If you haven’t seen "The Matrix," be sure to rent it first. This is not a movie sequel where you can pick it up as you go. "The Matrix Reloaded" is a visual feast and a bit of a mystery. The plot itself is easy enough to follow, but as one character in the film says, “Do you know why?” And don’t expect to be able to watch "Reloaded" just once. The visuals and the labyrinthine plot virtually insist upon repeat viewing.
"The Matrix" was a fabulous movie in and of itself. This first of two sequels – "The Matrix Revolutions" will be out in November – expands upon the background and history of the people battling machines. While the world inside the Matrix is bright and sterile, the people’s world is gritty and sensual – a compelling contrast. But then, there are the questions. Who is a program and who isn’t? What is a program doing with emotions? Where do they buy those cool sunglasses?
No one can be told what the Matrix is – but you are allowed to guess. For most of the questions, we will find the answers come November.
[2009: I didn't review "The Matrix Revolutions," but I was a bit disappointed by it. I watched the trilogy again in Febuary, 2009, and while I now accept that "Revolutions" pretty much had to be what it was in order to resolve the story, it was still a bit of a downer. If you've never seen any of the Matrix movies, rent "The Matrix" and leave it at that.]