels and show everyone what it means to put your faith in some savior figure: you're being controlled again, only in a way that is cleverly designed... and apparently many people weren't ready to take THAT particular red pill. the simple fact is that the Wachowskis are way ahead of the current zeitgeist, and it can take a while for everyone to catch up.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Matrix is a Classic, the Sequels were quite good.

    by tailhook

    You heard me. The main reason that people didn't really go for the sequels is that they deviated immensely from The Formula. The Matrix, for all that it is, is practically a meta-breakdown of the action and scifi genres. Guy finds out he's super special and the only one who can overcome the oppressors? Haven't seen that.. no sir. Its fairly straight forward, viceral, and well told. Even then, most people couldn't tell you the core concept of where bullet-time, jumping from building to building, and the jumping from train tracks to the platform comes from.. it just looks cool. Yes, most people are that stupid. The sequels on the other hand aren't as straightforward and commit the crime of dipping into philopsophy. You actually learn how the world of The Matrix works and actually winning isn't as straightforward as one would think. Its on those merits that people slag off on the films because it doesn't adhere to The Formula. Don't these dumbass directors know that Luke(Neo) is supposed to kill the emperor(whatever the head robot is), destroy the Death Star(robot city) and everyone lives happily ever after? What. The. Fuck. Personally, I like both sequels. Neither are the classic the first one is due to the formula and the sheer amount of time they had streamlining the first script and the visuals but both work and work well.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Matrix is a very misunderstood film...

    by niven

    People think of it and they think bullet time, special effects, great action, anarchy inducing philosophy. And that isn't the core of what the matrix is about, they are just superficial elements of what makes up the real core of the matrix, the escapist fantasy of a man escaping his insignificant life and becoming a hero in another world, it's just the most basic trope ever, and no matter how you dress it up, it's the wars, lord of the rings, spider-man it's all the same, it's used frequently because it works, in the matrix we like neo, we feel and enjoy his journey as the really did feel like a "star wars" for the computer age, for the action 90s era. The sequels are like those fans who think the matrix is a lot more original and a lot more action packed and deep than it really is, so they pile up on all the superficiality and forget to add that very important relatable core that held the first film together. They could have easily made Reloaded into the "empire" of the series, to make neo further his quest for more power to defeat the bad guys, they could have also delved deeper into the supporting cast and upped the stakes, instead it was just messy and fell apart due to the wachowskis own mis-interpretation of their work. I always like to think as Ghost in the shell/Akira as the way the matrix should have ended up (since they basically copied them both), GitS being the complete merging of the digital world and the real world, where humans are more machine than man, it feels like a world where machines have already won and the ease and passive way that humans utilize and incorporate robotics into their own biology is just as thought provoking and terrifying as the first matrix. Akira showed the more spiritual side of things in a post apolocalyptic world, the hive mentality of disillusioned people turning into any form of organized religion or govenment to get them through uncivilized life, it makes people crazy...sort of justifies the machines way of thinking. See? just great ideas for where the matrix sequels could have gone, but they failed to do anything engaging because some twats just went "duuhhh i can't wait for the action, the matrix was just dope duhhhhh" It's why so many people mistake bond for being a franchise solely about gadgets, action and hot women, because the producers appeased the masses while forgetting about the sophistication and tense situations that made the character, Thank god Skyfall got that right.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:14 a.m. CST


    by brightgeist

    did you read my comment before you wrote yours, or was this some a case of synchronicity? :)

  • I remember feeling depressed when it was no longer showing at the theatre next to my work downtown, which looked like something right out of THE MATRIX it was so dilapidated and persistently rain-soaked. Used to sit there on my dial-up connection checking just absolutely constantly. I loved how the comics would flesh out the world of the movie. This was still the dial-up era, when you could click to download a single page of a comic and go refill your drink before it fully downloaded.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Ergo! Vis-a-vis! Concordantly!

    by Koborover

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:22 a.m. CST

    @BG: Lol.. no I hadn't haha

    by tailhook

    Pretty funny. Can you name the core concept though? i.e. where it comes from?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:26 a.m. CST

    Just curious

    by LarkStew

    But for people saying the sequels went in the wrong direction, that the original opened up so many alternative avenues and possibilities for continuing the story... what would you have done instead?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:27 a.m. CST


    by brightgeist

    no, to be honest i was just now reading your comment again and wondering what exactly you meant by that "core concept". to me, these visual/action elements have always had various meanings, but please tell me what you mean :)

  • Not really interested in Cloud Atlas. But, dammit, the Wachowskis should helm the Justice League movie. They just have the chops and we all know it.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:30 a.m. CST

    It comes from here. Easier to just show you.

    by tailhook

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by brightgeist

    maybe the MATRIX sequels failed to entertain YOU, but that doesn't mean they failed to entertain. i rewatch the whole trilogy every few months, and all three movies still entertain me more than most other movies ever do. so, nice try painting it like it's an objective fact that they failed to entertain, but it really is just your personal opinion ;) also, if you claim that you did "get them", then i must wonder why your entire comment doesn't contain a single word about the meanings of the movies. if you "got them", please let us know your interpretations.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST


    by brightgeist

    yep, it's always easy to say this afterwards, but that was one of my main interpretations (you don't have to believe me) ;)

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    About time smebody has the balls to defend the Marix sequels.

    by albert comin

    Whle the sory isnot as slick as the first movie (they had more time finetuning the script for the first since it had been in development hell for nearly a decade), the core ideas and the polt itself are quite good in the sequels, and they do feel like a natural progression from the first. And if you do not undestand what the Architect said in his speech, then maybe you should had payed more attenton in classes or read more, instead of watching fucking michael bay movies or playing dumb first-person shooters. If you do not understand the architect, then the problem is not the movie but you, because you do ot have the baggage. Blame yourself for not being cultured enough, not on those who are.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST

    The biggest problem

    by Hamish

    I had was that it was that whole "false trilogy" thing writ large. The original movie stands alone, but the sequels play out like one long film split in two. There's no balance to it, with Reloaded suffering the most by dint of being so exposition heavy. I think the only way to watch them is as a double feature.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:42 a.m. CST


    by tailhook

    the whole first movie is more playing with the Superman mythos a lot more than the traditional SW comparison. All the way down to the use of phones to change from a state where he's superpowered(Matrix) to mortal(Real Life). But the whole script is littered with that type of thing from differeing movies. One of the weirder connections is i'm pretty sure when Mouse runs into where people are eating and goes like 'Matrix and Neo are fighting' and everybody scrambles for the door.. I *think* thats a The Quiet Man(its been a while since i've seen it) reference when someone comes in the bar and tells them they're fighting and everybody breaks for the door.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:48 a.m. CST


    by brightgeist

    i think what you're addressing is what tailhook mentioned: the sequels deviated immensely from The Formula. many people are so used to seeing The Formula, that it makes them uncomfortable to see something else. when i think back to the end of RELOADED and the few months until REVOLUTIONS came out, i must say that i loved it and it was one of the best times of geeky discussions with my friends, about what it all meant and how it would continue. but i love the fresh, the unexpected, and that's probably the exception, because most people are... well, in The Matrix and don't like to think outside the box.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:50 a.m. CST


    by brightgeist

    interesting! i tried to research all the references in THE MATRIX almost obsessively back then, but this one is new to me, thanks.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:59 a.m. CST


    by the barking dog

    I got completely stuck mentally when Nordling said that the U.S. became isolationist after 9/11. The opposite is true. If we had become isolationist, we would've withdrawn from the world, become isolated. Like a turtle. We would not have been involved in the affairs of the outside world, and would have focused all our attention on ourselves. A modern-day Monroe Doctrine, except our current world has powers outside of Europe. Instead, we declared war on a country that had nothing to do with the terrorist attack so we could depose its leader. The very thing that isolationism isn't.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:10 a.m. CST

    I've always felt that...

    by The_Guy_Who_Invented_Coca_Cola

    ...Reloaded is only marginally behind the first movie. And that Revolutions was colossally disappointing, but still not what I'd call a bad movie. <P> So much good stuff in the last half hour or so of Revolutions. I wish Reloaded had covered a little more narrative ground so that the last act of the final movie could've had more breathing room. The machines start the siege of Zion right as Neo breaks into the machine city. Would've been a much better cliffhanger.

  • so the sequels were thought of WELL BEFORE 9/11. Since VFX budgets etc have to be locked down I doubt this has much if anything to do with 9/11. Nice try though

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Yes, I believe the first day of shooting actually was 9/11.

    by The_Guy_Who_Invented_Coca_Cola

    Or 9/12, I guess in Australia.

  • Anyways, first off, I distinctly remember the Wachowskis and the cast saying that the entire trilogy was already written before the first Matrix was made. This, in addition to the fact that they started filming 5 months before 9/11, invalidates your argument about that. I also believe it because the script for the original Matrix was bloated. They had to cut a lot of stuff and clean it up because of budget limitations, and to be as audience-friendly as possible. Meanwhile, the said they shot the sequels "exactly as they had written them". Bad move. Unfortunately, this is what happens when success goes to a director's head-- they see the original movie as successful IN SPITE OF the editing and compromises, and not BECAUSE OF them. As we all pretty much acknowledge, a movie needs to be first and foremost entertaining. As I said in my previous comment, all people wanted was a continuation of the first movie. The biggest question at the end was "How are they going to save everyone in the matrix?", and the sequels never really followed through with this. The first movie showed us the most "ordinary" people we get to see in the matrix. It felt like a living city, and, housing people just like us viewers, I thought it was who we were supposed to relate to. The whole fun of the premise is being in on this unbelievably big secret, with few being brave enough to accept it. It is exhilarating and liberating, but it also comes with an equally big burden and disillusionment. Really, they did not need to deviate from this central theme for the sequels. The basic premise was already so uniquely interesting that no further complication was necessary. When artists get famous, there is the temptation to get preachy. Most people criticize Lucas's prequels for being too childish, but in fact, at their core, they are too serious. Likewise with the Matrix sequels. With the original movie, once the premise was established, the movie boiled down to this: "Save Morpheus, get out of matrix alive". It's a prime example that, no matter how deep the details and meanings of the movie are, the core of the plot needs to be simple, and driven by wanting to see the characters succeed. This is how the sequels fundamentally failed. Movies should always have a sense of FUN. And when directors get more interested in preaching to you than giving you a good time, that's when they betray the audience. The Wachowskis completely blew a fantastic opportunity. They completely abandoned the interesting/exciting aspects of the first, and instead chose to explore themes that NO ONE was interested in, let alone expecting. The tonality and look was COMPLETELY different, which no sequel should do. Also, the "anti-war" message, as you say, is completely incomparable to real life. In real life, people oppose the war because the US is shamelessly invading other countries. The Matrix, on the other hand, is a desperate fight for freedom/survival.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:34 a.m. CST


    by Jared Bond

    People who are saying that the first Matrix "didn't need sequels" are just saying that because the sequels ended up sucking so bad. If any movie practically screamed for a sequel, it was the first Matrix. It was basically one giant pump up, and the only thing on anyone's mind at the ending was desperately wanting to see the resolution.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    the Matrix= Jaws

    by bobbofatz

    Reloaded=Die Hard 2 Revolutions= Superman Returns If any of you get the math and meaning, ya got a shot at Mensa.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Speed Racer is a good movie.

    by Ebixby

    If I saw that when I was 7 years old, I would have shit my pants.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:07 a.m. CST

    The timing of this article is perfect for me

    by Rebel Scumb

    I hadn't watched any of the matrix movies for a good 5-7 years. had my fill and sold off my dvds I was craving to watch the first one again though so grabbed the blu ray on the cheap, and enjoyed it. was reconsidering getting the sequels, despite their flaws... but I think I'll just stick with number 1. Reloaded is probably the only time I've ever agreed with one of Harry's reviews, but having Neo doing more kung fu after the end of the first movie just makes zero sense. he should be able to do turn people to stone, or shrink them or whatever, he can rewrite the matrix! and the focus should have been on freeing people, which is 100% neglected. I dunno, I just think the original isn't really a movie that begs for a sequel, the ending ties up pretty neatly

  • ... although the effects dated FAST, and the movie is unwatchable now. I've made the mistake of watching Revolutions only once.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:12 a.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    I agree, probably one of the best years for movies ever and as much as Phantom Menace dissappointed it still made that year better for 2 reasons: we still got to enjoy the hype, even if there was no pay off and it was so obviously going to dominate the summer box office that studios took chances on unconventional summer movies like Eyes Wide Shut, 6th sense, the matrix, etc

  • If a film is entertaining, it does not need to be explained or defended. Anti-War themes, if they exist in the Matrix, are a waste of time in films centered on violence and conflict. Peace is not the product of understanding or greater intelligence; human history proves that. So if the Matrix trilogy was trying to make an anti-war statement it would make the films even less successful and less enjoyable. It would be a faulty premise to build a set of sequels around.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:25 a.m. CST

    They lost me with people living at the center of the earth. WTF???

    by Smerdyakov

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Sorry but this is unrealistic and nonsense

    by corplhicks

    The first matrix movie was great and stood on its own. The sequel went up their own asses with meaning and endless fighting that meant nothing. However the real crime was making needless complexity and massive confusion. How does Neo have powers in the real world. How? Is it really another level of the matrix? The matrix was dangerous and deadly to freed humans when they went into it. That was the idea. The real world was an unpleasant reality but at least you were free, but there is feat at every turn. The animatrix shorts were fun and mostly well done but not a bandaid over poor sequels. The humans in the last human city were cookie cutter characters and their leaders were emotionless fools. And the dancing party looked absurd. Come on. Matrix 1 wAs beyond amazing, but Basically the sequels blew it much the same as Blair witch 2

  • Seriously, rather than being the emotional powerhouse moment that it was so desperate to be, it felt like that scene lasted forever, and was delivered in the cheesiest, most staged way possible, so much so that people were actually relieved when this once beloved character finally died just because it meant an end to the scene finally. It was pretty indicative of the sequels really, which themselves delivered fine on the spectacle side of things, but truly botched the job when it came to character and compelling story.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    In defense of Speed Racer

    by knowthyself

    I agree. Write that article. Also I love the Matrix sequels. I love the symbolism, imagery, psychology, themes, and meanings. The Wachowski's go for broke and I respect them for that. The sequels do have major flaws but they dont ruin it for me. I also love speed racer. That film has zero bad scenes.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Reloaded nearly perfect; Frustrated with Revolutions

    by mooseaka

    I'll defend Reloaded till the cows come home. I thought it took all of the hard-core sci fi concepts and philosophical questions from The Matrix and elevated them to a new level. Meanwhile, the action set-pieces are clever, imaginative, and one of the last great combinations of conventional special effects layered with CGI. The Matrix was so universally loved because it was a story we've seen thousands of times before - The Hero's Journey. An ordinary person learns he has been blessed extraordinary powers, learns how to harness them, makes the moral decision to utilize them for the greater good, and then by the end credits has won a symbolic battle and leaves the viewers confident to know that he will go on to fight for what's right and make the world a better place. (See e.g. A New Hope, Jesus, every super hero origin movie ever made). Reloaded took the mythology of The Matrix and challenged it. Take the biggest question of all -if machines were powerful and smart enough to wipe humanity down to a small collection of rebels wearing burlap clothes and flying clunky old ships, how hard would it be for them to find their base and wipe them out? The answer: not hard at all - in fact, they did it every generation or so just for sport. It's a revelation that is so obvious in hindsight, yet so mind blowing, I put it on par with the end of The Sixth Sense. Then the next biggest question - what exactly is Neo? In the Matrix we are led to believe that is a subject of prophesy - a mystical savior. Reloaded reminds us this is SCIENCE fiction, not fantasy. Neo is not Jesus (per se), he is a "control" that the machines deliberately included into the Matrix to give false hope to the "freed" people. It is, once again, a perfect explanation. Machines recognized that if humans don't have "hope" they will not thrive and generate energy. Neo was no different than the decision to add rain, pigeons or body odor to the code of the Matrix. Brilliant. I could go on about the other incredible concepts introduced in Reloaded - such as the idea that machine programs with artificial intelligence having a desire to be free, just like humans - but 90% of you stopped reading by now. Revolutions was a let down. Neo is hardly in the movie, and is only in the actual Matrix for two scenes (the car ride after he is freed and the final fight). There is almost no Matrix time, and too much time is spent with minor characters. And as someone pointed out above - they made the mistake of killing Trinity a second time. People who say Reloaded is mindless are not paying attention. It's the opposite. Perhaps there is too much dialog - too many speeches. Fair, but I found the "speeches" to be mindblowing. And don't get me started on the highway scene. Watch the behind-the-scenes to show how they shot the scene where the agent jumps on the hood of the car, and if you still aren't impressed, go watch the Avengers again and enjoy some good old fashion CGI.

  • less fat, good rhythm...

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:49 a.m. CST

    by future help

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Vampires and Werewolves, Harry?

    by PurityControl

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST


    by Nerd Rage

    It's clear our world of illusion is set to benefit the highly logical super-intelligent upper class who both understand the illusion and serve to protect it. and that's the reason the sequels suck and end with a peace treaty compromise. The first Matrix had potential to set up truly revolutionary ideas in the sequels but let's face it. That's not why studios make movies.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST

    The best defense is a good offense.

    by adeceasedfan

    The Matrix sequels offended me real good.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8 a.m. CST


    by RaySquirrel

    I took the time in my letter and in person to tell them that it is an edit made out of love and respect for the original material. I draw the analogy that the way a remix artist takes their favorite music isolates portions, rearrange elements, and incorporates new material. That is basically what I am doing with my edit. It is exactly what the Wachowskis' are doing David Michelle's Cloud Atlas. They are taking their favorite portions of the novel, rearranging elements, and incorporating new material.

  • ..... but that doesnt change the fact that its one of the worst films ever made. A bad movie that can be read into is still a bad movie . Case in point : the matrix sequels- yeah, theres tons of messages, and themes you can extract from them, but as movies, they fucking fail. While the matrix was slick , lean smart and truly thrilling , the sequels were pretentious , boring and frustrating. The were blatant cash grabs, disguised as deep, expansions of the matrix universe ( which didnt need expanding). The sequels were so bad , that they add credibility to the claims that the first matrix was plagerised from an unproduced script called "the third eye" by writer sophia stewart ( who tried to sue the watchowskis over the matter). I mean come on, You notice how every fantasy/ sci-fi movie the watchowskis have made since the matrix has fucking sucked? Yeah, me too. ( I havent seen their latest film yet , but based on the tripple whammy of reloaded , revolutions and speed racer i'm not exactly holding my breath for it). Fuck the matrix sequels.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST

    They were The Wachowski Brothers

    by son_of_ebert

    And now are The Wachowskis'.. Trapped? Can't get out? There is a glaring omission in your otherwise well put piece, Nordling.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:22 a.m. CST

    If Independence Day was like the Matrix

    by Smerdyakov

    In ID2 you would find out the aliens were just part of a larger fleet that ruled the galaxy and in ID3 the defeated human would content themselves to being a colony world of their new masters.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    The Matrix only works.....

    by Smerdyakov

    If humanity is actually dead and a computer is playing games with itself as it struggles with the concept of freedom. Nothing else makes sense. Pretty damn bleak

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    I loved the whole series

    by Extr3m1st

    Yes 2 and 3 were not the masterpiece the first movie was although 2 was an excellent SCI FI movie. 3 was the worst of the 3 but still better than most 3rd movies of a series. I won't even bother reading everyone Else's replies above as this is a site full of movie haters so no point wasting my time.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:36 a.m. CST

    The Wach's pivot was not "brilliant." It was an artistic cop-out.

    by Buck_Futt

    I still roll my eyes when I think of Neo pleading for "peace." If the Wachs had a shred of artistic integrity, instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to pump their sophomoric politics, the machine would have replied, "Why, certainly you may have peace. Just lie back and don't mind that little jolt at the back of your skull. Thanks, copper-top!" The sequels are a huge mass of fail, because it was more important for the Wachs to indulge themselves than it was to finish the story they'd started to tell properly (and because they'd created a world too big to resolve in a couple of movies, which makes the "resolution" of the third movie even more of a joke).

  • had a problem with the entire trilogy. Rave scene? People partying like they might die. Take some ecstasy when you watch that scene and squirm around on a furry wall.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    yeah the sequels are lame misfires

    by Rupee88

    that's the bottom line. Sure every moment of them don't suck but overall they surely do

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:48 a.m. CST

    As Twisted Wisdom suggested Zion should've been divided

    by Nerd Rage

    There would've been people who wanted to return to the Matrix, thrill seekers who use THe Matrix as a dangerous playground, the devout who were so desperate to validate a miserable Zion they became a cult the follows Neo, then you have the Zion peace keepers who are so intent on protecting Zion they become like the damn KGB. Kind of like Animal Farm it shows that human nature won't allow a true egalitarian revolution stay in place because everyone has their own personal motives. Honestly there were so many interesting ways they could've went with the sequels which makes them so frustrating.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Futility of everything, more like.

    by Larry Sellers

    I enjoy 2 and 3 on their own terms. Each film in the series is different enough for me to compartmentalize each one. What bugged me most was the revelation at the end of Reloaded--that the One going to the Source just wound up being another system of control. So here we have the first film, which is basically about saying FUCK THE SYSTEM and freeing your mind from the machine and embracing reality, etc. And then Reloaded comes along and says NOPE. EVEN REALITY IS JUST ANOTHER METHOD OF CONTROL. I'm alright with bleak films. I have a generally bleak outlook on life. But I did not see that coming. And, at the very least, it made me want to see how they were going to rectify that twist in Revolutions. And they didn't. The series kind of went up its own ass and they decided that the Matrix is now an acceptable part of humanity's existence. Even if there was now a choice for blue pills to escape the Matrix, that system of control is now a perfectly viable option for living. Which, thematically, is fine I guess? It's a peaceable compromise. It ended a violent conflict that may have ended with the extinction of all humanity. But within the reality of the films, it ends with the red pills being alright with BILLIONS of people still being human batteries. And I know the story technically continued with MXO, but that ending still doesn't sit right with me.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST


    by Dr. Death

    Just my opinion, but I think you're trying to interpret way too much with the Matrix sequels. Really, they're just not very good movies. Good special effects, but just not very good and very forgettable.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST


    by Detached

    very good take on it, though i would add that not all good movies are necessarily "fun" (the godfather/godfather2 come to mind).

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    In Defense of CABIN BOY.

    by CatVutt

    It's more memorable and watchable than either of the Matrix sequels.

  • Fight Club, Being John Malcovich, Jaws, Raiders, I just watched AWIL last night again and loved it everytime,i love Robocop, I love woody Allen and coen bros and tree of life and Titanic and Avatar and Rings and all versions of King Kong and anything and everything with merits and good production values. I love evil dead and house of the devil and crazy fringe shit like helldriver and Kung fu movies and Grindhouse cinema and I love the Alamo drafthouse. I love Miazaki and I exist inside this littles Miazaki film in the rain sequence that sounds better than any rain sequence ever committed to a moving medium. I love Bergman and Polanski and I'll watch it if a friend wants to watch it. I love great and small movies. Love em. My tastes are from one extreme end of the spectrum to the other. Human centipede 2 I could argue it's good points and bad. There's insanely dark humor at work for instance. I even like reign over me with Adam sandler which is a hard watch unless you've recently experienced a tradegy. When I'm about to die someday I might even watch The Grey again. Oh and I love Tron and The Thing and Citizen Kane(which always makes me watch kong) and twilight zone and the best of Pixar and.. Well it's hard to drum up the best to impress but my point is this.. I never had a problem with the matrix trilogy. Not one I'm pretty sure. So what happened to my brain ya think? Do you think watching too many movies short circuited it so I can't decern a good movie from a bad one?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Am I walking through life with ultra googles?

    by UltraTron

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    You're about 9 years late with this.........

    by Jonathan

    I was hoping that you would suggest sequels to the trilogy to make up for the horse shit we had to endure...thanks for wasting 5 mins of my time this morning Mr. Nordding

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Not a trilogy about war...

    by stever1

    It was about religious mythologies and the apocalypse. It combined many different philosophies/beliefs in an attempt to merge many common "end of the world" scenarios with forward-looking technological advances. It reflected Heaven and Hell as simple"evolutionary" steps from our current "reality", and forced you to wonder whether the "virtual" in "virtual reality" actually applies. In my opinion, it was an aggressive attempt to tell a story that started with the introduction of super powers into the human experience, that ended with what happens when we become gods. Very "Alan Moore"-ish, reminded me a little of the Miracleman comic series.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Than the real world

    by MariusXe

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    The way I see it, you come out the winner if you like them. Whatever the reason or lack of reasons why one person might love a movie, and another might not, the one who likes it ultimately wins because they got to enjoy that movie. My stance on the first Matrix has always been that I neither love it as much as those who worship it, nor hate it as much as those who loath it. It's a solid movie, and despite enormous holes of logic, its very enjoyable start to finish I think the sequels are burdened with problems, but they also have a lot to love, they're a mixed bag which I can at least appreciate what the Ws were going for, even if they didn't always succeed, but for me those movies ultimately sink under the problems. If they don't for you, then I envy you that, the more movies each of us can enjoy, all the better.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Mooseaka nailed it.

    by Mostholy

    Reloaded, the first 35-minutes of raving and exposition aside, is a smart and mostly solid sequel that has some of the best sequences in the trilogy, like the highway chase. And the Architect was a great 11th-hour reshuffling of the cards. But Revolutions then disappeared up its own ass. A bit like [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER] Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, I can appreciate what they were going for with the nobody-wins-a-war emphasis, but the execution lacked. After the random Jabba the Merovingian's palace opening, Neo and Trinitiy go off to Mordor while everyone else fights at Minas Zion? Seen it. And characters like the gruff general and the rookie were just embarrassing.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Excellent article!

    by MrJohnson

    *This* is what movie critics should be getting paid for. This fantastic piece of insight examines the structure and the subtext of the films, and a gives us all a new lens to watch the story through. Forget whether you hate the sequels, forget whether you agree with the thesis of this article - we can all learn something from the perspective and the analysis which went into this. Great job!

  • That's what I felt like I was watching. A fight from Dragon Ball Z. Trinity's death scene was hilarious, she just KEPT TALKING, AND TALKING. Impaled, bleeding out, and KEPT TALKING for like 10 minutes it seemed like. Ugh. Worst, and most disappointing sequels ever. Revolutions being the worst.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Intent doesn't matter

    by richievanderlow

    If you can't effectively convey that intent. Sorry but if it takes 10 years to figure out the filmmakers intent, then that doesn't make it high art or somehow acceptable they made shit movies, which they did.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    The only movie I'd actually pay to see in 3D

    by KongMonkey

    Provided WB can manage a decent "conversion" of the first film.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Next time put a Spoiler up ya gays

    by bobbofatz

    Nah. My theory is that the Matrix was so good, we all were let down by some pretty friggin technically sound sequels. I laugh my ass off when homoerectii say the sequsses sucked. Those last two are so much better than anything that has been done in that arena in years. I just think the haters are transphobic thansbashers!!!!!

  • just one movie a year- that movie needs to be a second coming for them or they are disappointed. These people are called fuckwits. Hollywood produces very few second coming level experiences. I always feel bad for the fuckwits. I don't envy thier lot. They have a hard road ahead.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10 a.m. CST

    You would think the fucking auto correct would catch their

    by UltraTron

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Does anyone do any research before making assertions anymore?

    by SK229

    Seriously, I read this article thinking, 'Yeah, that whole 9/11 thing seems plausible', not even THINKING that the author wouldn't have made sure it was even possible. If I had written this, I'd be embarrassed. There's a certain irony involved when such an assertion is made while typing an article like this FOR THE FUCKING INTERNET, wherein such information that could could confirm or deny your theory is literally a millisecond away. But it kind of goes along with the uneducated and pretentious sounding ramblings and assertions of Lana in the Beaks interview. Brilliant visual artist, sure, but Picasso and that shit about art before the Renaissance? Wtf?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    You way overthought these two films....

    by Marc

    The Matrix sequels are not deep, heavy, meaningful or interesting....They are, in fact, shitty, boring and redundant. Don't mistake your own misgivings about a film for a assumption that you "didnt get it" The movies are awful. They took one good idea and butchered it into a bloated CGI fest of worthlessness. 'The Matrix' would be considered a classic the likes of 'Blade Runner', 'Alien' and '2001' if they had only stopped with the one film. Instead we get underground raves and fight sequences featuring one blocked punch after another. Nothing of value ever came out of the Wachowski brothers (or sisters) since 1999.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    The title...

    by mastermold

    When I read that title on the home page, I though "Oh, this should be good." And it was.

  • People do not learn right and wrong from movies. Kids who watch Bambi grow up to be hunters, Michael Moore reduced Bush voters by 0%, etc. etc. etc. Art is exploration, thought provocation, entertainment-- not instruction. In other words, if this article really mirrors the Wachowskis' motivation, they're sort of morons. The Matrix, which I didn't love, is an action movie which could almost be used as a defense of mass murder-- but it's more fun and interesting. A Clockwork Orange is interesting. Fern Gully is not. Action movies have conflict, the reason to watch conflict is that you can be invested in the outcome. Sapping that from the conflict does not equal poignancy-- it equals bad movie. I guess they took a risk, which is good, but one should know that an action movie without good guys and bad guys is something without a reason to exist. If they lost steam in their basically pro-terrorist anarchist flick after 9/11, the Wachowskis should've just moved on to something else.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    I maintain the second one was good

    by BackwardGalaxy

    I can't defend the third, but I very much enjoyed the second Matrix film.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    a few additional thoughts...

    by Rebel Scumb

    I think part of the problem is that they focused a lot of energy on recreating what worked in the first film but just bigger, like the martial arts and whatnot But what really worked in the first film was how fresh and new it felt, and the movie transformed and unraveled in ways the audience wasn't expecting to simply do more of that was counter productive, the movies should have continued to expand in terms of ideas, become more surreal, more visually experimental, paint in new pallets and not just further explored the 2 established worlds of the first film I actually think the architect scene is the saving grace of the sequels, its the one really daring intellectually challenging moment, also they should have explored the whole matrix within a matrix within a matrix options And while I hate agreeing with Harry, I count myself among those who when the option for werewolves and vampires was thrown in, was highly dissappointed that wasn't explored The Animatrix segments particularlly the haunted house one make far better use of the concept and daring exploration of the reality of our world using the matrix as a new context for the paranormal than anything in the actual sequels themselves I mean what was one of the most memorably moments in film1? The black cat/deja vu moment. I still hear people referencing that on a regular basis, and calling deja vu 'a glitch in the matrix' regular people at my office who don't know dick all about geek culture. I'm not saying Inception is a perfect movie either, I think of that and the first matrix as about on par with each other. But imagine if over the course of reloaded and revolutions they had started running as many distinct levels of reality as the final 30 minutes of Inception did. But with the wachowski's visual flare and style, different color schemes, different concepts of reality, alternate and contradictory philosophical and religous allegories all layered on top of one another, all leading to an ambigious surreal climax that leaves the audience able to discuss and debate for years to come. Maybe thats expecting too much, and I respect the movies for what they are, cool action movies, but I think it was within the Ws to go further. There are so many hints of good ideas that aren't explored at all. Seraph possibly being an exiled angel, all the potential backstories for Merovingian, etc. I just don't think: MORE sunglasses! MORE kung fu! MORE black trenchcoats! was the way to go. Or at least shouldn't have been all there was too it.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Loving someone has finally said this...

    by Andrew Coleman

    The movies get dumped on a lot and are better then most can understand. Reloaded has the best action scenes in a big time block buster by a long shot. Revolution didn't do it for me as a whole but the story worked. Glad someone is defending these flicks even though it's like a decade late.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    I completely agree that people shit on the sequels too much, as they do with a lot of sequels like X3, Spidey3, and others. They aren't perfect but people need to get away from the hyperbolic extremes that all movies are either 'total shit', or 'so amazing it made my brain cum' My issue with the action in reloaded is not the execution itself, just that every fight is a stalemate and thus doesn't advance the story at all Attack of the clones has the same issue. You can actually cut out every action scene in the movie and the plot remains entirely undisrupted.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Thumbs up to rebelscum. Nailed it.

    by Buck_Futt

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST


    by bobbofatz

    Reloaded=Temple of Doom Revolutions=Search for Spock

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    They might make one good 3 hour movie.

    by Gary Makin

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    thanks auburn!

    by Rebel Scumb

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    I actually really liked the videogame I thought the story and action actually felt more like the first movie than the sequel movies did But I did hate that the game was sort of essential to fully understanding reloaded, I don't like these cross-media tie ins things keep attempting


  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    As someone who loves Sci-Fi and Kung-Fu movies..

    by UGG

    ..I thought they were all pretty shite tbh, carry on.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    One of the games was pretty good. The other was awful.

    by UGG

    Can't remember which was which though.

  • The Sequels undid just about everything that made the first movie outstanding. They so thoroughly made abandoned what was great about the first movie that they made it appear, hey, maybe they did rip it off. In fact, the more output from the Wachowskis you see, the more you think that they are awful filmmakers and that The Matrix was the one exception where they got lucky. Bound was OK, but take away the hot lesbian action, it really was kind of boring. Maybe this Cloud Atlas is going to be great, but I doubt it. The only reason I watched Revolutions was because I wanted to see if it was worth watching Reloaded. Where I thought they were going with it after seeing the end of Reloaded is that they were going to show that they were really in a Matrix inside The Matrix and that none of them had really been woken up out of it, they just thought they were. That's how Neo seemed to have powers outside The Matrix. Now THAT would have blown my mind. Oh well, turned out it was all that 5 hours of exposition to just turn into a mindless action movie at the end. It made no sense that he had power in the real world. I know the details I remember might be kind of fuzzy cause I've only read these once in the theatre, but I remember that was one of the reasons I detested the sequels so much. If Neo had all the powers they showed he had at the end of The Matrix, why would he ever have to fight anyone again? Plus, how did he have powers outside the matrix? These movies truly pissed me off, and that never happens. I can't even watch the original Matrix anymore because of them. It really made everything that happened in the first movie seem irrelevant and made me dislike the filmmakers.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I'm calling "Bullshit"!

    by vettebro

    As some others have stated, the sequels got derailed from what made the 1st one great. Your article is just as meaningless and pretentious as the sequels. The end.

  • they should have let squaresoft handle the entire project. And fucksake, what about all the crappy plot interaction you had to play earthworm jim to witness? Bag o'shite.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Hey jet_jaguar... need an old fashioned STFU?

    by MurderMostFowl

    You know those really awkward pauses that happen in some films where someone says something so stupid that the other characters don't even know how to respond? yeah, that's what just did for your post. I'm no AICN apologist, but you seriously are trying to say that this column is bad because another column wrote about it last year? Well, no shit. The movies are 10 years old. You can mock AICN all you want about missing important scoops, but don't be a dumbass. Nordling's analysis of the Matrix is intriguing and worth reading. That's the stuff I come to AICN for.

  • They're just not very good. (Hey, that rhymes). Ditto to The Pequels, X3 etc.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    what started to ruin it for me

    by MurderMostFowl

    The Wachowskis lost depth and understanding of their own universe. Maybe it was just trying ot get the other movies out quick, or whatever but they made several universe missteps ( or maybe not ) that took me out of the film... The big one was Neo saving Trinity by manipulating her heart. This is completely against the entire premise. What good would fixing her heart in the Matrix do? To me, what would have been far cooler would be for Neo to have taken himself out of the matrix and saved her in real life. Not only would this have shown that he has truly mastered the matrix, but that his powers are far more impressive than anyone realized ( and make the scene where he stops the sentinel have a little more context ) and are not bound entirely by the matrix ( or that they are actually still int he matrix, which of course gets hinted at a lot , but is never confirmed ) BUt maybe that's jsut me being picky... I do think you can make a really good 2nd film if you cut up the 2nd and 3rd and just make it a good long single film and cut out all the pointless crap like the frenchman

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Battle for the harbour

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    theres a lot to like/dislike about Reloaded and Revolutions but for me the battle for the harbour is both one of the greatest scenes and dumbest in the three films,on the one hand its exciting and visually stunning but tactically its one of the dumbest battles ever filmed because considering the enemy the whole defence should have been based on multiple EMPs... but then that would have been too easy

  • While I don't think The Matrix sequels are as bad as people say, they aren't that great either and fail to live up to the potential of the first film.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Good movies don't need defense

    by BEHEM Pascal

    The sequels to Matrix were bad movies first and foremost, not matter what supposed intelligence was invested in them. If the filmmakers were unable to present their "message" (whose interpretation varies from critic to critic, by the way) then they did a lousy job. They seemed to have presented it in a better way in Cloud Atlas. Good for them. But perhaps the message was emotional this time, not "intellectual". As movies the sequels to The Matrix betrayed the first movie. Where in the first mere humans were afraid of the agents, in the sequel they face them toe to toe, as Morpheus does in the highway sequence. No tension anymore from them. Neo doesn't fulfill the promise made at the end of the first movie. He turns Superman at the end of The Matrix only to do kung fu again in the sequel. All this is lousy, it made for boring movies. And no one cares for boring movies.

  • In the AniMatrix there were three great stories that the Wachowski's did (The Final Flight of the Osiris, The Second Renaissance 1 & 2) that they should have used in the sequel. Final Flight of the Osiris should have been the opening pre-title sequence of Matrix Reloaded while The Second Renaissance had soo much stuff that I wanted to see in the movies. That was one of my biggest problems with the sequels is that they didn't really explore this universe. The second films should have opened with Neo coming to Zion for the first time and learning about what caused the conflict between machines and humanity. All that fantastic stuff in Second Renaissance 1&2 would have made that movie soo much better. And why the fuck did they saddle the sequels with that annoying little CUNT "The Kid" character from "Kid's Story" I'll never understand. He was just this annoying fucking yappy dog that was just fucking grating. Might as well called him POOCHY for fuck sakes. The sequels feel closer to George Lucas' prequels. The writing was off and everyone seemed to be sleepwalking through the story. Morpheus was fat and Niobe was an irritating little bitch because Jada Pinket is a mean looking little cunt who can't act for shit. The worst thing was just how lifeless everything was. That's not even including the stupid shit the Wachowski's did with the characters. The Twins were practically invincible which kinda kills the whole idea of dying in the Matrix being a threat when those two can't be killed never mind that after the freeway chase they're never seen again. Just everything about those sequels feels like a videogame. Characters and obstacles are put in the way for the heroes to overcome and it doesn't feel organic like in the first movie where Neo see's through the Matrix. Speaking of which, it fucking bothers me that the Wachowski's basically said "oh, Neo's THE ONE and can do anything and not be hurt except for when we have to create tension, so now Neo can get cut as he did when he took that sword to the hand during the fight with the Merovingian's men." That was just some fucking bullshit but it doesn't compare to the ending which was a slap in the face and soo fucking dumb that it defies belief. So, the war between machines and humanity is over and the machines will let anyone out of the matrix who doesn't want to be there. Too bad the movie ends and doesn't show HOW THE FUCK are they going to break this news to the BILLIONS of humans trapped inside the matrix and how they would react. Can anyone not see just how fucking retarded this is? Lets say one third of the population kills themselves, another third decides to stay inside the Matrix, well, what the fuck are you going to do with the 2 BILLION+ people who want to be let out? The Earth is a charred cinder. Maybe the machines and humanity works together and cleans up the planet but that shit ain't going to happen overnight. I really wish that the Wachowski's had added a few more layers to this story. Like say the whole Matrix, the and the "real world" was fake and a part of some sort of bigger program designed to help humans evolve or some such shit. I'd even go for a "IT WAS ALL A VIDEOGAME" revelation which would be clichéd but still better than the ending we got. In the end it's just a generic "rage against the machine/the man" revolutionary storyline with no surprises at the end. A simple war of attrition while the first Matix was all about mind over matter which was jettisoned for one fucking tedious fight/chase scene after another.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    so don't think I'm just defending the matrix trilogy. :D

    by UltraTron

  • I wish they made another Matrix trilogy either a sequel trilogy or a prequel trilogy.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by UltraTron

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Is this TB working?

    by D.Vader

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST

    No matter how you put it...

    by lord_munshun

    the matrix sequels were boring and a waste of time.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST

    you go lord_munshun. Let that twink flag fly. We won't judge.

    by UltraTron

  • But then there's Monica Belluci's tits. I mean as a straight women I'm mesmerized by her scenes. I imagine guys must be gobsmacked. Oh wait you guys are gay twinks I forgot. Explains it.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    All I have to say is: The Rave.

    by Charlie_Allnut

    The robots are coming to destroy the city, and instead of strengthening defenses, preparing weapons, hiding the children, and showing real emotion...they had a dance party/orgy. Ummm yeah. That's where they lost me. Not to mention the movies were dull and boring, and a lot of the sfx were crap.

  • If that's what the majority of audiences got from the sequels, then it's no wonder they weren't received as well as hoped. Nothing in the trilogy is that simple or black and white.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Anything Wachowski's do is overrated, get a clue!

    by Punisherthunder

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    by Brian

    As others have pointed out, one of the best things about The Matrix was its simple, straightforward structure. Another great thing was that it was the perfect fantasy for our age...that the banality of our office jobs and lives as consumers were not the definition of our reality. Sorry for the long-winded and quite possibly redundant ramble here, by the way. Whatever the problems that went into the scripts, I think Nordling may have a point regarding 9/11 insofar as the fact that, in quick succession, things we'd assumed about our own reality fell away. Seeing the towers go down on live TV was mindblowing (and remains amazingly surreal), as was the fact that overnight we'd entered a new era, followed shortly thereafter by the run-up to a war that seemed surreal in its potential misguidedness. What were the Wachowskis to do when the reality they so effectively played against changed right under their feet? As wonderfully as they immersed us in the idea of our-world-as-a-just-a-construct in the first film, there's a sort of uncouth aspect of toying with the idea that everything we'd seen from 2001 to 2003--specifically the deaths of so many--was just part of false reality. The best aspect of what the first film gave us was simply less viable. (See also problems for Ghostbusters 3, which one would suspect must confront a Manhattan with many thousands of new ghosts...though it won't, at least not in this manner.) So how real was the "reality" of The Matrix supposed to be after all? Perhaps due to budget limitations, the first film is convincing in its depiction of reality, with its real sets, actual city streets that seem populated by real people, the Sydney skyline, etc. Neo simply seemed to be one more real person who happened to work for a software manufacturer in, say, Sydney, if the aboriginal man in the subway station seemed unique. This is despite Anderson's driver's license, which lists his address as "Capitol City" (and which, if I recall, lists its expiration date as 9/11/01, strangely enough). After the phenomenon of The Matrix, as people have stated here ad nauseum, this led to bloat. And to an inability to honestly confront the shifting reality in the world we inhabit. And a decision by one of the filmmakers to undergo gender reassignment. They must've been going out of their minds. (And I say this with all sympathy for the reality people struggle with in their own heads). After the bloat of the sequels, the Wachowskis seemed to attempt a course correction with V for Vendetta (as producers)--using streamlined source material with a way to address some of the things in the political backdrop. But V, while it had a handful of compelling scenes, felt like a failure when compared to the first Matrix. And how "subversive" was their political commentary allowed to really be in a mainstream, big-budget film? As with The Matrix--which maybe suggests everything we're seeing unfold in geopolitics is a "fake construct" to some extent, while V suggests a corrupt government must be subverted or overthrown--the filmmakers seemed to be on tenuous ground. At least in this era we now find ourselves in. Then came the bloat of Speed Racer. Now Cloud Atlas. If only they could've kept the ideas clean and clear in the sequels, given us "real" characters to care about (new people we could relate to in the Matrix) and found ways to still keep their action sequences! While no writer, I think I would've opened Reloaded with an amnesiac Neo stuck in the Matrix after an attack in the real world that killed Tank while Neo was plugged in and crippled the ship's equipment. Neo could've found his family--or at least the one he remembers--in a neighborhood. Who would these people have been? Did the series make any attempt to assign any value to people like this? I would've created parallel action with Neo interacting with the people he'd known and loved in the past as he begins to remember who he is. A B-story could've had Morpheus and Trinity in a race to find Neo in the Matrix, perhaps disobeying orders from Zion to do so. The car chase could've stayed; maybe an appearance by the Oracle sends Neo to a drug dealer who can give him the means to "unplug" people he loves. It would've set up a reunion toward the end of the film between Neo and Morpheus and Trinity, with Neo recovering his identity and deciding to bring his family, or someone from his old life, back with him. His family's house blows up as he escapes with, say, his sister into some unknown realm as the movie ends. What happens next? Something different from Revolutions but again, with maybe some of the same ideas? But what do I know? The first film gave us such fertile concepts that it's downright tragic to see how things went.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Problem is...

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Once you turn your main character essentially into a demi-god at the end of the first movie, its hard to convincingly put the hero and his friends into peril afterwards. The viewer is thinking, "Isn't he supposed to be all powerful now?"

  • fully succeeding in training his apprentice to a point where student surpasses teacher, it leaves Morpheus with not a lot to do characterwise for the remainder of the series, which is why usually in those standard 'heros journey' stories the mentor always dies before the hero reaches their final goal I'm fine with Morpheus surviving film 1, but I think between this and the Neo messiah thing they painted themselves into a corner where doing a followup to The Matrix was never going to be easy since the two main character's arcs are already effectively closed. So we get stuck with poor Morpheus' arc in the sequels being 'Morpheus' exgirlfriend is now dating the guy who always dissagrees with morpheus no matter what'

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Some thoughts

    by Keith

    'If you do not understand the architect, then the problem is not the movie but you, because you do ot have the baggage.' But this seems close to the Prometheus defense: 'If you didn't like it, it's because you didn't understand it. It had all this complex stuff going on that makes it great if you really think about it.' The Matrix sequels are not as bad as Prometheus. But I don't really buy this defense. I mean, I think it can apply in some movies, which are genuinely highbrow or complex and you really need to keep up to enjoy the story *at all*. But is this really what's going on in Reloaded? Is it a highbrow intellectual tour de force with some chase scenes bolted on? Does it not matter if every action scene is dull, and that you don't feel invested in what's going on? As Rebel Scumb noted above: 'My issue with the action in reloaded is not the execution itself, just that every fight is a stalemate and thus doesn't advance the story at all' This is one of the reasons why the 'hundred Smiths' battle is so fucking boring: as a viewer, I can't see what depends on the outcome of the fight. What happens if Neo wins? Can Neo win? What is he fighting for? It seems like he should just fuck off out of there. And indeed, after around five minutes, he does. It feels like a spectacle with nothing at stake. Incidentally, I had a similar problem with the swordfight between immortal Barbossa and (now) immortal Jack Sparrow in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Neither protagonist can kill each other, so...why are they fighting? And why should we care? What is the fight doing for the plot? What rests upon it? That parry and riposte might have been executed nicely, but how will it affect what happens afterwards in the story? A conceptually interesting plot is not enough. Those concepts still need to drive the action in ways that give clear motivations and conflicts. If they don't, it's just a philosophical treatise, not a movie.

  • so the audience could experience a sense of discovery through him, instead of 'oh we're back here again, this is very mundane' which is not something you ever want to be selling to your audience about a supposedly fantastical new environment.

  • The basic plot, and particularly the anti-war message...I think audiences actually got that the first time around. At least, I did, and all of my friends did; its not the first story in which both sides realize the futility of war (pick any Miyazaki movie). I was annoyed that they introduced too many characters without knowing where to go with them: Lock, the Kid, the Council...these were actually good characters in principle but they felt under-utilized (they weren't worth the hype set up about them). In many ways the third film felt particularly rushed through production, what with coming out barely six months after the second. It wasn't the anti-war message that turned people off to them, it was the sloppy characterization; i.e. the Oracle actually needs to explain what the One is, or specifically how he has powers in the real world (something as simple as one line: "your implants give you wifi access to Sentinels"...though at this point I just assume that). Worst of all, Trinity's death felt very rushed....even if it did "underscore the gravity of the situation" or something. Certainly, I do "like" the Matrix sequels and actually defend them (Reloaded more than Revolutions, albeit the Club Hel fight an Battle of Zion are really cool). But I wistfully regret that they could have been more. Also, in one or two places the CGI really wasn't up to standards (the Burly Brawl has painfully fake looking CGI). I honestly hope we get a chance to revisit the world of the Matrix at some point.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    internati0nal bankers are war profiteers

    by shogunshin

    internati0nalists, the trillionaires who rule the world by proxy. the r0thschilds for instance, have been involved in every single american war, and have profited from every single american war. how can one 'family' be so 'lucky' as to be profit from every war? so we must end their rule, take apart their institutions of usury, and free the republic, and free the world from their tyranny. the warbergs, the shiffs, the rokafellers, the morgans, the house of david, the r0thschilds, they kill and murder and collect the money after. its disgusting. PEACE is the answer, these internati0nalists hate peace, we must do the opposite. enough of thise 'two' percent ruling the world. PEACE is the answer.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    well written MrDarcy

    by Rebel Scumb

    I've come to believe that many films rely on being clever, but that cleverness is not in and of itself enough. Its not that clever is bad, but a movie can't be just clever. I GET Matrix Reloaded. I can follow all the long speeches, I can follow what the architect is saying, I understand what the Ws are going for, and I can even respect the effort, but its not enough, its arguably not even a story, more just an essay with a lot of stalemate action in it. It is not more than the sum of its parts, even though many of the parts are in and of themselves good. I'm honestly very curious to see Cloud Atlas, it looks at the very least to be very Ambitious, and that garners my attention. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.

  • scenes. Our hero is working through the story. Eyes on the ball people. Stakes are saving all humans on earth. That doesn't change because the scenery changes.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    The sequels are shit.

    by Pixelsmack

    That is all that can be said.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    The MATRIX trilogy is a pro-money trilogy

    by Nintendarth

    The End. There is no defense for poor filmmaking. That is all.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Agent Smith

    by Rebel Scumb

    As much as he's sort of the most enjoyable and memorable character from the whole Matrix saga, does anyone else think maybe they should not have brought him back for the sequels? Or maybe not until later? I would have rather that Reloaded opened with the final coda from film1, the code being stopped, Neo's voiceover, him hanging up the phone and flying away, but just continue that scene, raise the stakes and scope right away average citizens reacting to Neo flying around, people on mass becoming aware of the matrix, humans shifting the balance of the war dramatically right off the bat bringing everything to a head right away The One has returned. Most of the populace discovering their reality is a lie, conflict breaking out as many want to be set free by Neo, but some turning against him who want to stay plugged in Agents now useless to fight Neo as he can obliterate them without effort, so the machines have to up the ante with much more powerful threats Neo leading a mass exodus of freed humans to Zion, Neo seeing Zion for the first time, Hot hot hot monica Bellucci and the frenchmen used more in the forefront as the main villians, mystery surrounding who they really are, are they programs? Or is he a previous 'the one' or something else introduce a third level of reality before film 2 closes. Give Trinity and Morpheus SOMETHING interesting to do, a way to grow as characters. Keep the scifi and high concept stuff, the action, all grounded in human motivations the audience can identify with, introduce a few new characters but not so many that you can't develop any of them. End film2 with the ante being upped, and the status quo being as shook up or more than the Neo's transformation was at the end of Matrix 1.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Another problem with creating ANY sequels to The Matrix

    by Keith

    Same problem Frank Herbert had with Dune: it's really, really tough to write an effective sequel to a 'messiah story'. The story is about somebody who may or may not be the 'chosen one', the one whose powers are above the norm, the one who will deliver the oppressed. Much of the time the story is about the uncertainty of whether or not this really IS the True Messiah. The candidate may have doubts; can't yet leverage his or her power properly. Others may scoff or try to dissuade the candidate from even trying. But their arc usually gives them the insight and/or motivation to fulfill their destiny, see the truth, have the courage to become the person they have always had the power to be. And where do you go from there? Your story concludes with the Messiah accepting their mantle, their powers activated, their ability to save the people assured. Now the people will be saved. The end. So a sequel is going to do...what? Have the messiah start to lose their power? Have the messiah corrupted? Bring new enemies far more powerful than the old ones for the messiah to fight, leveling the playing field? Whichever way you go, you will to some extent probably have to renege on some of the tacit promises you made at the conclusion of the first story. Or you're going to have to do something very different and risk an unsatisfying story arc. Once you've written a messiah story, it is very, very hard to deliver an effective and engaging sequel to it, because of the corner into which you have painted yourself. I personally don't think it's worth bothering trying to generate a convoluted sequel to a lot of stories. (This is one of the reasons why any sequel to, say, 'Highlander' was a terrible idea.) I can understand why the Wachowskis had the financial incentive to do so with The Matrix, but imo they were on a hiding to nothing creatively.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    creepy - your thoughts about encapsulate mine.

    by Nintendarth

    Just consider this - Nordling is writing his own Matrix punishment program because he'll possibly watch the movies AGAIN. Or already has. That's a truly dark path.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    You never know anyone until fight them

    by Rebel Scumb

    Is about the flimsiest excuse for the fights in a movie I've ever heard. I remember the audience in the theatre actually breaking into laughter after Seraph said that.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST


    by Anthrax

    No, I personally don't think they should have left Smith for a later appearance in the sequel, or out altogether. He's the second most vital character to the entire story.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    anthrax, re: the architect scene, something cool I noticed...

    by Rebel Scumb

    Aside from the fact the architect must have several dvds of Ron Fricke's BARAKA as thats what most of the 'stock' footage on his monitors is, I noticed when I watched the first Matrix the other night, after Neo gets arrested at the beginning and taken away for Smith to interrogate, we cut to a bay of monitors and slowly zoom into them them until we are in the interrogation room with smith and neo the monitors are identical to the architects, so while maybe not intended at the time, you could interpret that scene as the Architect watching Neo

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Then again, I hated even the original MATRIX

    by Nintendarth

    You could tell how terrible it was going to be from the awful ads. I don't know how those commercials convinced anyone to go see it. And the movie pretty much confirmed it to me, with phony wire-fu and silly camera flash-work that added nothing to the so-called story. I remember sitting with some friends having imported beers watching tv and then along came the ad for THE MATRIX and we were all up on the floor in about a minute acting out the stupidity we'd just seen. -Look, I'm Octopus-Man- I said, waving my arms at my sides in the style of that one scene where one of the characters suddenly has eight arms to illustrate speed. -Octoman can't stop the awesome power of Backdive!- a friend would say, another friend helping him lean backward really far. -Now those are superpowers!- And then we went back to drinking beers. Just effing stupid. All of it. And a tremendous waste of time.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by Orionsangels

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    exactly misterdarcy

    by Rebel Scumb

    I think if anything if they were going to try and approach it with Neo still as the Messiah, the best route is to start with a new main character, a new average joe or jane plugged into the Matrix, and have Neo in the story, but not from the perspective of Neo make it the story of a relatable character in a post-Neo world, there might still be challenges with doing this, but you can still get a new hero's journey out of it and like you said if the studio was begging the Ws for more matrix, this is an approach that might have worked hell if you are doing a trilogy, why not the new character is freed by Neo, and neo takes a special interest in them, much like Morpheus did to Neo in film1, but the heros journey goes a very different route and film 2 ends with turning out the new character is also a messiah of sorts, but who's arc takes them to a wholly different philosphy and the cliffhanger is that the two demi-gods both equal in abilities are now enemies, like Xavier and magneto or even Vader & Obiwan, and the 3rd film is the confrontation between them and their 2 forces I'm just spitballing here, but that at least would be a take we haven't really seen on the messiah story before

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Wasn't there some talk recently that they are doing a 4th film??

    by Rebel Scumb

    I thought Keanu or Joel Silver or someone said something about that. I would be interested to see how they revisit this world, especially now in retrospect 10 years later I think maybe if reloaded and revolutions had not been made back to back, it might have worked out better, even if reloaded remained exactly as it is, the Ws would have been able to soak up all the reaction and theories people had after that film, about Neo fainting, Merovingian, Seraph, matrix within a matrix... etc. SO when they started revolutions a few years later they would know that those were the things people were really curious to see addressed

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Stare a long time at that first image of grinning Neo punching fire.

    by Nintendarth

    If you want to see that movie, based solely on that image, you're an idiot.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:40 p.m. CST

    See... That's what I love about the trilogy.

    by Anthrax

    There is definitely supposed to be a connective tissue between the somewhat innocuous interrogation scene involving those monitors and the Architect scene in the sequel. One could choose to interpret it quite literally (e.g., the monitors in the first film are the same as the second, meaning that the Architect is indeed already watching Neo.) Others can choose a more metaphorical appraisal of the connection. To me, in a literal sense, the monitors in the Architect scene represent all of the variables to the equation that have been accounted for by the Architect itself. Every time the Architect says something, the camera zooms in and through one of the monitors displaying a myriad of Neo's reactions which have been accounted for. The amount of monitors, and what they're displaying, are all meant to ultimately imply that free will is simply a construct, and that determinism is the natural order of the universe. Choose to act or react however you want, it doesn't change the end game.

  • take the time to write a treatise on it. I would have to feel passionately about it. So all of you who hate the matrix trilogy are passionate because it let down your expectations. Well let me tell you something about your expectations. I'm Cave Johnson. I'll have my engineers create a combustible expectation that will burn your house down!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Not just the sequels, MATRIX is silly, too

    by The StarWolf

    The whole premise of a super computer keeping people alive to feed off their energy is monumentally stupid. It takes a LOT more energy to keep the bodies alive than you'd get back out. Simply can't suspend disbelief there. Then there's Neo who has the powers approximating a god and his only idea for dealing with Agent Smith is ... kung fu? So much for a good imagination here. In the end it wasn't even Neo who takes out the main bad guy (computer), so why did it matter as to whether he lived or died? Someone else could have been the carrier for the force. Just a very badly thought out mess. And then there's the main character who, when he asks "What do we do now?" in a wooden tone of voice caused a friend who was also watching that nonsense to mutter "Try acting."

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    starwolf re: bodies as batteries

    by Rebel Scumb

    I always had trouble with that to, and even if you could get more energy from a body then you put in, who not just use cows? The Mootrix could just be an endless grassy field, no resistance Or even just lobotomize the humans

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    The Matrix sequels suck and here's why...


    Because every scene consists of Neo/Trinity/Morpheus going to see The Oracle/The Merovingian/Agent Smith/The Architect and then standing there, stoney faced with their sunglasses on while whoever they've gone to see blabbers on and on about a bunch of bullshit masquerading as philosophy 101, only pausing for Neo/Trinity/Morpheus to occasionally say "Why? What do you mean? I don't understand" like they're freaking robots. All of the above is then interspersed with some admittedly cool action scenes that you can only appreciate on a visceral level because you don't care about the story.

  • Or are they actually generated from 2 parents? The reason I ask is why would the people in the matrix resemble their parents if everyone is just a test tube baby, or for that matter why do people even look like their actual real world selves if they've never seen themselves? Actually nevermind, I don't think it was ever meant to have this much thought put into it. Which is why I think it works best just as a cool scifi action movie and not some life altering experience that many make the first film out to be ditto Inception ditto avatar

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Gonna fly on out of here like neo. Later twinks.

    by UltraTron

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    You'll be back. These talkbacks are your life.

    by Fries Against

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Human batteries

    by Keith

    Yeah, it IS a sack of bullshit. I don't really mind that much, though. It would have been better if they'd come up with something a bit better, though...perhaps something about human brains having specific calculation abilities that the machines' brains don't (something akin to the Penrose hypothesis). Might have been tricky for most punters to follow, though.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    All the Matrix movies are good in my book.

    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Ditto most films, Rebelscum.

    by Anthrax

    The truth is most films really don't deserve the amount of individual philosophical weight thrust upon them from fans. The resulting conversations often times end up being better than the films themselves, which I think is particularly true of the Matrix sequels. There's still merit to anything that inspires intelligent conversation, though. The Matrix was never about presenting a tight premise as much as it was about exploring a handful of specific philosophical ideas. Kev Costner described the films above as being, "Bullshit masquerading as Philosophy 101." This is actually backwards. The Matrix films are indeed Philosophy 101 masquerading as an action/sci-fi blockbuster. Which is why I, as someone who double majored in history and philosophy in college, can appreciate all three Matrix films on various levels, despite all of the glaring warts in the latter two. Sometimes it's just nice to have the resulting dialogue.

  • In the great hall of the justice league, there are assembled the world's six greatest heroes. Created from the cosmic legends of the universe.. Super Man. Wonder Woman. Bat Man. Aqua Man. Hawk Man. Martian Small Indonesian Boy Hunter. Try not having expectations for that shit. I mean we're in the universe that didn't get a Monica Belucci wonder woman movie. But Dredd was perfect so I have hope..

  • #1 down for me, 99 to go. . . unfortunately, I am not in the lead. . .

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST

    The Wachowskis had to be disappointed by the public,

    by Nerd Rage

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    What does one want to defend?

    by The Comrade

    The sequels even get the pseudo-philosophical bullshit wrong they're supposedly based on (Baudrillard). And claiming that the sequels are basically anti-war films is about as out there as Keanu Reeve's acting is in the sequels.

  • Other times I feel like it was one of those rare cases where the elite spoke directly to the masses, toying with our hopes and sad realities using a blockbuster film. We all waited for the sequels to pull back more curtains but the show was over. The joke's on us. It always is. ”We sleep. They live.”

  • nobody cares what kind of story the Wachowskis were trying to tell. What matters is that the story was told poorly. In that regard, I think a section of "Reloaded" is nearly on par with the first "Matrix," starting after the stupid Merovingian-causality speech and ending when Neo fries the sentinel in the stupid real world. The freeway chase, the building break-in and the Architect stuff are all very engaging.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Also, having gaps in the plot filled in by a video game is awful.

    by Scott Sullivan

    Enter The Matrix: Questions Will Be Answered!

  • I don't think I've seen or heard these motherfuckers in an interview since the makings-of for the first Matrix.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    well put antrax

    by Rebel Scumb

    The mere fact that we can all discuss them like this all these years later is good proof of that.

  • who was outside the Oracles door in the first film showed up again in reloaded as her bodyguard and busted out some awesome moves. Would have been a bit different at least, and would be a nice nod to film 1

  • the question about "once the character is fully established as the messiah - so now what?" is: will the public- or whoever his intended audience is - accept his message? and of course there are other questions, such as: how will his message be spread? by who? etc. at the end of the first movie, you're left wondering (among other things) exactly how neo is going to free people from the matrix. is he going to demonstrate his powers in front of everyone? call attention to himself so that tv news people want to interview him, and then on tv he proves who he is? do the machines try to stop him on live tv in some spectacular fashion? rebel scumb's idea about some of the population accepting neo's message, some not, and the subsequent disagreements & battles among the public, and his other thoughts, include some great ideas too, i think. as for "what happens to morpheus, the mentor?" - well, he could transition from teacher to a sort of john the baptist type. he can proclaim the "message" of neo, how he & the others found him, helped train him, etc - make him real to the public, help "validate" the truth of what neo is saying, and so on. trinity obviously plays a role in this as well. also, she was a hacker who got into the irs d-base, so she has some cred - she clearly knows computers. all of this is what's happening *in* the matrix. then you have to deal with the machines in the real world too, and there's lots of possibilities there as well. for instance, what if there are other matrixes (matrices? :) that even smith didn't know about. how does neo get into them, and free them? does the majority of the public accept their freedom, become his followers, then invade these other matrixes? there really were tons of other possibilities, but the Ws blew it big-time, IMHO.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    well written but it misses a central issue

    by Anthony Torchia

    the point of film #2 was to save Trinity then #3 kills her off, making Reloaded a total waste of time #1 remains great, the rest is regurgitated walrus innards

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    So much potential wasted

    by vorlonkosh

    I prefer to ingore the existence of 2 and 3. 1 is a perfectly self-contained story without need of continuation.

  • Their widely acknowledged biggest influence. It has a similar arc in that the villains start out as basically pure evil, just the most evil things imaginable, and by the end they've been humanized and are in actuality (spoiler) essentially exactly the same as the good side. And the way out is a compromise or third path of sorts. So I can see how you'd think the sequels were a bit of a swerve in thinking, because there's little or nothing in the first film to suggest that the conflict itself was the antagonist (as opposed to the machines), but there wasn't much to suggest that in the beginning of ''The Invisibles'' either. Anyway, good article. I've been meaning to revisit all three films; haven't watched the first two in years and haven't watched the third since it was in theaters. I do think the scripts for the sequels are sloppy and ill-conceived and just generally rough around the edges, but thematically I do find them really satisfying.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST

    The Matrix sequels came out in 2003

    by eveelcapitalist

    Filmed simultaneously and released six months apart. They would have been in production long before the invasion of Iraq. From there Nordling's arguments are too much of a stretch to be credible. The argument is cute but delirious lefty wish-casting. Anyway, you can watch the special features on the Ultimate Collection if you want the damn films spelled out for you.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    The final shot of Revolutions & Revenge of the Sith

    by Rebel Scumb

    Both end on similar shots, and I think both are unsatisfying for the same reason: They both show us characters who are fairly minor and are not who the audience is really attached to with revolutions its new-Oracle, Seraph and little girl. RotS its uncle owen, aunt beru and baby Luke. Granted luke is a main character in the original trilogy, but seeing a baby is not the same as seeing Mark Hamill I'm not really sure what would be a better alternate final image for each film, but I do think this is the reason both feel so underwelming in their final seconds (that and the flawed movies that lead up to those final seconds)

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST

    cotton mcknight made a point at the start of the talkback

    by Rebel Scumb

    about how the heros in the first film kill lots of guards, cops etc and the move treats it like videogame violence, when they are infact real people in the matrix I think even in the commentary the sfx guy mentions in the lobby shootout how its okay to kill all the guards since they aren't real. It always bugs me when people working on a movie in a major capacity don't actually understand the movie itself, because the plot very clearly sets up these are infact matrixed people who are just going about their lives, abiding the law and doing their jobs when neo and trinity show up and kill them all. I'm not criticizing the movie for this, because they make their point about this early, but I don't like how people behind the movie seemed to backpeddle on this, and I think it might be partially due to the columbine comparisons. But it is an interesting idea that should have been explored further in the sequels. just the fact that movies give no focus whatsoever to all the ordinary matrixed people is dissappointing, I think a seige and destruction of the matrix world would have felt more engaging then the seige of zion since it resembles our world

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5 p.m. CST


    by Anthrax

    The thing is, the Wachowski's did explore a lot of the elements you're describing. In Zion, Neo had his faithful followers, as we saw with the crowds of people waiting for him in the halls; he had his prophets, like The Kid. Morpheus even embodies some of those John the Baptist type qualities by validating Neo's role as The One by pointing out specific points in which the prophecy he believes is being fulfilled by Neo. One could argue that the execution of said elements isn't very strong (I certainly would), but they're there. I don't think that was ultimately the story the Wachowski's were trying to tell, though. My interpretation of Reloaded is that the film is all about deconstructing truths, and the nature of truth and reality themselves, as well as deconstructing the ubermensch. Everything that the characters and the audience has been made to believe about the story being told and the rules in place in this world come crashing down by the end of the film. Neo and the audience are supposed to be questioning reality (as it relates to the film) by the end. We're also supposed to be somewhat troubled by the fact that Neo apparently flushes the hopes of his species down the toilet to save one woman, which is why I'm always a little disconcerted when people say that Trinity has nothing to do in the sequels. She actually serves a very important purpose, in that she's a real monkey wrench in the whole "Neo is The One" belief. Messiahs aren't supposed to value any one life over the whole of humanity, which is precisely the pedestal Neo places Trinity on during the infamous rave scene.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Revel Scumb - these shots are great. You are missing the point

    by Proman1984

    The characters in the Matrix were not minor. They may not be the stars of the film but showing them gave movies scope that went beyond just the main characters. And seeing the baby Luke was powerful and had the maximum possible impact. It was the perfect link between the movies.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    "Surrender your flesh..."The Second Renessance is awesome

    by The_guy_in_the_rated_R_movie

    as for the sequels, I never had a problem. I'm a HUGE fan of the original, I remember skipping school to go see it in the theatres. The sequels are by no means better than the original, but I never got why they got all the hate. Well, I understand why they get some hate, but get fucking over it, it's a move about robots for Christ's sake.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Was never a big "Matrix" fan...

    by Darkness

    It was just a display of Anime merged with the choreographed acrobatics of a John Woo flick. Then came "The Matrix Reloaded", a film i was apprehensive of watching due to the underwhelming first outing - It ended up being a surprising Sci-Fi ride, which displayed an innovative display of action sequences (The freeways scene being a major factor here). The third segment sadly, had it's moments, but ended up being a quasi-philosophical clunky mess. "Bound" was a fantastic ode to film noir, and "Speed Racer" was like sticking your head in a candy floss machine for two hours...Have high hopes for "Cloud Atlas".

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by mattythelionheart

    The first Matrix isn't nearly as revelatory as everybody considers it to be. Now, it's more precious because of its nostalgic effect. 1999 was a fun year. The sequels were just a bloated, empty mess. Nothing more.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Good points, Nordling

    by Jeff

    I'm a huge science fiction fan and was a wee bit disappointed by the Matrix sequels. Not the action sequences, mind you -- fucking loved those! But the "fat," as you called it. Too much of this clotted "Reloaded," in my opinion. Something not quite "on point" about the film, I guess, fading what could've been a tremendously powerful, emotional climax. I've always been of two minds about the prequels. But your well-conceived viewpoint definitely has me thinking. Nicely written.

  • There is more expansion of the philosophies and ideologies put forth in the in original movie in the Animatrix than in Reloaded and Revolutions combined.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen the sequels

    by Mr Lucas

    since release. I had no wish to see them again. I didn't think they were awful as such. They just left me cold - like a drunken one-night-stand. I remember liking The Animatrix stuff and a Matrix PC game far more.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    First one was a perfect film...

    by Cruzboy

    I can still watch that film over and over again even now. The second was just good fun, some great action sequences and the third one was a dull CGI fest. The problem was the first one was such a revelation... I'd heard nothing about the film when I saw it, except it was being shot in my home town, Sydney. I assumed it was going to be crap honestly. And the marketing campaign was really effective, what is the matrix. What the fuck was the matrix?! When we found out what the matrix was our minds were blown. I don't think there's been a film since that I enjoyed more than the first time I saw the Matrix at the cinema. Once the sequels came about the novelty of the matrix, people being about to upload fight programs, bullet time etc.. was gone. The sequels were never going to live up to the first movie no matter how well they were made.

  • FUCK off. I read your shit on every shitting talk back. Go elsewhere then.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:57 p.m. CST

    The Matrix Trilogy is Neo as Vishnu/Buddha...

    by Aquanaut

    from beginning to end. Not so much cyber-punk, as cyber-opera. as star wars is space opera. of course there's other components thrown in. like star wars, the matrix is a mish-mash of occidental and oriental myth, with healthy doses of philosophy and literary reference. if the first film is neo as vishnu/buddha (which it is), then the sequels took the story through its rightful course.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST

    The trilogy is not anti-war, its anticlimactic.

    by War1980

    Stop confusing the two. None of the conflicts resolved, that was due to bad writing, not by design. Stop making backended attempts to explain why the last two installments of a trilogy sucked harder than Chevy on primetime.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:03 p.m. CST

    matrix is second best film ever made

    by dioxholsters_scion

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Biggest problem with the sequels

    by The Dwayne

    Too much CGI-FU. The fact that that is a term used just makes me facepalm. That's another reason why I didn't care for Blade 2. Now I'm not so much as I NEED the CGI to make my eyes bleed but at the same time....the CG in the sequels looked worse than the first Harry Potter flick.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:08 p.m. CST

    No one ripping off Matrix Reloaded?

    by The Dwayne

    You need to watch Kung Fu Hustle.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Coughlins law, hate to disagree, but I gotta...

    by GBH

    I will never understand how anyone could love a movie and then dislike that same movie due to a ruined sequel... Especially now with all of the shitty sequels that have come out over the years. Can a shitty sequel ruin the overall arch of the story, hell yeah! With The Matrix, the sequels just feel like completely different movies and to me they do not take away from the original. I think we all had our own idea of what the sequels should entail (that much I agree with Nordling about) and I do not think anyone foresaw what was released. Also nice to see you here commenting on something besides politics...

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST

    maybe machines represented muslims since their city is in mecca

    by dioxholsters_scion

    one of the problems is that the sequels made me root for the machines instead of neo and co. why? It cant be because we knew more about the world, I knew more about darth vader yet wanted luke to win. I had the same problem with v for vendetta, i rooted for the totalitarians as they were the ones that made good points while the masked dude was just not logical at all.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Just because Cloud Atlas is good doesn't mean these films are good.

    by shutupfanboy

    I hate these revisionist articles when a film maker makes a great movie. To me, the sequels are what the prequels were to everyone else. A giant disappointment and terrible films.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST

    thats right, i sympathsized with those metallic bastards

    by dioxholsters_scion

    im against slavery but i rather have matrix than sex dancing in cave

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    more like watching others do it in a cave

    by dioxholsters_scion

    those zion chicks probably fall for tough guys, so i wouldnt get any i reckon. I mean i get it, they are responsible for picking good genes to strengthen the human race and all, but in the matrix chicks will look for well-off guys so at least i could have a chance

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Why they are not deemed as good..

    by Robert

    Essentially they left most of what made the first one so successful out of the sequels.It's my guess they weren't expecting to make them either. The first one was great because it didn't seem to go too over the top, they bent reality slightly, to begin with, gradually increasing it bit by bit as Neo harnessed his powers, rather than completely smashing it to bits. Once Neo is seen to be indestructible in the first one, that was it....

  • Damn.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    MATRIX 2 and 3 suck because they abandoned the story of THE MATRIX.

    by Chris Moody

    Smith was dead. NOT ANY MORE! Neo could go faster than time. NOT ANY MORE! Neo was almost "all powerful" in the Matrix... ...yet, he had trouble with mere programs? The most important reason: The first film was centered on people being "awakened" and "rescued" from their slumber in the Matrix. Neither of the sequels centered on this...or even took place primarily inside the matrix. It didn't help that the Wachowski Brothers (now Brother and Confused Brother) infused so much sexuality into the Zion scenes. Remember the virtual orgy at the beginning of Matrix Reloaded? Damn. MATRIX 2 & 3 will go down in history as the biggest letdowns in sequel history.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Why did the MATRIX 2 & 3 suck?

    by Chris Moody

    Smith was dead. NOT ANY MORE! Neo could go faster than time. NOT ANY MORE! Neo was almost "all powerful" in the Matrix... ...yet, he had trouble with mere programs? The most important reason: The first film was centered on people being "awakened" and "rescued" from their slumber in the Matrix. Neither of the sequels centered on this...or even took place primarily inside the matrix. It didn't help that the Wachowski Brothers (now Brother and Confused Brother) infused so much sexuality into the Zion scenes. Remember the virtual orgy at the beginning of Matrix Reloaded? Damn. MATRIX 2 & 3 will go down in history as the biggest letdowns in sequel history.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    What could have saved the MATRIX trilogy?

    by Chris Moody

    I have always thought that the MATRIX should have focused on: 1. Rescuing individuals from THE MATRIX. 2. A twist that involved a "matrix within a matrix" (and I thought this years before INCEPTION). 3. The simplicity of the story of Neo, rather than a convoluted and confusing story that isn't fully explained.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    I never felt more deflated from a sequel...

    by Chris Moody

    ...than how I felt during MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. I kept looking at my watch throughout the film. Even the effects were somewhat overwhelming. I have been through a lot of bloated sequels, but MATRIX REVOLUTIONS sits upon the bloated throne.

  • He's so butthurt because he loved Cloud Atlas and most of his peers are like, meh.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Revolutions was the better sequel.

    by Charlie

    It was just more entertaining. I've always found re-loaded dull and none of the action scenes as really stand out. Even the car chase which was billed as the greatest car chase ever was lame. I think it came out the same year as Bad Boys 2. Which had an amazing one and showed up how dull the matrix one was. re-loaded felt like they had a bunch of ideas, not really sure where it was going. Put them in. Then couldn't think what to do with them and ditched them for the third. Revolutions was just more streamlined, more engaging and entertaining.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    "matrix within a matrix" is stupid as fuck

    by dioxholsters_scion

    inception had a completely different logic that made it work

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST

    The first Matrix film was kind of mind blowing and reality-questioning.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    As imperfect as I think it is, The Matrix really had some great ideas and originality. But once you've blown your entire idea wad in one movie, you really can't top it in a couple of sequels. It was inevitable that the second and third movies would be a disappointment. Pseudo-intellectual rationalizations like the one posted above can't convince me those sequels aren't pretty crappy. Like I said, though, that was inevitable. They played all their best cards in the first movie. I KNEW they would suck in comparison. And they didn't disappoint me in that respect. They suck. A lot. The acting is even more lifeless than the first film. Morpheus' sudden transformation into a fat guy is indicative of the whole attitude of the films. They were obligatory, made for the money, and phoned-in by all involved. There was no real passion or originality. They sucked. Defend them all you want, you're defending a pile of turds and telling us they're actually Almond Roca. I do, however, respect your right to like them and would die to protect that right!!!!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    9/11 was well after filming had started on these movies

    by thefreshestthing

    So no.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Defense of The Matrix sequels? Really?

    by Holier_Than_Thou

    This is what passes for content now? This site has hit rock bottom. And the sequels are trash. Helen Keller could have seen that much.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Neo is supposed to start a rebellion inside the matrix not outside!

    by dioxholsters_scion

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Neo choosing to save Trinity only meant he never learned from his past

    by dioxholsters_scion

    he did the same thing with morpheus, yeah ended well, but showing a character to keep doing the same even if it worked before only means he remained unchanged.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Matrix within a matrix

    by Keith

    I suspected that this was the way they were going to go, as well. But I was pleased that they didn't, because it would all have been a bit predictable. Still, what they came up with instead was a pile of barely-coherent junk. Overheard somebody the other day describing Reloaded thus: 'Is that the one where there's, like, some dude running the matrix who looks like Colonel Sanders?' I laughed.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    what made the first movie great was the inner conflict

    by dioxholsters_scion

    simply, neo saving morpheus wasnt because he wanted to save humanity or any of that, it was just he felt guilty. Focusing on that, works much better than having every character be a politician.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST


    by Detached

    Well, the Ws didn't deal with those ideas nearly the way I was talking about. They just touched on them in passing at best, as opposed to really focusing on them and making them key elements rather than just moments. But I do agree with you that those ideas were not in the direction that the Ws wanted to go, the story they wanted to tell. You could be right about the second film. And that's an interesting point about Trinity...

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    great writeup

    by Darth Thoth

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Wish i got in on this thread earlier...

    by j

    Im all about story. I could live with the 2nd film, but the 3rd was a mess and, with the help of a time machine, Id love a chance to rewrite it. I was completely blown away by the lack of capitalization at the end of the 2nd, to go deeper down the rabbit hole in the 3rd. I saw a much better ending and another head warping film like the 1st was. ...remember when you had to explain the first film to people who didnt get it? That never happened with the others.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    So your saying it sucked on purpose?

    by grfrog

    It was all an exercise to punish us for wanting the movie that would logically follow The Matrix.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Anyone who disagrees with Nordling is wrong because

    by UsultheMahdi

    Doctor Cornell West (doctor of philosophy) gives and incredible commentary tracks on the philosophic nature of the 3 films on the ten disc set/Blu-ray set. If you disagree with Nordling and haven't listened to these tracks just STFU.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Once again, AICN injects it's own bias....

    by shagdrum

    Hence the Progressive "xenophobic troglodyte" stereotype being trotted out to (at least in part) wrap around a film to make sense of it. Nevermind that the stereotype being used is a largely a straw man caricature...

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST

    usulthemahdi, Dr. West is full of shit, and full of himself.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Shut the fuck up and learn to think for yourself.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Matrix ripped off Dark City.

    by MajorFrontbum

    Dark City is a far superior and intelligent film, where Matrix is nothing more than an effects extravaganza of the week. And for the record, Bullet Time wasn't original either. The colour timing sucked as well. Whoever decided shifting so far into green, should have his fingers hacked off - it's a moronic idea. My god, these films suck! Nordling; time to hand in your Geek Card!

  • So some other site blew their wad on the sequels a year ago. Does that mean that a writer for this site, which is about movie reviews and such, not post his own insight, his own exploration into the Matrix, just because someone else has done the same? Come on. Isn't that what this site is about? Geeking out through talking about films. Even if such films are not well received? I, for one, enjoyed this article. Even though I don't find M2 and M3 to be that amazing. They're enjoyable rides with easy themes like the first one, where you can turn your brain off and still have fun. But the sequels are still good enough to watch and think about.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:57 a.m. CST

    And I think how the trilogy ended may be more relevant now than ever

    by christpunchers2007

    If the West seems to be stuck in perpetual war and the top 1% are controlling the rest of us through those wars, well that sort of mirrors all the stuff near the end of Revolutions. To win/stop the war, you can't just do by sheer force and hope to topple the opponent. You need peace, you need compromise. You need to accept differences and let the other person be. If our world today, with all its countries and nations, can resist all the propaganda, then the top 1% will not able to control us as effectively. We win by not fighting, rather than fight until the other person dies.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 4:41 a.m. CST

    When people in the cinema laughed through Trinitys death scene..

    by Reelheed

    ... I became really angry. Really fucking angry. How dare they? How the hell dare they make a film so fucking awful?

  • Because they didn't even get the most basic thing right. The idea presented in THE MATRIX, that you have a real world and a simulated world, is entirely incompatible with Baudrillard. The main point of Baudrillard's SIMULACRA AND SIMULATION is that in a hyperreal world where the signifier has not only totally detached from the signified, but where the signifier alone is the real without pointing to any signified, it's impossible to make a distinction between the simulated world and the real world. Something like jacking out from the matrix is impossible in a hyperreal world because it makes a clear distinction between the simulation and reality. The characters who've been freed from the matrix have all the clearest sense of what's real and what's not. This just doesn't fly.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 5:52 a.m. CST

    Nordling, you hit the nail on the head with this review.

    by Hat Man

    I remember watching the Animatrix and going, "Oh. This is not the anti-war message I wanted." I wanted goodies and baddies, but the films went in a very different and more complex direction. Anyway, you pretty much said it all!

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    I have come to like these movies more over time, but

    by scudd

    The Kid is one of the worst characters in cinematic history. Cutting him would have done wonders to improve the films. Everything about him is terrible.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and they completely fucked up

    by scudd

    Trinity's death scene, as was mentioned. That could easily have been saved in the editing room; not sure how they watched that and thought it was okay.

  • simply wrong. Like the guy who said why can't neo handle agents in the second movie when he could tear them apart at the end of the first. Well it's because they were upgrades. I can literally go through every negative comment and call it out as just the ramblings of an idiot who simply didn't pay attention or have the acumen to understand the simple narrative. I don't like the kid or the exposition guy who repeats actions to the audience in case they didn't understand. Minor complaints in an otherwise incredible R rated epic. If you laughed during trinity's death you are a kid. Today's kids apparently can't handle R rated movies. I saw everything after I turned 10. I don't know where parents and the education system are leading our kids but it can't be good of they can't handle play acting on the tele

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Trinity is the one

    by TheShrike

    and the three

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    speedy clouds

    by Mark

    Speed Racer the colors and what to me felt like a love of everything to do with racing and speed, and of course the villain's speech was pretty accurate description of corruption, and how people get caught up in it. It was a shame they interrupted it with a monkey moment. Cloud Atlas, just got thru a portion of the book and if I was on the Oscar Committee, I would be giving it Best Editing to say the least. when you walk out of that movie you feel like a mirror of sorts has been held up to all in the movie theater. It's a difficult movie to put into words. I felt like Cloud Atlas was a tale of two philosophies, and how they interact with each other and the results played out over many lifetimes. Mark

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Cornell West is a charlatan. I pity anybody who falls for his BS.

    by Buck_Futt

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    The problem with the sequels is that they were too damn serious...

    by sonnyfern

    Remember how much fun the first one was, seeing Neo trying to jump across the buildings? Him learning kung-fu. We were there with him, smiling, thinking that it was just as cool as he did. The sequels that sense of wonderment was just GONE. They had great visuals, cool action, but the fun...where the fun??

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    The problem with the sequels is that they were too damn serious...

    by sonnyfern

    Remember how much fun the first one was, seeing Neo trying to jump across the buildings? Him learning kung-fu. We were there with him, smiling, thinking that it was just as cool as he did. The sequels that sense of wonderment was just GONE. They had great visuals, cool action, but the fun...where the fun??

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Ultratron the problem is that's stupid.

    by FluffyUnbound

    We are clearly and explicitly told in the first film that Neo has the power to directly access the code of the Matrix and make it whatever he wants. That means that no artifact of the Matrix can be upgraded to make him unable to deal with it. If that was possible, there'd be no such thing as the One. The machines could simply upgrade THE ENTIRE MATRIX. Voila, Neo has no powers. The End. The sole purpose of the *upgrade* line of dialogue is to retcon Neo's powers to allow the second and third movies to be kung fu spectacles. That's it. And it's a bad and stupid and poorly thought out retcon. All retcons suck, but stupid ones suck the worst. The sequels aren't the worst films ever made. Editing would help them a great deal. I can watch them now and be *meh* level entertained; I no longer hate every frame. But the problem is that the sequels are not in any way, shape or form worthy of the original, and that's never going to change. The original set a high bar. It's a philosophical film, but the philosophy is organic to the theme, and meshes UTTERLY EFFORTLESSLY to the plot, characterization, hell even the set design. They find a single through-line to Plato, the Buddha, and Baudrillard and hang a sci-fi plot on that through-line PERFECTLY. The sequels try to be philosophical, but simply giving your new characters trite names and claiming they're *symbolic* is lame and annoying and can't compare to what was done in the first film. There's precisely ONE scene in both sequels that measures up to the first film: Neo's confrontation with the Architect. The rest of it is crap. *Oh, we'll call one character the Merovingian! That'll be SO DEEP, DUDES!* No. If the plot was properly integrated with the theme, you could call people Assman and Dickface and your meaning would be clear. But since the sequels are too poorly made to do that.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by Sandy

    Sometimes a movie is just a movie.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST


    by Detached

    Excellent points. They could have done so much with those sequels (or maybe just one sequel would have been better), but they blew it big-time.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    How can movies loaded with violence really be anti war?

    by alpine

    Really? You really believe that? I also don't believe the Matrix represents muslims -- that's stretching things a wee bit far.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    this thread is dwarfing all others...

    by Jeremy Wolfe

    does that make the Matrix sequels good? No, but I think most movies would love to be able to generate these kind of strong emotions this long after their release. The fact that people feel so strongly about it tells me they did something right. For me, I love the original and kind of like the sequels. Similar to how I feel about the classic trilogy and Star Wars prequels. I'm sure that the producers of almost any movie would love to generate this kind of heat after the movie's time has come and gone.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    GunPorn does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    alpine... your simple statement says it all. Nordling can write 500 words but really you pwned his anti-war pov with just one line. Knockout. To expand on that, I remember the reasoning behind the MATRIX movies being R rated is because they are gun porn. No nudity, no swearing, no blood - they would seem PG-13 action flicks but after Columbine copycats they were seen as gun porn which got them the R... and how can gun porn be anti war?

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    How can violent films also be anti-war?

    by Anthrax

    Well, most good war films are pretty violent, and a good amount of these films come with a fairly hard-line anti-war message. @Dercomrade: Your assessment of the Wachowski's interpretation of Baudrillard suggests a lack of understanding for what the director's were trying to accomplish with Reloaded, which is totally forgivable considering how the siblings muddied up their own narrative. By the end of that film, both the audience and the characters are left without the ability to distinguish what is reality and what is simply another construct of the machine race. That's the driving force behind the Architect scene (which the entire story really rests on), as well as the scene in which Neo stops the squid machine things in the real world. The entire film hinges on the notion of breaking down the reality of this world. While it certainly can be argued that the execution of such philosophical ideas was severely flawed (I imagine I'd agree with a great number of those arguments), I simply can't go with the idea that the Wachowski's, "Didn't get it." They did, they just didn't do as good a job communicating what they wanted as they should have.

  • Bottom line, Wackowski's biggest problem was letting the success of the first film go to their heads. Just like Lucas with the prequel trilogy. Are those two movies anti-war films? Honestly I think they are really just the Wack brothers feeding their own pretension. It's been said before, but it bears repeating, The Matrix didn't need sequels.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    The reason you don't see the suck that others see is because some people just like to hate on things because it's popular to. It's like dealing with someone that says they hate The Beatles... There's no rhyme or reason for their opinion, they typically can't intelligently describe WHY they despise whatever it is they despise, because their opinions are not their own. They just want to be different, troll, and be hip. It's hip to hate what's popular.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    The Problem with the fight scenes...

    by 120chester

    is not that there is no winner or loser. It is that they are pointless to begin with. Of course there is no winner or loser... the scenes are there simply for the characters to have stuff to do. The best example is Neo's fight with Seraph where they fight JUST FOR THE SAKE OF FIGHTING with Seraph commenting "You never truly know someone until you fight them." That isn't profound. It is meaningless crap!

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    The best antidote to this article...

    by 120chester

    is to check out Confused Matthew: His review totally eviscerates Nordling's article above.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    Actually, the color palette changes between The Matrix and The Real throughout all three films. When they're in The Matrix, everything has a greenish hue, when they're in The Real it's more of a blueish hue. These visual cues let us know what is and is not reality. It's an artistic licence that might be confusing or distracting to some people. I imagine it's annoying if you're an incompetent fucking moron. I wouldn't know.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    I agree with you on the fights, but disagree with your example. The fight between Neo and Seraph was meant to be a test... The most POINTLESS fight is the first battle between Neo and the multiple Smiths. It just goes on and on forever, and then at the end of it, Neo just flies off. Why didn't he just fly off in the first ten minutes of the fight if he could just take off whenever he wanted? Oh yeah, because then we wouldn't get to see all those cool slow motion shots!

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Talk about an apologist

    by DarthJedi

    I found myself laughing throughout that entire read, so thanks for that. Amazing how some people can rationalize the crap out of something they really wanted to like. You get an 'A' for effort my friend, but still utter bullshit. Some things are just crap, but to each their own I suppose.

  • Fuck perfect, are The Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions GOOD movies? Hell no, not a chance! They were wall to wall, front to back, pillar to post HOT GARBAGE.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    In a sea of negativity...

    by hogo

    On this site, and really everywhere, you make many salient points. I agree with almost all them.

  • .....and thats the difference between them and Nordling with his article. Nordling provides REASONS for enjoying the trilogy alongside a good portion of constructive criticism. the people in opposition are just saying "its crap because its crap because i say so and your opinions mean nothing" which is truly pathetic. i loved the trilogy, even though: from reloaded, i wouldve gotten rid of the cave-rave/neo-trin-fuck scene. from revolutions, i woudve tightened up trinity's death scene. The Kid didnt take me away from the sequels that much. i definitely wasnt into him in reloaded but in revolutions he did his thing. so keep him. great trilogy. no movie or series before it really laid out the ideas of convergence between man and machine quite like this one did.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    So many haters, so few thinkers...

    by J242

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with most of you? Someone attempts to innate an earnest discussion by way of their thoughts on a film and the overwhelming majority ends up being nothing but vitriol and negative rhetoric. The grand majority of you should be ashamed of yourselves as you are what fuels restrictive efforts against the net in general. If you have something substantive to say, please do but if all you can do is say "Meh, I thought it was shite" or other such dismissive nonsense then do the world a favor and just get the fuck off the net in general. You folks are not part of the problem, you ARE the problem. How about discussing the issues presented like human beings? I guess that's simply too much to ask from so many of you.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST

    The sequels wouls have been OK...

    by Terence James

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    if they...

    by Terence James

    were just a sequel, singular. And this site would be better if there was a fucking edit button for your talkbacks. The sequels just had far too much going on and most of it was either boring and / or pointless.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 7:57 p.m. CST

    j242 - Meh. Your opinion is shite.

    by Queefer Sutherland

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen similar efforts to legitimize crap since Prometheus.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    So that's not really that long ago, huh? I guess some people will always defend crap.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:15 p.m. CST


    by Tighxo

    Where have the " WHERE IS YOU EVIDENCE THAT IT I SHITE???! THINK DEEPER!!! DUUUUUURP!!!" people been the last decade. There is, um, quite a bit of "legit" criticism about these sequels..

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Matrix totally ripped off Grant Morrison's "Invisibles"

    by ReportAbuse

    Which he complains about in several interviews since then. Not just the whole virtual reality motif (which had been done earlier, even by Fassbinder) but even the black trenchcoat look. Morrison was notably unhappy with both of the Matrix sequels too, finding the "real world" of Zion hardly worth fighting for. He proposed a better narrative would have been for the heroes to focus on taking control of the Matrix so they could live out their individual VR lives minus the control of the machine overlord. I agree with this idea too, but the filmmakers had other ideas. I originally wanted it to come out at the end that they never really left the Matrix at all ... that even the fight for Zion was just another VR dream. That would've explained how Neo (and Agent Smith) were both able to use superpowers apparently "outside" the Matrix. I don't even remember now if this possibility was even broached. My thought was that the big twist at the end should have been them finding out that in reality they'd been in the Matrix for centuries, that their "bodies" were just a long-lost memory no longer even in existence. (The computer would turn out to be deriving its energy from some other source.) IOW, they *think* they go in and out of the Matrix by sticking those ridiculous plugs in the backs of their heads, but it's all part of the illusion.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST


    by cowsaysmoo

    So maybe the Matrix sequels were anti-war films, that doesn't excuse the fact that they were poorly executed. I remember watching Reloaded fall completely apart by the end. Great action, poorly developed scripts, and one of the blandest heroes to ever carry a major film franchise. Say what you will about Hayden Christensen in the Prequels, but at least it he put his heart in his bad acting. Keanu was just boring. I remember really liking The Matrix but not loving it because of Keanu Reeves boring performance.

  • If anyone made a connection between those actors and 9/11, it says far more about the person making those connections than it does about what the Wachowskis were trying to say. This article offers a window into the article writer's mind, and not the films themselves.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:12 p.m. CST

    I like.

    by kbarber29

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    @reportabuse, the "matrix outside the matrix" idea...

    by Detached

    ... has been discussed a couple of different times during this thread (i imagine you haven't read the whole thing - don't blame you). just fyi. personally, i think that was a good idea too- just one of many that could have been done, but wasn't.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Are we really still talking about the Matrix?

    by speed

    The first a brilliant movie that changed popular cinema. The 2nd and 3rd a waste of time. There's simply not point in this article. It's as pointless as a spherical object. Nordling has written one of my favorite articles ever on this site -- 25 years ago - ET review. But this just seems no reason to bring these two movies up at this point in their best forgotten history.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Well, I'm ready for a 4th Matrix.

    by ReportAbuse

    Granted, the Animatrix series of short films was superb (better than both the live-action sequels combined). Take a few ideas from there, avoid the mistakes of Reloaded & Revolutions, and there might be something there. Focus on a different crew entirely.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    I'm a thinker

    by HongKongCavalier

    ... who hates that The W Bros screwed the pooch not once but twice if a sequel HAD to happen, then explain super Smith logically: Neo infected the system when he "entered" Smith; like a computer virus (whoa, consistency) instead they serve up a heaping pile of pseudo-philosophical crap that would even make Mother Theresa flip them the bird There's no way I give those two self-indulgent flash in the pans credit for implementing the post-9/11 atmosphere into Reheated and Reconstituted ... nuh uh I mean, after the Architect's explanation is presented as "The Big Reveal" it's then summarily disregarded as so much myopic BS by Oracle minutes into the next movie I will always consider The Matrix an outstanding movie that stands solidly without the wallet fattening sequels f'in Rave scene ffs ... gtfo

  • Good on you Nordling. I'm a huge fan of the trilogy, but I know they aren't perfect. I'm glad there are people in Hollywood pushing the boundaries and asking more from audiences. I can't tell you how much I'm dying to see Cloud Atlas. One of the biggest things that hurt the sequels was the death of Gloria Foster and her subsequent absence from Revolutions. RIP. Also the fight with Seraph is followed by the line - "No. You do not truly know someone until you fight them". The purpose of this is revealed in the real world fight between Bane (Smith) and blind Neo. Sempiterna

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 6:07 a.m. CST

    In defence of the star wars prequels

    by kingoflight


  • That speech is just awful. The writing, the acting, and the way they staged and filmed it.

  • ... and to try to build hype and credibility for the Wachowskis, eh?

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 7:33 a.m. CST

    The reason people bring up the rave scene so much:

    by FluffyUnbound

    Because it's the moment when it became clear that the Wachowskis' cleverness had abandoned them. You know why? Because it's a Lenny Kravitz video. From ten years earlier. It's a United Colors of Benneton ad from eight years earlier. It's hackneyed imagery and *commercial* imagery...from a DECADE BEFORE. It's as if they sat down and said *Let's have a scene that represents how organic and liberated and soulful these people are, how opposed to the machine world!* and they film it and Ronald McDonald is there with the Hamburgler. Imagery that might have been cool in 1993 (and it was pushing it even then, believe me) was groan-inducing by 2003. When your images are simultaneously politically correct AND as commercial as a Super Bowl Doritos ad, you have a big, big problem. That problem gets bigger when you're trying to make a *deep, philosophical* film and that's one of your big statements.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 8:07 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    anti war??? THE MATRIX isnt PLATOON. Come on, it presents cool fight scenes and shoot outs as entertainment. ps. Yes PROMETHEUS is pretty damn awesome.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 8:34 a.m. CST

    I never really liked the first Matrix movie

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Let alone the sequels. As someone stated above the plot was Dark City, which watching this in the theater a year after that film came out Dark City was still on my mind. Sure The Matrix had some cool action scenes co-opted from Hong Kong cinema, but the message behind it was nothing new, and the philiosophy behind it was of the grade school variety. It was a film that hit at the right time with Hong Kong style action becoming in vogue, and the internet and computers having just invaded everyone's homes. And as far as the sequels go, other then that cool fight scene with the twins and the highway scene in the 2nd one, they were not good films.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    What do you mean by "TRILOGY"?

    by The Chosen

    The thing here is that they are two separated animals completely, with different stories, different intentions, different ideas. They had no intention, or if they did, they failed, of making a cohesive full on trilogy. The first movie finishes completely the Hero's Journey, and it didn't need sequels. Money made the call here. Of course, the Watchowski are tremendous filmmakers (i love Speed Racer), but i cannot agree in calling The Matrix a Trilogy. The second and third movies are telling a completely different story, with different mottos, ideas and subliminal messages. They didn't existed until the first Matrix went on worldwide success. The stories were not written. And if you know anything about writing stories, you know that the ending usually NEEDS to be entwined with the beginning. I like the movies. They are good to watch. And you've made some points of view i hadn't thought of, that might make me look different at them. It doesn't matter that they started shooting Matrix Reloaded-Revolutions before 9/11, they hadn't EDITED it. Probably they hadn't even finished writing it. They saw a lot of messages that needed to be sayed and heard. But they should've made another movie for them. The first Matrix is untouchable. And should have been kept that way.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 8:46 a.m. CST


    by C0CKLES

    And I think it still rankles people. I think that many people wanted Neo to defeat the machines, to free everyone, and all of humanity would rise from their underground realm into a world of sunshine and rainbows.

  • I'm sorry, but you kind of lost me when you started talking about the race of Ram Kandra and his family, while in the context of talking about 9/11 and Muslims as being the 'Other'. What exactly does an Indian family have to do with that? Or, are they all the same because they have a sort of foreign accent and they kind of look like they come from 'over there', so that makes them muslims? And no, this had zero to do with being an 'anti-war' movie. This is a serious case of seeing what you want to see. The W's took an extremely obscure and minor detail from the Matrix and based the entire story upon it: the end of Matrix when Neo decides to obliterate Smith by destroying him *from the inside out*. This moment was essentially nothing more than a throw-away SFX bit in the first film, just a visual representation of just how powerful Neo had become. That one moment became the lynchpin for the entire two sequels - EVERYTHING else was fluff. And it didn't work. People forget - Smith killed Neo at the end of Matrix. It was only apparently the pull of his love for Trinity which yanked him back from the virtual-world death. That could not have been part of the 'plan'. Which meant the entire premise that Neo was 'the one' as some sort of recurring theme was impossible, because the machines were already well on their way to obliterating Zion 'for the umteenth time'. If the machines were on the brink of destroying Zion, but Neo HAD been killed, then there would have been no 'One' for the Architect to force the choice upon, thus bringing about the end of the machine world as well. So, sorry. The sequels were a case of the W's having been forced to try to come up with sequels for a movie which really had little to no room for them, based upon the conclusion of the first movie. And they were proof that, like George Lucas, they had almost no understanding of how and why The Matrix connected with people like it did. It would be like thinking people would care about Darth Vader as a child, when everyone knows Han Solo was the most interesting and enjoyable character in the first two Star Wars movies. They ALMOST had a good idea with the notion of introducing the 'supernatural' AI programs, ie vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc. And in fact, that's what the first sequel, at least should have been about - Neo becoming essentially a superhero facing off against both Agents and supernatural enemies in an increasingly high-stakes battle for the souls of the innocent in the Matrix. But no, we had to spend WAY too much time in Zion, discovering that, far from being a hero, Neo is just a cog, completely unsure of what to do next, and in fact they only mention the far more interesting aspects of even THAT, by saying 'we have rescued more people in the last six months' blah blah blah, and 'the kid' (one assumes the kid is the same one from the Animatrix) whom Neo says 'I didn't save you, you found me' .. all far more interesting things to see in a movie than a bunch of endless bickering between a bunch of rastafarian hippies and a sort of half-assed military leadership comprised of, apparently, one man. Sigh. And on and on. It just doesn't hold up as an anti-war movie, or as any other kind of movie either. The simple fact that the machine world was completely vulnerable against an EMP - and no human ever had the bright idea of sneaking a few hundred EMP devices into the machine city? Duh. Oh, one could go on and on and on about the wrong-headedness of the sequels. The Train Man? Oh, so some scrawny scarecrow dude can make a Matrix in which Neo is powerless, but the entire might of the machine world and its massive brain could not? Please. Nero was 'The One' because he could re-write the code of the simulation he was in, not because of who made the simulation. The point ultimately is, the W's hit a perfect home run with The Matrix, but other than that, they have been a weak-hitting shortstop at best, batting around .180, and the sequels simply serve as proof of that.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Animatrix was better than Reloaded or Revolutions.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Reloaded was crap. Fuck them for not bringing Tank back. In Reloaded we see this annoying kid, and are sick of him. Then we watch Animatrix, and understand. Actually, when we understand this, The Kid is the best part of Revolutions, and the Zion invasion, because of the interaction is the best part of the movie.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST


    by PTSDPete

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    The Animatrix was good and bad.


    The Second Renaissance was probably the best part and did a great job setting up the back story and making the end of Revolutions actually appropriate. As for the others they were a bit hit and miss, I liked the one where the Athlete pushes himself so hard he actually breaks free of The Matrix momentarily and the detective story was quite cool and atmospheric.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Matrix sequels not that great, MTV spoof of Matrix sequels - great

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    C'mon Neo, you can do the robot!

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST


    by Dan

    Never had a huge problem with these flicks, they were what they were and nothing more… good action… for the most part… My only gripe with the Matrix universe was the clinging to the Urban-Goth crap look. When I heard of this, I had expected the “Matrix” to be this great power that could be manipulated by the user; Smith or Neo. To change it to whatever they wanted… I pictured it in order to defeat an enemy, they would change the matrix up to different setting each time. So every time Neo logged in, he’d find a different world; one time it’s a western settings, cowboys, shootouts…etc…Another time it’s changed to ancient Rome with Chariot races and Gladiator fights…. Another would be medieval sword fights, jousting, knights in suits of armor… Or have werewolves, vamps and all kinds of horror icon creatures in a Van Helsing-esque sequence… you could have all kinds of movies packed into one. At the end you could have an amalgam of all of the above. Either this was never the intent am I’m being too fanboyish over this, I’m missing the point or it would have been a real budget buster…Maybe for the sequel, eh? As for the defense of the Star Wars prequels….BRING IT ON…I’ll headline it, I’ve done it before to the idiots who refuse to accept the truth….

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    I knew it would be Nordling...

    by Lummox JR

    ...from the fact that he tried to defend the Alien Movie That Shall Remain Unnamed, for which, in terms of reviewer credibility, I will never ever forgive him. The Matrix sequels never aspired to that level of inanity, but there's not a lot to defend there. And to defend them as a subtle anti-war film... come on. That ground has been tilled to death, and with many, many better films to show for it. And the reason the rave scene comes up so much has much more to do with the Wachowskis taking their eye off the ball. All these people liberated from the Matrix bring with them memories of a culture in which human greatness could not be suppressed. They still had Shakespeare, Beethoven, the Beatles (granted, the film could never have licensed their work), and so many other great thinkers, creators, and innovators whose memory was not lost even there. But we see none of that, and just have this pointless, weird rave. That scene says: In spite of all we ever achieved, this is all that's truly left of human culture. All our greatness is back in the Matix, and on the outside there's nothing worth fighting for. That's where they lost me.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST

    kevin_costners_recycled_piss, the only Animatrix one I thought was just okay

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    was the one where they tried to teach the robot humanity, and went through that whole trippy thing instead of just reprogramming him because then we would sink to their level, and be no better.

  • about the pro wrestler Kamala the Ugandan Giant aka Kamala the Headhunter.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Best use of the prayer scene was Matrix Ballroom Blitz on You Tube.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Which is surprising because Revolutions was okay, but Reloaded was awful.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • That's a pretty dismal view on your own self-worth if you ask me. Life is worth living for the simple pleasure of breathing oxygen. Everything else is gravy.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    god, remember when it took trinity lik 425 minutes to die?

    by Stephen

    that third one sucked balls. at least the second one had ghosts and that cool highway chase and also an interesting ending.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    I thought the ghosts were stupid myself.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I mean Neo at the end of The Matrix is supposed to be the one. He's supposed to be able to kick everybody's ass. He literally defeats a previously undefeatable agent one handed. So in the next two movies they make things harder for him. To me it was just a copout like Highlander 2 and beyond.

  • She's seen it in the Matrix, and it's no different.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    .. ^ or sunrises which I think is what's actually shown

    by Autodidact

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST

    ^ And she has never seen any beauty in the real world before

    by Autodidact

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    ^ I might be wrong about that.

    by Autodidact

  • Hindus are cool motherfuckers and their religion while probably as false as the rest has probably got the coolest imagery.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    the real problems are these

    by Stephen

    morpheus stopped being cool neo stopped being in danger but you were kind of fucked from the start with those.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    WOW! Nordling is REALLY reaching here. Anti-war films...

    by DoctorWho?

    If anything, The Matrix films are allegory for deeper eastern spiritual concepts of cyclical existence, karma, non-self and some others.<p> Nordling is out of his depth. He rattles of things like "Humanity has always known war" yet his opinions are always tinged with that sophomoric convention that somehow "we"... love war more and are the main perpetrators of it based on the loosest of reasonings. <p> And... " I think the casting of these actors was no accident - especially in regards to their race." Oh, look everybody, the people on screen have BROWN skin...*GASP* oh how our xenophobic sensibilities are we've never SEEN such people before! Oh, how will we EVER get over our biases of the "other". I am SO shaken out of my caucasian-comfort zone after 9/11 because of this powerful Matrix sequel. Oh the power of art is affecting me on a level I can't understand. Only a student of film can decipher such deep messages!!<p> Real deep dude. As if "fear of the other"... wasn't the reason for the sadistic, hellish events of 9/11 to begin with. The inference seems to be that...the incidents of 9/11 have valid reasons and causes behind them...yet ONLY the counter reaction is to be judged as a blind, savage, xenophobic reaction.<p> And the ever popular "Not to place blame, or to find fuel for our revenge, but just to understand"...hand wringing. You can't "understand" ignorance. You can only evolve out of it. Keep looking for some magical "reason" to "understand" ANY barbaric act of violence or primitive reaction. You'll never find it. "Reason" plays NO part whatsoever. It's blind, primitive REACTION...pure and simple. <p> Man, the stupidity falls like rain here.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Great article Nord...

    by Darth Macchio

    I think there's a lot more than that going on in these movies but the big blaring things tend to be deal-breakers so succinctly that, in a manner of speaking, the Wachowski's sort of shot themselves in their own 'narrative' foot. I think being an anti-war film is only one of the more obvious themes but there's much more than just, individuality, sacrifice, the nature of conflict itself, etc... But the problem is you still had a rather ham-fisted dramatic performance by Reeves (he's perfect as the quiet samurai-like Neo but any genuine emotional outpourings he's just not that good at pulling off), too much electronic "swoosh" sounds at any character's movement in the matrix (gets a little annoying unfortunately)...and some others. More failings in execution than in story or overall concept. To me, anyway. That coupled with the 'expectation' factor Nordling mentions was really too much to overcome I fear. When Revolutions went off into those same "unexpected and unaccepted" directions, people just lost all concern and checked out. Personally, I loved what the Wachowski's did with the story overall. The fight scene at the end of Revolutions was a brilliantly shot and choreographed as it was a not-so-subtle indication of what one aspect of the long path of contention will ultimately bring. Jesus and Joshua (aka WOPR) both had a lot to say on the subject. "Turn the other cheek" and "the only winning move is not to play"...I think the Wachowski's basically upped this notion to feature length and couched it in a purely geek-fantasy context and, outside of some execution misfires here and there, what more could we want from "smart science-fiction"? (other than no misfires but still, do those misfires dwarf the message or larger point/purpose of the films?)

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST

    This site needs more articles like this.

    by MrWug

    It stirs the talkbackers up, and that's what makes AICN worth visiting. Also, I'd rather try to defend genital herpes than the Matrix sequels.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    how many superheroes have that shit

    by Stephen

    power girl is pretty slutty lookin

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    the only safe sex is demoltion man sex

    by Stephen

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    fluffyunbound -- rave scene and Matrix imagery out of date

    by lv_426

    Well, technically the whole Matrix series would have to be called out of date in the sense that it is cyberpunk, which was supposedly dead just after it started (late 80's). I don't love the rave scene, but it fits with the primitive aesthetic that they established with Zion in general. So it doesn't bother me. Hell, if you want the truth, something like Iron Man from only a few years ago, or any of the Marvel comic book movies already feel out of date in terms of overall visuals and style. Same with the Nolan Batman films. Compared to The Matrix, they don't *pop* off the screen if you know what I mean. As far as comic book styled movies go, I'll take stuff like The Matrix, Bound, Unbreakable, or The Fifth Element over the sanitized style of the Marvel movieverse. Not that I don't enjoy some of those two. I like Iron Man quit a bit, but it doesn't blow me away in an overall sense like The Matrix trilogy did.

  • that will happen to this apple age stuff too and we'll be like haha remember that retarded shit? just like mullets.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    IS this article supposed to make us like CLOUD ATLAS?

    by Chris Moody

    I saw the film. Yawn. It is visually stunning (well, sometimes)...but it's preachy underlying themes just didn't hold my attention.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Cynicism as a defense mechanism

    by Darth Macchio

    Such a common trend now I can only presume it's been around forever only under a wholly different context. I haven't seen Cloud Atlas but I do have a general idea of what it is about. I have, of course, seen numerous other films that seem to have similar threads - this idea of story/character based enlightenment. Except there's only one problem - we're far too cynical in the States to even consider the reality of enlightenment, as it's traditionally been sought over the centuries, much less listen to another person's views on life, the universe, and everything...without distinct and intractable prejudices. Even on this thread we see it. It seems most of the dislike of Cloud Atlas stems from it being heavy-handed or suggestive of how life is or should be lived. Is that the truth? Does Cloud Atlas proselytize? Or does it present an idea? Is it subtle or is it sweeping? Does this view mean that those who liked it are somehow "kool aid drinkers" and those who didn't were too aware to be "hoodwinked" by the movie's themes? Or is it the opposite? Those who enjoyed it "understood it" and those who didn't "just don't get it"? To me, this idea that a film I don't like all of the sudden has an "agenda" as if me not liking it isn't sufficient and I must cast the film as being deceptive, speaks more of the one doing the criticizing than one's "natural" reaction to creative content.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Everyone's opinion is WRONG

    by Player01

    ... only my opinion is important. And I fucking love the Matrix Trilogy.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 3:59 p.m. CST

    the rave scene was so bad that...

    by Detached

    ... upon seeing it, a friend of mine said he wanted the machines to win.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    and by the way, this is a great thread

    by Detached

    one of my favorite ever. best on aicn since an epic "thor vs hulk" discussion back before the avengers came out... some very good stuff in this discussion. mainly, of course, from the people who agree with me ;)

  • THIS MOVIE - Tongue in cheeks now boys and girls.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    real problem with the indian actors

    by Bass Ackwards

    That little girl was a shitty actress. Actually I blame the Waschowskis, since I'm sure they gave her the oddball directions that made her acting feel so forced and fake (whisper the important lines, quickly lean forward for no reason!) Directing kids is tough, but it doesn't help when you're just lazily trying to get them to be Haley Joel Osment from the Sixth Sense.

  • Xenophobic and isolationist.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Matrix 2&3 is one movie. Cool though flawed.

    by chargester

    Asian-influenced even right down to their sci-fi over ours. The execution of 2&3 was mis-step after mis-calculation. But it's a cool story in theory. Maybe how it was shot and released, and indeed, yes, at what time in what decade, really sealed its fate but it made a major impact on film that decade just like The Matrix did. It's very telling as a sociological piece - a sign of the times.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 4:44 a.m. CST

    What I like about the sequels

    by christpunchers2007

    is that they spark interest and conversation, regardless if we like them or not. They allow us to geek out and question the nature of our existence. After viewing confusedmatthew's reviews, I'd agree that many philosophical ideas in the sequels were not well thought out and were just put there for coolness' sake. I still believe there is a coherent and importantly, assertive plot behind the sequels. But it is muddled under so much on the spot dialogue and pretentiousness, that the plot suffers as a result.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST

    One geniunely cool thing about the sequels

    by christpunchers2007

    was the idea that Zion has been restarted 5 times already. I mean, wrapping my brain around that, it's sort of freaky. There you have a conscious "machine" without a soul that has killed off humans 5 times before. Every time the humans are reinserted into a new Matrix, things start from the beginning again. Do we assume that the humans start at some prehistoric age or do they just pop back into the modern age? And what of the "start" of a new Zion? I suppose the machines just monitor and predict such an activity they deemed inevitable.. as part of the Matrix program. I don't know, it just feels creepy that one entity (machine) has re-watched the birth of humans 5 times already. To rewatch an entire civilization "relearn" itself.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Correct christpunchers2007

    by DoctorWho?

    Again, citing the spiritual concepts of cyclic existence. The idea of rebirth over great eons until one attains liberation/salvation etc.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    behind the curtain lies the wizard ....

    by mysterygirlx11

    the first Matrix is a great movie and left people talking about our reality and perceived reality etc sometimes it is cool just to leave questions at the end of a story. We did not need to go further into the Matrix --things got mixed up and muddled --too many explanations and too many "oh this imagery would be cool to show with more unanswered questions" Matrix 2 and 3 almost ruined the mystique and uniqueness of the 1st Matrix in the same way that the prequels ruined Boba Fett. Boba Fett was a mystery to everyone -a bad-ass looking bounty hunter of few words. you never saw his face knew where he came from really but you knew he was a tough hombre. the prequels came along and now we had a face to go with the name --a little boy even (!!)---Sheesh --then of course to show the relationship with his dad etc etc --dad gets killed --oh now we know why he turned out like he did... sometimes we dont need to see behind the curtain -it ruins everything by knowing too much

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    I agree completely mysterygirlx11

    by DoctorWho?

    I think The Matrix is one of the most unique films ever made (It almost seems laughable to say that now because it doesn't seem so unique anymore...everything from cartoons, music videos and tv commercials have adopted stylistic visuals from the movie)...the concepts, the visuals, some musical elements all borrowed from such a variety of sources made for something no one saw coming. I would almost call it a perfect movie but I'm sure someone here could point some structural flaws I'm missing.<p> But in hindsight yes, sometimes less is more. I ranted how cool the sequel was going to be. How could it not? Zero magic in those sequels. I don't hate them, but they certainly don't excite me. They're kind of cold.<p> I thought Terminator was perfect as it was too...with a pregnant Sarah Connor and her dog riding off into the sunset. It was poignant. We could only guess as to what would happen next and you left the theatre pondering it. But Cameron hit it out of the park with his follow up. Not easy to do.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Re: mysterygirlx11

    by Yukon Cornelius

    ^What she said. x1000. Though I don't possess the TOTAL SEETHING DISDAIN for them that I do for the Star Wars prequels, I think the Matrix Re:sequels did as much harm to the amazing first film as the Star Wars prequels did to the Original Trilogy. They lessen the original and make you actually DESPISE what you loved in the first place. And both the Matrix Re:sequels and SW prequels break one of the cardinal rules of good writing: R.U.E. Resist the urge to EXPLAIN! The original Matrix was a self contained story that (other than a desire for filthy lucre) DID NOT REQUIRE A SEQUEL, just like we really did NOT need to see a spotty faced Darth Vader go through puberty to enjoy the original SW films. The bad taste of the Re:sequels certainly left THIS viewer less apt to ever want to revisit what could have been an amazing stand alone genre flick, just as watching the SW prequels make me want to gouge out my eyeballs with a spork and stuff them in my ear holes instead of revisiting the pseudo-original special editioned SW trilogy ever again....arrgh! There goes my blood pressure again--damn you George Lucas! Damn you to hell!!!

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST

    I was surprised at the level of backlash Reloaded got


    It's not a bad movie. It's good. Not great. Revolutions was an abortion.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    RE: doctorwho?

    by Yukon Cornelius

    For what it is--a sci-fi superhero popcorn flick--I'd argue that the original Matrix IS a perfect movie. IMO it's a modern day classic--it's got a nearly perfect blend of action, big ideas, eye candy special effects, romance, and humor--the last of which seemed to be sorely missing in the turgid sequels. It is a rare occasion when a sequel actually improves or builds upon an original without royally fucking it up--Bride of Frankenstein; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Empire Strikes Back; Aliens; T2; and maybe ST2: Wrath of Khan off the top of my head. It was a pretty tall order for the W. siblings to try and top the original Matrix, and unfortunately for us and them, they did not succeed. In hindsight, the further adventures of Neo probably SHOULD have been confined to the dark recesses of our imaginations (along with the early adventures of Anakin Skywalker before he became Darth Vader) INSTEAD of being visibly splattered across movie and tv screens like so much celluloid shit. But to paraphrase news man Brian Fantana: 60% of the time a dump truck full of cash works EVERY time--and unfortunately said dump truck is much more persuasive than good taste or artistic restraint.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    RE: doctorwho?

    by Yukon Cornelius

    For what it is--a sci-fi superhero popcorn flick--I'd argue that the original Matrix IS a perfect movie. IMO it's a modern day classic--it's got a nearly perfect blend of action, big ideas, eye candy special effects, romance, and humor--the last of which seemed to be sorely missing in the turgid sequels. It is a rare occasion when a sequel actually improves or builds upon an original without royally fucking it up--Bride of Frankenstein; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Empire Strikes Back; Aliens; T2; and maybe ST2: Wrath of Khan off the top of my head. It was a pretty tall order for the W. siblings to try and top the original Matrix, and unfortunately for us and them, they did not succeed. In hindsight, the further adventures of Neo probably SHOULD have been confined to the dark recesses of our imaginations (along with the early adventures of Anakin Skywalker before he became Darth Vader) INSTEAD of being visibly splattered across movie and tv screens like so much celluloid shit. But to paraphrase news man Brian Fantana: 60% of the time a dump truck full of cash works EVERY time--and unfortunately said dump truck is much more persuasive than good taste or artistic restraint.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Ooops--didn't mean to post that twice

    by Yukon Cornelius

    G-Lu just broke the internet! Not particularly looking forward to new SW Episodes VII-IX, but maybe now that Disney owns Star Wars(!), we'll actually be able to get to see the original theatrical versions of the SW films in high def?

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 6 p.m. CST

    i disagree- the matrix DID need a sequel, because...

    by Detached

    the end of the first movie just cries out for it. it ends on a note that does everything but say "stay tuned for the further adventures of neo." neo phones the machine, tells it he's going to show the world "without you," and flies straight up out the city (one assumes everyone standing there sees him). they did everything but end with white font on a black screen like the old bond films, saying "next year: matrix II" or whatever. i suspect that some people MAY think the movie didn't need a sequel because the two we got turned out to be so disappointing for so many people. others may simply just believe the movie was sufficient unto itself, and didn't need anything more. i think the sequels were definitely a logical continuation, and a massive blown opportunity & failure.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Matrix 2 and 3 don't need defense because it is a waste

    by frank

    of time. It is impossible to turn a pile of turds into cinematic masterpieces through arguments. These two movies suck,they suck a lot for a lot of reasons that some of the talkbackers above have so accurately described. Personally what i found so offensive is how the sequels shamelessly betrayed the main allegoric and contermporal theme of the original masterpiece and they did a 180 degrees turn: Whereas the first movie was about the individual waking up,realising that he is a slave of the System and standing up against it, in the sequels the System suddenly becomes a misunderstood and misjudged creation of the people themselves and that it is better to compromise with it than fight it. What a bunch of bollocks. I always though that the success of the first Matrix and Joel Silver's greedy,corporate thinking clouded the artistic vision and mind of the W brothers and turned them from storytellers who have something to say, to businessmen who want to sell. They were Lucas-ified...

  • Nov. 19, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by JMoe

  • Nov. 23, 2012, 6 a.m. CST

    M1 rulez, M2 and M3 are garbage. FACT!

    by frank