What is the Matrix? The Matrix is here. It is all around you. It is the smells you smell, the tastes you taste, and the taxes you file. What was "The Matrix"? The Matrix was a great F/X movie in 1999. It brought together elements of a hero-discovered tale, a love story, comedy, and the most fucking wicked-ass kung-fu you could get your hands on. What is the "Matrix Reloaded"? On my first and second viewings, I hated it. I'm not gonna lie and say that I loved it. I wanted to staple my gonads to get some feeling during the conversations between Neo and cast and the notoriously bad "rave" scene. The fight scenes seemed out of order. Like when Neo fights 100 Agent Smiths(which was fucking awesome, don't get me wrong), but 5 minutes later, he fought 4 guys. Who weren't Agents. Huh. How is that fight supposed to impress me after seeing him beat the shit out of 100 AGENTS??? The characters almost seemed like dumbed-down versions of their real selves. Morpheus, once a bad-ass agent-killer, becomes a fucking Televangelist, preaching his beliefs to an uneducated Zion, right before the worst scene in cinema history. Trinity, no longer the strong warrior from part one, now is just a slut. She doesn't give a flying damn if they liberate the populace or not, just as long as Neo nails her every night. New characters are either great or shitty. The gorgeous Monica Bellucci(above) plays Persephone, a tortured woman who is married to the Merovingian. He used to have powers similar to Neo's, but has given up hopes of destroying the Matrix. Jada Pinkett Smith can go back to work on that UPN sitcom, because Niobe is an even more strung-up bitch that Lucy Liu's usual typecast of characters. Another thing that bothered me was the fact that Neo used only one of his powers throughout the movie. But that's when I realized what the Wachowskis were trying to create. They aren't trying to make sense of their continuity. They were making a beautifully documented tribute to every movie, novel, video game, and comic book they'd ever read. The action scenes in this film are absolutely stunning, although the dialogue is cheesy(Hugo Weaving's otherwise intimidating Agent Smith sounds like an asshole.) I reccomend this excellent DVD to all those who enjoy fight scenes, or those who can stand to watch the speeches. Natch.