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Anklets and Albino Milli Vanilli:
A Review of "The Matrix Reloaded"

by Margaret T. Minnick

7/29 - 11/27/03

Now that I've seen The Matrix Reloaded twice (and once in super-big IMAX), I feel confident that I understand what the movie was about ... sort of.

Firstly, it was about how free people are all hippies, or something.

Zion was not at all as I had imagined it. I didn't think that the people would all be dressed in "hemp couture" in the future. Everyone wore scarves and dresses and jangly anklets. I think the costume designer must have gone shopping on Telegraph Avenue. The Zion party/orgy looked a little too much like Hash Bash.

Frankly, I found this image of the future depressing as all hell. In my future-fantasies, people are dressed in much more Jetsons-like fashions. Artificial fibers! Pointy shoulderpad! You know what I mean.

As one of my friends said, "If I saw Zion, I'd want to be plugged back into the Matrix, too. At least it's clean." Suddenly Joe Pantaliano's turncoat character from the original movie becomes more sympathetic.

Secondly, The Matrix Reloaded was about how bad people drive SUVs and good people drive compact cars. In the "big car chase" scene, the albino Milli Vanilli, who are evil (more about them in a moment), drive some sort of large dark SUV thing, which ultimately ends up flipping upside-down, or on its side (I can't remember). It's as if the makers of the film couldn't resist inserting a stark reminder of the potential danger of SUVs to the soccer mom who carted little Hunter and 6 of his best friends out to see the movie.

Meanwhile, the good guys drive a normal compact car. This is a lesson that I can fully support, and that I cheered on in the theatre. The thing is, I hate SUVs. I really, really, hate them.

Thirdly, The Matrix Reloaded was about how people with no pigment are evil. Here we return to the Albino Milli Vanilli people. These are two men, portrayed by twins I believe, who are evil rogue programs being used by this French program ... (blah blah blah who cares?). Anyway, they look like an albino version of Milli Vanilli.

Most of the good guys are non-white people (is that okay to say?). I personally found this to be pretty cool, because it seems like the same 5 actors (Tom Cruise, and 4 guys whose names I can't remember) always play the heroic characters in action movies. So it's nice to see a movie that has more than one non-white person in it. But on the flipside, one of my pigment-challenged friends (blonde, pale) did not care for this white = evil equation one bit.

Lastly, the movie was about how Zion and The One are really a construct of the Matrix, a way to horde and periodically purge the imperfections of the program that make it seem real to the humans that are plugged in to it. At least that's what I thought. And then it seemed like the "real world" was actually a part of the Matrix, because Neo's powers worked there too (he used The Force on the squiddie).

Anyway, after seeing The Matrix Reloaded I thought that even though it was kind of a disappointment, the 3rd movie would probably be really cool. Because I thought the end of The Matrix Reloaded had set it up to be really cool. But now I hear that it pretty much sucks. I haven't seen it yet even though it's been out for weeks. So depressing.

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The albino Milli Vanilli practice their dance moves.

Hemp couture overwhelms the senses in Zion.

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