Monday, July 10, 2023


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Official Film Website” (for both films) at the Online Film & Television Association Awards. It lost to Kill Bill Vol. 1.

• Best Scenes/Moments: The freeway chase in The Matrix Reloaded and Trinity’s death scene in The Matrix Revolutions.

• Best Songs: Tie between “Sleeping Awake” by P.O.D. and “When the World Ends (Oakenfold Remix)” by Dave Matthews Band in The Matrix Reloaded and “Navras” by Juno Reactor in The Matrix Revolutions.

• Best Merch: A “2003 AMC Movie Theater The Matrix Reloaded Concession Drink Cup” for $20.00. I actually got this when I saw The Matrix Reloaded in theaters on opening night! Kinda want to pick it up for old times’ sake and be all The Matrix Refilled at home when I get more water.
• Director Check: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were directed by The Wachowskis. The filmmakers have written, produced, and directed several influential and groundbreaking films and have also worked in television, video games and comics over the years. After a writing credit on the 1995 Sylvester Stallone action programmer Assassins, The Wachowskis directed their debut feature - the cult classic Bound (which I still need to see) in 1996. They followed up Bound with The Matrix in 1999 which became one of the most seminal sci-fi films of the 1990s and spawned a long-running franchise. The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both released in 2003) were financially successful but divisive among fans and critics. After taking a five-year break from directing (while writing V for Vendetta in between), The Wachowskis returned to directing with 2008’s Speed Racer, which has a passionate fanbase but was a box office bomb and received mixed reviews. Their follow-ups were the amazing, underappreciated Cloud Atlas in 2012 and the clunky Jupiter Ascending in 2015. After The Wachowski Sisters collaborated on the first season of Sense8, the pair (at least temporarily) seemed to have gone their separate ways creatively. Lilly Wachowski didn’t return for the fourth installment in The Matrix franchise, The Matrix Resurrections, and has most recently worked on the television series Work in Progress which ran from 2019 to 2021. Lana had the sole directing credit on The Matrix Resurrections which was a victim of the HBO Max day-and-date theatrical & streaming experiment and underperformed at the box office. According to IMDb, The Wachowskis don’t currently have any upcoming projects.

• Triple Them with This 2003 Movie: The Animatrix

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before Them: Hulk, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, X2: X-Men United

Draft Day or The Matrix Reloaded or The Matrix Revolutions? Draft Day
• Mall Movie? The Matrix Reloaded, no. It was a classy blockbuster so it would have played at the fancy theater in town. The Matrix Revolutions might have played at the mall since it was a wounded franchise by then that had lost some of its gravitas.

• Only in 2003: Seeing the full lifecycle of The Matrix franchise’s cool factor play out.

• Scene Stealers: Tie between Lambert Wilson and Helmut Bakaitis in The Matrix Reloaded and Hugo Weaving in The Matrix Revolutions.

• I Miss: Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. I’ll never understand why he was replaced with a younger actor in The Matrix Resurrections. He has my favorite arc of any character in the original trilogy.

• I Don’t Miss: The Kid. He’s…a lot.

• 2003 Crush: Carrie-Anne Moss.

• 2023 Crush: Carrie-Anne Moss.
• What I Thought in 2003: I couldn’t have been more excited for The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions in 2003. I really enjoyed Reloaded when I first saw it and was fascinated by its narrative and themes while being thrilled by the action sequences. I thought The Matrix Revolutions was a major disappointment when I first saw it in theaters. The possibilities raised in Reloaded seemed largely ignored by Revolutions, the action was underwhelming by comparison to the first two films, and I was baffled by the choice to wrap up the franchise with not only two of the three lead characters dead but also the central conflict between humans and machines ending in a truce.

• What I Think in 2023: This is the best Reloaded and Revolutions have played for me in a long time. In fact, this might be the best Revolutions has ever played for me since I watched it immediately after Reloaded this time. I think the difference is I tuned out during the circular philosophical conversations in both movies and focused more on the action sequences and character relationships. I think both movies are emotionally resonant at their core and now I better appreciate the chances they’re taking since I’ve had time to live with them.


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  2. What did you think of Resurrections? I personally liked it a lot

    1. I for one liked it fine the one time I watched it, but am not sure I'd ever bother to watch it again. Needed more martial arts.

  3. My buddies and I left Reloaded convinced that Revolutions would end in a massive martial arts throwdown with The Architect, who'd be rewriting/scrambling the Matrix reality while fighting. Some of the MCU battles with magic users we've seen since have been pretty close to that.

    I remember thinking that, due to its largely mundane Matrix setting, the saga would be huge for fan films, but that didn't seem to happen.

    I was also struck by the apparent hypocrisy of the Wachowskis making an MMORPG of the franchise for people to spend huge amounts of their time on, when the whole point of the series (or at least the first movie) was to unplug from a meaningless digital existence. Funny, freeing people from the machines was barely mentioned in the sequels...