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<Movie Details
26 January 2006 by Tim Evans

Adolescent conspiracy theorists across the land will be pacing their bedrooms in fraught anticipation of The Matrix Reloaded.

A bit of a sleeper hit, which gained momentum largely thanks to special effects - particularly the 'Bullet Time' format - The Matrix was an unexpected triumph.

Now Neo (Reeves) trips back into the space-time continuum with PVC-clad floozy Trinity (Moss) and grim-faced spaceship commander Morpheus (Fishburne).

Where the original mined a rich seam of paranoia and claustrophobia, this widens the scope to encompass a broader, simpler good vs bad scenario.

Zion, the last human enclave on Earth, is under threat from 250,000 'sentinels' - squid-like monstrosities who flail deadly steel tentacles.

Morpheus persuades the colony that he can save them... and they celebrate their new purpose with a scene resembling the Ministry of Sound relocated to Cheddar Gorge.

But it's really up to Neo and his outlandish abilities (gravity doesn't appear to be a handicap to him) to strike into the heart of the beast.

It's best not to take the plot seriously (well, at least not as seriously as the film-makers have) because it's a confusing stew of psycho-babble.

Imagine bumping into a drunk and delusional computer programmer in a pub just before closing time and you have some idea of what's on offer.

Sensibly gauging the abilities of Reeves - who is kitted out like an Armani-and Rayban-clad Catholic priest - the script-writers have pruned his dialogue to bare one-liners.

Better to concentrate on the set-pieces, which don't disappoint and will have pimply youths coming over all unnecessary in multiplexes across the country.

One 15-minute freeway chase is jaw-droppingly good, with Trinity's Ducati motorbike weaving through oncoming artics at speeds of up to 200mph.

However, the Japanese-influenced fight scenes are often allowed to linger a little long - once you've seen Keanu bop a villain it gets repetitive.

Those who liked the original will revel in the sequel - the action is pretty much peerless and the characters a winning mix of cool and capable.

For the rest of us, it's best to take on board some advice from one of Zion's leaders: "Nobody cares how it works... as long as it works."