Janet (j4) wrote,

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May tricks

PVC catsuits, implausibly-fast motorbikes, shattering glass, exploding buildings, guns that never run out of bullets, vertigo-inducing cgi, and dream-sequence twists. And that's only in the first 5 minutes of the film.

If this sort of thing is what you're after, the remainder of the film will not disappoint: it's jam-packed with beautifully choreographed martial arts scenes, big guns, curvy swords, things exploding, implausible hacking, NEATO COOL special effects, and more sexy black clothes than Camden on a Sunday. And the scenery is breathtaking -- the Gigeresque caverns of Zion are easily as good as anything managed in Lord of the Rings, but without requiring you to sit through three buttock-numbing hours of film; and the shiny steel-and-glass metropolis of the Matrix is as coldly beautiful as in the first film (and you get to see more of it exploding).

Unfortunately, the film is let down by its increasingly half-baked philosophy, which is particularly intrusive as it tends to be delivered in clumsy brain-dumps from Neo (Keanu's half-awake thinking-out-loud act is far less endearing in such large doses) and anybody else who stands still for long enough. The musings on choice, destiny, and the role of the individual have an embarrassingly undergraduate feel to them -- remember those nights when you drank gritty coffee into the small hours of the morning and thought you'd solved the mysteries of the universe? -- and the whole thing feels poorly thought out.

All in all, it's like the first film only more so -- more stylish costumes (notably Keanu's cassock), more amazing special effects, more fighting, millions more Agent Smiths (even if the scenes where Neo battles endlessly self-replicating agents do risk erring on the side of slapstick), more Matrix-bending nonsense ("He's doing his Superman thing again", comments one character, as Neo speeds through the universe faster than -- well, something really quite fast), more weapons, more love-interest (and yes, fellow cybersluts, we do get to see Trinity and Neo in all their naked socket-enhanced glory), and more deep and meaningless meanderings on the endless theme of What It's All About. If you can suspend disbelief and disengage your brain for long enough, you'll enjoy a triumph of style over content.

Oh, and dressing up for the film was fun -- we did attract at least some attention in our swirling leather trenchcoats, shades, and stompy boots. Next time, though, I want a catsuit that fits and isn't falling apart, and I want a real belt for it rather than an old stretchy hairband with a sewn-on "buckle" made of cardboard and silver paper. And sockets all the way down my spine.

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