PG Cooper: Top 10 Reasons I Like The Matrix Sequels

Posted: December 18, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

Top Ten Reasons I Like The Matrix Sequels

10.Great Music
I love the scores of Don Davis. There’s something really sinister about his music, but also really exciting and fun. His music really helps give the films a sense of urgency. Plus, how can you not love the song “Navras”? That thing is all kinds of epic.

9.Connections to the First Film
There’s a lot of references to the first film, but three really stand out to me. First is the picture above of Neo rocking the same fighting stance against Smith that he did in the first film. The final exchange between Neo and Morpheus is a nod to the first film too. “It was an honor,” “No, the honor is still mine.” Awesome. My favourite though is a subtle one. Remember the interrogation scene in the first Matrix? The first shot of Neo in the scene is through a TV monitor which the camera eventually passes through. That TV monitor is one of many later seen in The Architect’s room in The Matrix Reloaded.

8. The Visuals
Sometimes it’s fun to just look at these films, because the visuals are incredible. Whether it be awesome action shots, the foreboding view of the machine city, or the striking colours of a beautiful sky, The Matrix sequels are are total feast for the eyes, even if not all of the effects hold up completely.

7.All Films in the Series are Different
What’s one of the most common complaints of movie sequels? That they’re just the first film made over again. The Matrix films never went down that route. Each film feels very different from the last. There are similarities throughout mind you, certain ideas and concepts that return from film to film. But the plots all feel unique, each film brings new elements to the table, and there are usually slight tweaks to the recurring elements. If nothing else each film in the series stands out as an individual.

6.New Characters
The sequels introduce a ton of new characters, 90% of which I really liked. Link, Kid, General Locke, Niobe, the Keymaker, the Merovingian, Seraph, the Twins, Councillor Hamann, Commander Locke, and Captain Mifune, just to name a few. I really dug all these characters and enjoyed seeing so many new faces. They brought in new personalities, new abilities, new story potential, and the helped build the world of the series. Let’s also not forget Monica Belluci looking sexy as hell.

5.Epic Scope
I love the first Matrix film, but I also like how the sequels decided to up the ante. I know trying to make the sequels “bigger and more epic” isn’t exactly new, but I feel The Matrix sequels accomplish being bigger and epic very well. By the time we get to Revolutions, the fate of every thing on earth is riding on the actions of our characters. That gives the film a lot of weight and makes Neo and company’s struggle that much more dramatic. Scenes like the Battle of Zion and the final fight between Neo and Smith are so much more effective because of how much is at stake.

4.Theme
There’s a lot of thematic depth to The Matrix sequels. The obvious Jesus parallels for example is a prominent one. I know people have there issues with that, but I think it works. A friend of mine also pointed out how the trilogy is a metaphor for birth, life, and death. I never really thought about it before, but it is completely true. The first film revolves around Neo’s discovery, the second around his self-doubts, and the third around his acceptance of death. That’s actually pretty interesting and cool. Perhaps the most obvious theme is the running element of choice. Throughout the trilogy emphasis is put on the choices we make and their effects and consequences. The film’s aren’t exactly subtle about it; I remember Reloaded especially going on and on about it. But I like all the stuff about choice, even if it is obvious. The most obvious example is Neo, who’s choices have been highlighted and discussed throughout the trilogy, but the choices Smith, Morpheus, and Trinity make are equally important in shaping the series’ universe. Bottom line, I like how there are elements going on between the lines of the film and I like how the themes were consistent throughout the trilogy.

3.Action
Morpheus freewayI will say that that none of the action in the sequels trumps the first films greatest action scenes.With that said, the action in the sequels is still absolutely badass. Both films are packed with exhilarating set pieces; shoot-outs, chases, fights, explosions, mech suits, everything an action junkie could want. These set-pieces are also varied in tone. Some are fun, some exciting, dramatic, dark, epic, and sometimes a mix of all. Highlights include Neo’s first confrontation with the agents, the Burly Brawl, the Battle of Zion, Trinity vs. the Agent, the Freeway Chase, Morpheus fighting the twins, and the final fight between Neo and Smith.
2.The Reloaded Twist
It’s amazing that how after blowing everyone’s minds with the first Matrix, the Wachowskis were able to do it again at the end of The Matrix Reloaded. Open until the last few minutes of the film, the audience believed Neo was the chosen one destine to destroy the machines and save the human race. Then the scene with the architect happened and turned the entire series on its head. Turns out the prophecy was created by the machines in order to keep the humans in a predictable cycle of control. This is a really clever twist and one which makes sense for the machines. It also fits into the series perfectly and doesn’t contradict anything from the first film. The twist is also genuinely surprising. I don’t think anyone could have seen this coming. I also like the little details revealed, such as the first Matrix was a perfect world that couldn’t be accepted by human minds because it was too perfect. I feel this twist is under appreciated, possibly because people wanted an equally mind blowing twist to follow it, which never happened. Regardless, I think this is a pretty amazing twist.

1.Smith (Hugo Weaving)
Smith is one of my all time favourite movie characters. I love the guy and can watch him for hours. From his epic speeches, to his ruthless demeanor, to his air of sophistication, Smith is a blast to watch. Hugo Weaving is awesome in the role and I doubt he’ll ever top his work as Smith. I also like the place his character goes. He strongly reflects the series’ themes of choice and conformity in his refusal to leave the Matrix. Plus him multiplying himself throughout the Matrix is a really fun idea and I also love how he manages to attack Neo in the human world. One last thing about the awesomeness of Smith. I remember getting into a debate with my friend about what was better, Inception or the first Matrix. I ultimately sided with The Matrix, and the deciding factor was Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith. Great as Inception is, it doesn’t have a villain that can even come close to the badassery that is Smith. At the end of the day I just love watching Hugo Weaving work his magic with the character, and The Matrix sequels allowed me to do just that.

Comments
  1. le0pard13 says:

    Count me in as another, Daniel. Great post.

  2. I agree with some of the reasons here. The action is pretty epic and the scale is huge; I remember being blown away by the Zion battle with the machines. I just find them a little pretentious and complicated for the sake of it. The first film was reasonably easy to follow for the most part but the sequels just throw so many ideas at you that it’s difficult to follow. I’m all up for interpretation and that but it gets to a point where it’s just incoherent. Massive fan of the first film and I can watch the sequels but I end up getting frustrated trying to work it all out. Maybe I don’t have the intellect to take it all on board, but it all smacks of self indulgence to me. Still, great post, it’s interesting to hear some positive things about these films when they pretty much universally get slated.

    • pgcooper1939 says:

      I do see your point about the sequels being overly complicated. I’ve seen them so many times though that at this point I don’t notice. Glad you enjoyed the list :)

  3. Yeahhhhhh… I’m not onboard with you here, buddy, but I do admire the tenacity. :D LOL

  4. brikhaus says:

    Not a bad list. I’m glad you did it, you clearly put a lot of thought into this. I agree with a lot of what you said. Although, I absolutely can’t stand the third movie in the series. It’s utter garbage.

  5. reel411 says:

    so glad i’m not the only one :)

  6. Spikor says:

    Wow.

    I really need to sit down with this trilogy. I hated the 2nd movie so badly that I outright refused to watch the 3rd. When it got panned as a piece of garbage by all my friends that went, I got to be all, “Told ya so, ya jackass.”

    But now, I wonder if I didn’t deprive myself of at least a few good action sequences, and the ability to judge the series as a whole.

    And then I remember that the first one (the one everyone, myself included, hailed as a masterpiece for a while) ended with Ted “Theodore” Logan walking out of a phone booth, putting on sunglasses, and I laugh quietly to myself.

  7. I wasn’t a fan of the sequels — and one of these days I’m going to write out exactly why — but I can respect the reasons you give here.

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