Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Time Out

I am off to see The Matrix Reloaded. Annoyingly, the film is being released here a week after many other countries, so my Australian and American readers have probably seen it already. (Of course, Britain doesn't get Finding Nemo until October). My expectations are only moderate, as the consensus seems to be that the original was better. As I have written before I found the original entertaining but profoundly dumb.

Update: The film was once again profoundly dumb, and full of the sort of pseudo-intellectual dialogue that gives you that fabulous "That sounds really profound, and I am sure it is really deep if I understood it" feeling, when it actually makes no sense at all. The first 60 minutes or so were deeply tedious, but once they got into the Matrix itself things improved somewhat. The set piece with Keanu Reeves fighting 100 Hugo Weavings was kind of cool, and the freeway chase was technically stunning. However, the film had a very different look from the first one, particularly if you are Australia. In the first one, you go into the matrix, and you are obviously in Sydney. The locations are all familiar when you know the city. In the sequel, you go in the matrix and you are in an obviously computer generated (or at least very computer enhanced) city. The freeway chase is like one of those computer car racing games where you drive around a trace and computer generated scenery that bears some resemplance to that of the real world but isn't quite exact zooms past above the track. When we see Keanu flying above the city, it looks like a tremendously well rendered version of what someone who has been playing Sim-City for six months has ended up with. There actually are one or two buildings that are genuine Sydney landmarks if you look carefully, but they have been rearranged location wise, and a large amount of computer generated stuff placed all around them. It makes a certain amount of sense that a computer generated world would look like a computer generated world, but this is different from the first movie. The best thing is that the film is, in the end, a visual tour de force. A great amount of money has been spent on it, and the money is all up there on the screen. Still, it's a really dumb movie pretending to be a smart one. And that combination is always in many ways annoying.

No comments:

Blog Archive