looking for friends: what are your thoughts on the matrix reloaded?

by joebortner

As of late, I’ve been going through the filmography of the Wachowski sisters–best known for directing blockbusters such as the 1999 hit The Matrix or the cult Netflix series Sense8. The Matrix movies have always been a glaring blind spot in my cultural awareness, and this project finally allowed me to rectify that in the lead-up to the upcoming fourth film. On Monday night, this journey brought me face-to-face with the directors’ much-maligned sequel: The Matrix Reloaded. Released in May of 2003, my sense is that The Matrix Reloaded represented the first disappointment in the sisters’ then-three film career. For years, I knew it solely as “one of the bad ones,” according to conventional nerd wisdom. However, what really baked my noodle when I sat down to watch the film is that it isn’t just a bad movie: it’s the best bad movie ever made.

Upon viewing, I instantly became enamored with almost every decision that this absolutely deranged sequel makes. How could a movie so thematically rich have such a disjointed storyline? Why do none of the characters have effectively communicated arcs? Why is the film’s cliffhanger a shot of a character that most of the audience wouldn’t recognize? I am desperate to speak about it with anyone. 

Unfortunately, none of my friends have actually seen The Matrix Reloaded, so I’m looking for new ones. I have resorted to the time-tested strategy of asking strangers on the street for their thoughts about the fight between Morpheus and Agent Smith, but my pleas have thus far been ignored. If you, like me, have literally any opinion about The Matrix Reloaded, I am eager to hear from you. 

Potential areas of discussion:

-How does the film’s moral ethos compare with the Wachowskis’ 2008 masterpiece Speed Racer?

-Do you want to hear my very cool fan theory about who The Oracle might really be?

-How does this film expand on the original movie’s conversation with my boy Jean Baudrillard’s writing?

-Hugo Weaving’s perfect line delivery in every scene

-Why do you think they decided to put vampires in this one?

-Hey, how do babies get made in the Matrix? Do the robots just breed babies with DNA to match their parents and then subsequently plug it into the Matrix? I feel like any other solution would mean that all of the people currently alive would have dramatically different real-life appearances as compared to their residual self-images.

-I like when Keanu Reeves throws Hugo Weaving at a bunch of clones of Hugo Weaving, toppling them all over and generating a bowling pin sound effect. 

-Does Keanu Reeves actually know how to act? Bill & Ted suggests “yes”, but these movies suggest “no”
If you’re interested in discussing further, my actual email is jbortner@uvm.edu. I cannot stress enough that my predicament is 100% serious and that I deeply want to discuss The Matrix Reloaded with like-minded peers.

Categories: joe bortner, sept. 28, trash, vol 25

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