2003 Certificate: 15


Time to take another red pill as Keanu Reeves' cyber-saviour Neo continues to fight the machines in part two of the Wachowski brothers' ground-breaking sci-fi saga. While aiming to crash the Matrix with slinky sidekick Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) and rebel leader Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Neo must deal with multiple Agent Smiths (Hugo Weaving), deadly albino twins, and sundry Keymakers, Oracles and Architects - all determined to blind him with gobbledygook. If the cyberbabble doesn't fry your circuits, the action set-pieces certainly will. The highway chase sequence, in particular, is an apogee of unmissability.


  • The Wachowskis


  • Keanu Reeves

  • Laurence Fishburne

  • Carrie-Anne Moss

  • Hugo Weaving

  • Jada Pinkett Smith

  • Monica Bellucci

  • Gloria Foster


Adolescent conspiracy theorists across the land will be pacing their bedrooms in fraught anticipation of The Matrix Reloaded.

A bit of a sleeper hit, which gained momentum largely thanks to special effects - particularly the 'Bullet Time' format - The Matrix was an unexpected triumph.

Now Neo (Reeves) trips back into the space-time continuum with PVC-clad floozy Trinity (Moss) and grim-faced spaceship commander Morpheus (Fishburne).

Where the original mined a rich seam of paranoia and claustrophobia, this widens the scope to encompass a broader, simpler good vs bad scenario.

Zion, the last human enclave on Earth, is under threat from 250,000 'sentinels' - squid-like monstrosities who flail deadly steel tentacles.

Morpheus persuades the colony that he can save them... and they celebrate their new purpose with a scene resembling the Ministry of Sound relocated to Cheddar Gorge.

But it's really up to Neo and his outlandish abilities (gravity doesn't appear to be a handicap to him) to strike into the heart of the beast.

It's best not to take the plot seriously (well, at least not as seriously as the film-makers have) because it's a confusing stew of psycho-babble.

Imagine bumping into a drunk and delusional computer programmer in a pub just before closing time and you have some idea of what's on offer.

Sensibly gauging the abilities of Reeves - who is kitted out like an Armani-and RayBan-clad Catholic priest - the scriptwriters have pruned his dialogue to bare one-liners.

Better to concentrate on the set-pieces, which don't disappoint and will have pimply youths coming over all unnecessary in multiplexes across the country.

One 15-minute freeway chase is jaw-droppingly good, with Trinity's Ducati motorbike weaving through oncoming artics at speeds of up to 200mph.

However, the Japanese-influenced fight scenes are often allowed to linger a little long - once you've seen Keanu bop a villain it gets repetitive.

Those who liked the original will revel in the sequel - the action is pretty much peerless and the characters a winning mix of cool and capable.

For the rest of us, it's best to take on board some advice from one of Zion's leaders: "Nobody cares how it works... as long as it works."