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Still shot from the movie: The Matrix Reloaded.

The Matrix Reloaded

Targeting the faithful following they developed in the first film, The Matrix Reloaded continues the story of Neo and Trinity (Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss) as they try to prevent an army of probes from discovering their subterranean hideout Zion. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: C-
Violence: D
Sexual Content: D+
Language: C-
Drugs/Alcohol: C
Run Time: 138
Theater Release: 14 May 2003
Video Release: 13 Oct 2003
MPAA Rating: R
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Whether or not you are one of the fanatical followers (shall we even say believers) of the original film in this trilogy, one thing that's clearly evident is the movie's incredible marketing appeal. I've discussed Matrix philosophies with Christians -- from Catholics to Evangelicals to Mormons -- along with Muslims and Atheists. Amazingly they all claim metaphysical enlightenment from the film.

This charismatic crossover has sent the movie's profits soaring heavenward, making it the first film to sell one million copies on DVD. Even this week, as I sought to revisit The Matrix prior to the release of its much-anticipated sequel, I had to call three video shops before I could nab a copy to rent.

If you're detecting that I wasn't one of the many who were propelled into a new dimension before the final credits rolled… you're correct. I do attest that the original Matrix was a fine piece of science fiction writing, and the production values of the movie were superb. But a few less gunshots would have put it into a PG-13 category with no harm done to the story. And for me, it was just a movie.

But the real reason you're reading this is to know what so many have already asked: Is The Matrix: Reloaded suitable for my children? My teens?

I've always been astonished at the number of 8-year-olds that can quote from the first movie. Mine are not among them. And parents would do well to be aware this sequel ups the body count with an increase in quantity of violence. Most of the killings are still bloodless, but the only time the fighting stops, is to give someone an opportunity to make an overwrought philosophical statement about destiny and choice.

The naked body count is also on the rise. Unlike the first movie, which was refreshingly void of the usual sexual encounters, this second outing displays a couple engaged in intercourse with the usual carefully positioned arms, legs, and camera angles. This scene is inter-cut with a dancing party that puts the R-rating into gRind.

As for the story, The Matrix: Reloaded is yet another victim of "digital distraction." Like the recent Star Wars episodes, when the effects budget balloons it seems boys get far too busy with their toys, and forget to keep the lowly word processor company.

The final product may provoke an apostasy from this Hollywood religion by those who have eagerly awaited the chance to have their minds expanded and make their donation to The Matrix: Reloaded's collection plate.

The Matrix Reloaded is rated R: for sci-fi violence and some seuality

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne
Studio: 2003 Warner Home Video

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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