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The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded is part of the second installment of The Matrix series (three films, one game, and one collection of animated shorts - all five are written by the Wachowski brothers), released in North American theaters May 15, 2003 by Warner Bros. and around the world during the latter half of that month.

The Matrix Reloaded was largely filmed in Sydney, Australia. The climactic car chase scene was filmed on an old United States Navy base in Alameda, California. Producers constructed a 1.5-mile freeway on the old runways just for the movie. Some post-production editing was done at old aircraft hangars on the base as well.

While surpassing the first part of the trilogy in cinematography and special effects budget, some fans have suggested that the sequel adheres more closely to the action genre, with less of a focus on the intricate plot and philosophical musings that made the first film the subject of intense fan devotion. This is not universally held, however: some viewers have argued that the philosophical insights of the first movie were themselves overrated, while many others have expressed satisfaction with the consistent continuation of the original film's plot and metaphysical speculation in Reloaded.

Reloaded earned an estimated $42.5 million on its Thursday opening day in the United States, a new record surpassing the one set in May 2002 by Spider-Man, which took in $39.4 million on its first day. The movie earned $91.8 million over the its first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, establishing it as the second-best opening weekend ever after Spider-Mans 2002 record of $114.8 million in ticket sales during its three-day opening weekend. Reloaded garnered the biggest debut ever for an R-rated film, topping by far the $58 million for 2001's Hannibal[?].

The film was banned in Egypt because of the violent content and because it put into question issues about human creation "linked to the three monotheistic religions that we respect and which we believe in."

Pirate copies of The Matrix Reloaded appeared on file sharing networks such as BitTorrent and eDonkey within two weeks of its theatrical release. Unlike some pirate copies of new movies, which are covertly filmed from a cinema screen, the Reloaded copy is high quality, and is believed to have been made from a film print. See also [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/2940270.stm)

Most of the main characters from its prequel, The Matrix, are included in Reloaded, such as Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), as well as many new characters. Filmed together with the third movie, The Matrix Revolutions (in theaters November 7, 2003), it includes action scenes such as a chase involving over 50 vehicles, including motorcycles and 18-wheelers. In addition, there is finally footage of Zion, the underground city alluded to in The Matrix.

Plot

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

250,000 sentinels are tunneling towards the underground city of Zion, and Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus have only 72 hours to save the city. Or so it seems...

In this film Neo returns the favor to Trinity by bringing her back to life this time. The scene used special effects which some see as illustrating a healing energy, apparently coming from Neo, that merges with the rapidly fading energy of lifeless Trinity; but it could also be seen as Neo's ability to perform chirurgy by manipulating the Matrix yet another way.

At the end of the movie, when the crew is forced to abandon the Nebuchadnezzar due to a sentinel attack, Neo uses his abilities to destroy the sentinels in the 'real' world. This twist has sparked a flurry of discussions, most of which suggest that the real world that Neo and the rest of Zion live in is just another Matrix that they need to escape from. This theory does explain several cryptic statements made by the Architect and Merovingian.

Cast

The cast of The Matrix Reloaded is largely the same as The Matrix, with only minor additions. Character names which have a philosophical or historical significance beyond the movie are linked below.

NOTE: The character of "Tank" from The Matrix did not return, reportedly due to actor Marcus Chong's salary demands and conflicts with the Wachowski brothers. The character's role of ship pilot is taken over by newcomer 'Link', Tank's brother-in-law. Also, actress Gloria Foster died during the editing of this movie. Her role of 'The Oracle' is reprised by actress Mary Alice[?] in subsequent sequels and video games. Her change of appearance is specifically addressed as a programatic quirk in 'Enter the Matrix'.

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