In the second chapter of the Matrix trilogy, Zion falls under siege to the Machine Army. Only hours before 250,000 Sentinels destroy the last human enclave on Earth–and its growing resistance–Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) choose to return to the Matrix with Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), unleashing their arsenal of extraordinary skills and weaponry against the forces of repression and exploitation. Now, at the confluence of love and truth, faith and knowledge, purpose and reason, Neo must follow the course he has chosen if he is to save humanity from the dark fate that haunts his dreams.
Widely derided upon its release in 2003, time has been kind to the first of two follow-ups to the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking THE MATRIX. Wisely realizing they could never recreate the magic of the original, the siblings instead never tried to compete with their own work, quickly deviating from the traditional Campbellian hero’s journey into something much richer, repeatedly undermining our expectations and understanding of what we’re experiencing. That’s not to say this film isn’t packed with spectacle. The “Burly Brawl,” pre-hyped as the answer to the “Bullet Time” sequence in the first film, still wows as Reeves battles a horde of digitally re-created Hugo Weavings. It was innovative technology in 2003; now it’s used in pretty much every superhero film.It doesn’t all work, but it’s a fantastic example of what happens when visionary filmmakers don’t stick to an expected formula.