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May 19, 2003

The One

If I haven't lived up to the title of Uber Geek before, I did it this weekend, going to see The Matrix Reloaded twice. I went once with Tom and Alan on Friday, then again with Alan, James, John, Lisa, Bo, Dan and Heather on Saturday after NOVA.

I was entertained just fine, and amused by the fanboy gripes and mainstream criticism of the movie. The parallels between the second Matrix movie and the second Star Wars movie (excuse me, the fifth Star Wars movie) are striking in this regard. After seeing the first movie a bajillion times, fans had imprinted the universe on their brains, filling in the gaps with their personal visions of what lay at the periphery. Then the second movie came out, and the director's vision intruded on that sacred image. Much complaining ensued.

Secondly, the follow-up is not a self-contained movie like the first, leaving our heroes hanging, having had their butts handed to them, or at least being told that everything they knew was wrong, and all they know and love is about to be kicked to Flinders. Now they get to wait several excruciating months to resolve their pain...

The replacement actors were actually quite good. Jada Pinkett Smith as Captain Niobe was given an abbreviated role, but did with it much better than I imagine Aaliyah would have done, judging from her performances in Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned. Aaliyah of course died before shooting on MatrixII started, so we got Jada.

More interesting to me was the role of Seraph. This role was originally offered to Jet Li, but he turned it down since it conflicted with several movies he had lined up, including Cradle 2 the Grave (ho hum) in the U.S., and Hero in Hong Kong.

So instead we got Sing Ngai (billed as Collin Chou). He was pretty good, given his brief screen time, and I hope he gets more in the next movie. Amusingly enough, many of his screen credits are in Hong Kong movies starring Jet Li.

I could babble on for ages, but I'll cut this short so I can get ready for work. Suffice to say that this was just as much fun for me as the first movie. I'm looking forward to The Matrix Revolution.

Posted by dpwakefield at May 19, 2003 07:39 AM