The Matrix Reloaded
Larry and Andy Wachowski
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci
The complexities of plot return in all their glory with the second - of three - Matrix sci-fi films.
The problem is as it was with the original: it's difficult to work out exactly what's going on. Not, it must be suspected, that the many fans will be overly-concerned with plotting as long as the enigmatic - or wooden, take your pick - Reeves continues to whiz up and down and along every wall he comes across.
We are in a magnificently portrayed sort-of city, the only one remaining for sort-of humans, and there's this sort-of computer and this sort-of bad dude who's attempting to sort-of take over the world; or it might be about a wagon-train crossing the Great Plains and getting attacked by Indians; or it might be about a little chorus-girl who goes on when the star is found drunk and saves the show.
It actually hardly matters what the film is about so long as the action is spectacular and the special effects stun the mind. With The Matrix it actually helps if the mind is stunned.
It's a surprisingly talkie sort-of film in that we have lots of people wandering in from the wings to explain and discuss what the dreaded Council is up to. Too many words, Larry and Andy, too many words. Get everybody back to the walls immediately.
On the sort-of plus side the film is a non-stop thriller and it does contain several excellent moments of snappy banter. It is a visual sensation and will utterly delight its fans; so long as they don't come seeking enlightenment.
Reeves - having met him on several occasions - is a nice gentleman, if one who never gives the impression that he has actually arrived in the room. Either he is the most completely vapid actor in Hollywood or he is seething with deep, fathomless emotions. Answers on a postcard.
OK, so TMR will entertain you, the rest of its cast do their best to beat the power of computer-generated thrills (and largely succeed) and, boy, does it sear the eyes; but it won't give the grey cells too much overtime.