Viewed on 15 May 03   Expectations can be everything.   I expected that THE MATRIX RELOADED would be not only the sequel, but the equal.  However, it too suffers from Trans-Sequel Dilution Syndrome; currently one of Hollywood's most acute pandemics.   Trans-Sequel Dilution can be caused by many things, however in MATRIX's case it is caused by breaking the Cardinal rule on sequels. This rule reads simply: "Each sequel must be a 'stand-alone', with its own 'ending', and lead logically into the next sequel".   With all the resources and talent available to the MATRIX team, the fact that they failed in this regard is an unforgivable sin - we are not watching X-Files, for godsake.    "To Be Concluded...", indeed !
This wasn't the only Trans-Sequel transgression made by Directors Wachowski.   For those movie-goers not having eidetic memories, or who did not see the first episode, it would have been difficult to follow this 'RELOADED' chapter.   For example; what was actually taking place when the key was shoved into the back of the head in Zion, and the person automatically appeared 'topside' in the 'real' world?    Where do the super-powers come from that both the bad-hats and the good-guys seem to possess?    What are "Agents" as in, say, 'Agent Smith'?    Etcetera.
The religious and philosophical expositings which pour almost non-stop from the lips of the Zionites are, at times, difficult to follow, but harder yet is comprehending why these settings-forth have become a mainstay of the film.   One can't help but wonder if Neo (Keanu Reeves) isn't being groomed for a neo-Stranger In A Strange Land part in the final episode.
Nevertheless, by any accounting, THE MATRIX RELOADED continues to rule - fine presentation, valid premises, and most of all, hi-octane entertainment.    The original MATRIX raised the bar in the world of SFX - its imitators have been playing catch-up ever since.   This episode raises the bar again, its nonpareil eye-candy is more than worth the price of a ticket.
Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Choice is an illusion created by the rich, given to the poor."
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