- The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Reloaded
Theatrical poster featuring Neo and Trinity
Directed by Andy Wachowski
Produced by Joel Silver
Written by Andy Wachowski
Narrated by Gloria Foster Starring Keanu Reeves
Randall Duk Kim
Jada Pinkett Smith
Music by Don Davis Cinematography Bill Pope Editing by Zach Staenberg Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Release date(s) May 15, 2003 Running time 138 minutes Country United States
Budget $127 – $150 million Box office $742,128,461
The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 American science fiction film and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy, written and directed by the Wachowski brothers. It premiered on May 7, 2003, in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, and went on general release by Warner Bros. in North American theaters on May 15, 2003, and around the world during the latter half of that month. It was also screened out of competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. The video game Enter the Matrix, which was released on May 15, and a collection of nine animated shorts, The Animatrix, which was released on June 3, supported and expanded the storyline of the movie. The Matrix Revolutions, which completes the story, was released six months after Reloaded, in November 2003.
Six months after the events of the first movie, Morpheus receives a message from Captain Niobe of the Logos calling an emergency meeting of all of Zion's hovercraft. Zion has confirmed the last transmission of the Osiris: an army of Sentinels is tunneling towards Zion and will reach it within 72 hours. Commander Lock, the ranking military officer of Zion, orders all ships to return to Zion to prepare for the onslaught. Morpheus asks a ship to remain in order to contact the Oracle, in defiance of Commander Lock's orders. The Caduceus receives a message from the Oracle, and the Nebuchadnezzar ventures out so Neo can contact her. One of the Caduceus crew, Bane, encounters Agent Smith, who takes over Bane's avatar. Smith then leaves the Matrix, gaining control of Bane's real body.
In Zion's temple, Morpheus announces the news of the advancing machines to the people. Neo receives a message from the Oracle and returns to the Matrix to meet her. After realizing that the Oracle is part of the Matrix, Neo asks how he can trust her; she replies that it is his decision. The Oracle explains that she is an exiled program and instructs Neo to reach the Source of the Matrix by finding the Keymaker, a prisoner in the home of the Merovingian. The Keymaker makes keys that can open hidden portals. As the Oracle departs, Smith appears, telling Neo that after being defeated, he knew he was supposed to return to the Source to be deleted, but refused, and is now a rogue program. He demonstrates his ability to clone himself using other people in the Matrix, including other agents, as hosts. He then tries to absorb Neo as a host, but fails, prompting a battle between Neo and Smith's clones. Neo manages to hold his own, but is forced to retreat from the increasingly overwhelming numbers.
Neo, Morpheus and Trinity visit the Merovingian and ask for the Keymaker, but the Merovingian refuses. His wife Persephone, tired of her husband's attitude, betrays him and leads the trio to the Keymaker, allowing one of the Merovingian's henchmen to escape to tell her husband. The Merovingian soon arrives and, while Morpheus, Trinity and the Keymaker escape, Neo fights the Merovingian's supernatural servants. Morpheus and Trinity are trying to escape with the Keymaker on the highway, facing several Agents and The Twins. Ultimately, the Twins are killed, and Neo flies in to save Morpheus and the Keymaker.
Zion's remaining ships prepare to battle the machines. Within the Matrix, the crews of the Nebuchadnezzar, Vigilant and Logos help the Keymaker and Neo reach the door to the Source. The crew of the Logos must destroy a power plant in order to prevent a security system from being triggered by the Keymaker's keys, and the crew of the Vigilant must destroy a back-up power station. The Logos is successful, while the Vigilant is bombed by a Sentinel, killing everyone on board. Although Neo requested that Trinity remain on the Nebuchadnezzar, she enters the Matrix to replace the Vigilant crew, and she destroys the backup station. However, her escape is compromised by an agent, and they fight. As Neo, Morpheus and the Keymaker reach the Source through a hallway of shortcuts to other doors in the Matrix, the Smiths appear and try to kill them. The Keymaker unlocks the door to the Source, allowing Neo and Morpheus to escape the Smiths, but the Keymaker is killed.
Neo meets a program called the Architect, the Matrix's creator. In the complex conversation that follows, the Architect explains that Neo is part of the design of the Matrix; there were multiple previous versions of the Matrix and the One. Unless Neo returns to the Source to reboot the Matrix, it will fail, killing everyone connected to it. Zion's destruction would then be mankind's extinction, and the machines would survive on some lesser energy source. Neo learns of Trinity's situation and chooses to save her instead, as Trinity falls out of a window and is shot by the Agent she is fighting. Neo catches her, but Trinity dies. Unwilling to let her go, Neo uses his powers to remove the bullet and restart her heart.
In the real world, the Nebuchadnezzer is destroyed by Sentinels, and Neo displays a new ability to disable the machines, but collapses and falls into a coma from the effort. The crew are picked up by another ship, The Hammer, where its captain Roland reveals the remaining hovercrafts were wiped out by the machines after someone activated an EMP too early, with Bane as the only survivor.
- Keanu Reeves as Neo
- Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus
- Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity
- Hugo Weaving as Smith
- Harold Perrineau as Link
- Randall Duk Kim as The Keymaker
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe
- Gloria Foster as The Oracle
- Helmut Bakaitis as The Architect
- Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian
- Monica Bellucci as Persephone
- Neil and Adrian Rayment as Twins
- Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson
- Leigh Whannell as Axel
- Collin Chou as Seraph
- Nona Gaye as Zee
- Gina Torres as Cas
- Anthony Zerbe as Councillor Hamann
- Roy Jones, Jr. as Captain Ballard
- David A. Kilde as Agent Jackson
- Matt McColm as Agent Thompson
- Harry J. Lennix as Commander Lock
- Cornel West as Councillor West
- Steve Bastoni as Captain Soren
- Bernard White as Rama-Kandra
- Anthony Wong as Ghost
- Ian Bliss as Bane
- Michael Budd as Zion Controller
The Matrix Reloaded was largely filmed at Fox Studios in Australia, concurrently with filming of the sequel, Revolutions. The freeway chase scene was filmed at the decommissioned Naval Air Station Alameda in Alameda, California. The producers constructed a 1.5-mile freeway on the old runways specifically for the film. Some portions of the chase were also filmed in Oakland, California, and the tunnel shown briefly is the Webster Tube, which connects Oakland and Alameda. Some post-production editing was also done in old aircraft hangars on the base as well.
The city of Akron, Ohio was willing to give full access to Route 59, the stretch of freeway known as the "Innerbelt", for filming of the freeway chase when it was under consideration. However, producers decided against this as "the time to reset all the cars in their start position would take too long". MythBusters would later reuse the Alameda location in order to explore the effects of a head-on collision between two semi trucks, and to perform various other experiments.
Sound editing on the Matrix Trilogy was completed by Danetracks in West Hollywood, California.
Don Davis, who composed the music for The Matrix, returned to score Reloaded. For many of the pivotal action sequences, such as the "Burly Brawl", he collaborated with Juno Reactor. Some of the collaborative cues by Davis and Juno Reactor are extensions of material by Juno Reactor; for example, a version of "Komit" featuring Davis' strings is used during a flying sequence, and "Burly Brawl" is essentially a combination of Davis' unused "Multiple Replication" and a piece similar to Juno Reactor's "Masters of the Universe". One of the collaborations, "Mona Lisa Overdrive", is titled in reference to the cyberpunk novel of the same name by William Gibson, a major influence on the directors. Leitmotifs established in The Matrix return - such as the Matrix main theme, Neo and Trinity's love theme, the Sentinel's theme, Neo's flying theme, and a more frequent use of the four-note Agent Smith theme - and others used in Revolutions are established.
As with its predecessor, many tracks by external musicians are featured in the movie, its closing credits, and the soundtrack album, some of which were written for the film. Many of the musicians featured, for example Rob Zombie, Rage Against the Machine and Marilyn Manson, had also appeared on the soundtrack for The Matrix. Rob Dougan also re-contributed, licensing the instrumental version of "Furious Angels", as well as being commissioned to provide an original track, ultimately scoring the battle in the Merovingian's chateau. A remixed version of "Slap It" by electronic artist Fluke - listed on the soundtrack as "Zion" - was used during the rave scene.
Linkin Park contributed their instrumental song "Session" to the film as well, although it did not appear during the course of the film. P.O.D. composed a song called "Sleeping Awake", with a music video which focused heavily on Neo, as well as many images that were part of the film. Both songs appeared during films's subtitles.
The film earned an estimated $5 million during Wednesday night previews in North America. The Matrix Reloaded grossed $37,508,303 on its Thursday opening day in North America from 3,603 theaters, which was the second highest opening day after Spider Man's $39.4 millon and highest for a Thursday. It earned an additional $91,774,413 from its Friday to Sunday run while in 3,603 theaters. which was the second highest at the time after Spider Man's $114.8 million. Although the film exceeded box office records during its first week, it fell to the number two spot on the box-office totals the following week, when it was beaten by Jim Carrey's Bruce Almighty. Ultimately, the film grossed $281.5 million in the US, and $742.1 million worldwide.
Reloaded had mostly positive critical reception, with a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 73%. The film's average critic score on Metacritic is 63/100. However, Entertainment Weekly named it as one of "The 25 Worst Sequels Ever Made".
Some positive comments from critics included commendation for the quality and intensity of its action sequences, and its intelligence. Tony Toscano of Talking Pictures had high praise for the film, saying that "its character development and writing...is so crisp it crackles on the screen" and that "Matrix Reloaded re-establishes the genre and even raises the bar a notch or two" above the first film, The Matrix.
On the other hand, negative comments included the sentiment that the plot was alienating, with some critics regarding the focus on the action as a detriment to the film's human elements. Some critics thought that the number of scenes with expository dialog worked against the film, and the many unresolved subplots, as well as the cliffhanger ending, were also criticized.
The film was initially banned in Egypt, because of the violent content, and because it put into question issues about human creation "linked to the three monotheistic religions that we respect and which we believe in". The Egyptian media claimed the film promoted Zionism, as it talks about Zion and the dark forces that wish to destroy it. However, it was eventually allowed to be shown in theatres, and was later released on VHS and DVD.
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- Official website
- The Matrix Reloaded at the Internet Movie Database
- The Matrix Reloaded at AllRovi
- The Matrix Reloaded at Box Office Mojo
- The Matrix Reloaded at Rotten Tomatoes
The Matrix franchise The Matrix (1999) · The Matrix Reloaded (2003) · The Matrix Revolutions (2003) Characters Soundtracks Video games Matrix universe Other topics Related articles Films directed by The Wachowskis 1990s 2000s 2010sCloud Atlas (2012)
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