Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Okay, I have to have one final full-on spit about Matrix Reloaded. To get
it all out.

I am going to go a bit overboard with it, so I apologise once again if you
ain't interested in my rants. Just delete this if that's case.


*** Firstly, why I need to have this spit.
* Nobody I know of approves of Matrix 2.
* Despite the above fact, it has made $200US million at the american
box-office already! Garbage has won the box office battle, this time.
* This lousy film was expensive. They've spent over $300US million on
Matrix 2 and 3.
* The film critics were far too easy on this film. The trashy film critics
(with Hollywood stars in their eyes) said it'd be fantastic. The serious
film critics said "not as good as the first film/great special effects/the
fans will like it". But the fans DON'T like it. Serious film critics
should never be trusted when reviewing sci-fi/action films.
* I don't have the Wachowski brothers' email address, so I can't write to
them to give them scriptwriting tips, or to ask for my money back.

*** Secondly, my best guess as to why things went wrong.
The Matrix was a huge hit. A good action film with nifty gimmicks: cool &
stylish heroes; original special effects; effective action scenes; paranoid
futuristic plot (which was nicely timed for the end of the millenium).
Everyone told the Wachowski brothers that they were super imaginative guys
who could do anything. So they got bigger budgets and thought that if
people liked the gimmicks of Matrix 1, then they'd surely have even bigger
success multiplying those gimmicks by 3 for the next films. Bigger special
effects! Cooler heros! More techno-pyscho-babble dialogue!
But they failed to remember that the Matrix was basically a sci-fi/action
film with fancy trimmings, which needed a workable sci-fi/action film plot,
and appropriate sci-fi/action film dialogue.
They got their minds stuck on the trimmings.

*** Thirdly, my main gripes.
* The love affair!? Keanu & Carrie have three main scenes together.
1) Carrie and Keanu have sex - they're naked and he has a pained look on his
face, so I guess that's sex. But it doesn't show them being in love.
They're just two thin people who have slightly uncomfortable sex.
2) A strange & beautiful woman tells Keanu she'll give him some help (which
will enable him to save the human race) if he kisses her. Seems a pretty
good deal to me. But not to Carrie. She pulls a gun on the woman. This
gets a laugh from the audience, which would make the Wachowski's happy, but
it turns Carrie's character from a tough action heroine (in Matrix 1) into a
jealous psycho bitch. Not looking good.
3) At the end, Keanu has to chose between saving the world and saving
Carrie. He goes for Carrie. Why? I have no idea! If he saves Carrie,
then she'll die anyway when they all die. And she's such a cold & inhuman
piece of work, it's unbelievable that Keanu could actual be in LOVE with
her. Lust yes, love no.
Romances don't have to be very deep in sci-fi/action films, but there needs
to be at least a little spark there. Most effecient example I can think of:
The Empire Strikes Back. Han Solo is about to be frozen by baddies. Leia
says "I love you!". There's a pause. Han is about to get the freeze, and
may never breath again. Han looks at Leia as he gets the freeze and says "I
know". Cue dramatic & emotional musical climax!

* The action scenes.
How can such expensive action scenes be so BORING!?
1) The first scene has Keanu against 100 Hugo Weavings. Keanu is close to
invincible, since the normal laws of physics don't affect him. And Hugo's
character can replicate himself endlessly. The scene goes on forever.
Hugos are thrown everywhere. But nobody gets as much as a scratch. There
is no point to this fight! Nobody is going to get hurt. Since there is no
tension, the mind wanders, and you notice that some of the Hugos in the shot
you're watching are obviously unconvincing computer graphics, while in the
next scene they are extras wearing Hugo faces (or maybe their faces were
digitally altered - I guess the dvd will explain).
2) The second fight pits Keanu against a stranger. When the fight is over
the stranger turns out to be a friend. He explains why he fought Keanu.
Apparently 'You don't fully know someone until you fight them'.
So now there have been two fights and all they've done is show that there is
no point to these people fighing. None whatsoever! The audience is not
exactly going to be waiting breathlessly for the next exciting showdown!
3) Then Keanu fights off a number of people and yes he gets a scratch, to
show he's still human. However, one scratch does not lead to dramatic
4) It ends with the car chase, by which time I was craving for it to be over
fast, which it wasn't. There is lots of destruction, but none of it
thrilling. I read that the car chase scene cost $40US million. They had to
build the road it was shot on, which went for a mile & a half. The cheap
cheap Mad Max II was much more exciting.

And finally.
* Laurence Fishbourne was embarrassing. I so wanted his character to die a
tragic death, just so he'd shut up.
* The hippy humans living underground & dancing in a big cave were like from
some cheap 70's sci-fi flick (though I usually quite enjoy cheap 70's sci-fi
* Each time they used some of that fancy slow-motion, I sighed. I wanted
everything to go in fast motion instead. Anything to get through the film
more quickly! Please!
* Every shot looked so damn expensive. And when a film is this
dissappointing, it hurts.

The next time Hollywood has a spare $300 million, please please please can
they give it to me!!

The only possible bright spot: if Matrix 3 is very very very brilliant, it
might partly make up for this one. Maybe the studio should consider taking
it out of the Wachowski's hands before they make another shit-fest?

Am done now.

PS. If anyone knows the Wachowski's email address, please forward this on
to them. Thanks.
PPS. To make up for this shit film, I watched Thunderball on tv on the
weekend. So nice to see classy dialogue. You only have to wait 15 minutes
into the film before you get a busty blonde procliaming "Behave yourself, Mr
Bond!". Love it.

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