Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sacando Clavos

Hay ciertas películas malas que cuando por casualidad me las encuentro en la televisión, [y no tengo explicación del por qué] las termino viendo, solamente para terminar diciéndome - Yeah, it still sucks.

Hoy precisamente me encontré con una de ellas. Uno de de los fracasos [creativamente hablando, comercialmente fue un éxito] más estrepitosos que he visto en mi vida: The Matrix Reloaded.

Todavía hoy, a casi 4 años de su estreno, no me explico en qué carajo estaban pensando los hermanos Wachowski cuando decidieron tomar la interesante premisa que quedó establecida en la primera y destruirla de esa forma. Ver como la historia se hacía cada vez más ridícula y pretenciosa, como los efectos especiales se hacían más falsos era [como dicen los gringos] like watching a train wreck in slow motion. No se me olvida en particular la escena con “El Arquitecto”, que al sol de hoy es uno de los disparates de pseudo-filosofía barata más grandes que he visto en mi vida.

Luego me enteré que durante la filmación uno de ellos se estaba haciendo una operación de cambio de sexo, así que posiblemente estaba muy ocupado con ese “asunto” para realmente dedicarse a dirigir la película.

Aprovecho el tema para tomar la oportunidad de publicar aquí uno de los primeros reviews en serio que escribí. Recuerdo que esto lo escribí inmediatamente regresé del cine y todavía hoy pienso exactamente lo mismo:

Being a fairly big fan of the first film and a science fiction fan too, I dare to say this movie betrayed most of the common concepts of good sci-fi: If you have a good mythos, build on it. Don't try to jiggle it or change it. Don't even think about reworking core concepts, because you'll find making it work with the groundwork you've already laid out to be more than difficult...it's basically impossible.

Some consider franchises like The Matrix the heirs of the Star Wars legacy, but, unfortunately, Reloaded borrows a few too many [bad] pages from the Star Wars playbook. Among them we have the deliberate passages of insufferable [albeit sometimes enjoyable] dialogue which, in the case of The Matrix, not Star Wars, attempt to make the audience confuse obscurity for philosophical depth, and overlong CGI action sequences which serve the same narrative purpose as the Pod Race in The Phantom Menace: none at all.

The main difference is that the Star Wars series requires you to turn off your brain, whereas Reloaded can't decide if it wants it on or off.

Acting on the whole is wooden [not to be confused with subtle]; most of the new performers give uninspired performanc es to uninspired characters.

The fight sequences feel uninspired as well, and I'm amused by some of the attempts to justify their placement in the film. The highway sequence, while for the most part is a marvel to behold, does not fit. The nearest phone is on the freeway? Please.

The Matrix Reloaded is a different kin d of film. I think the Wachowskis wanted to expand and deal with deeper themes, but the execution here is dry, whereas the first one exuded with inventiveness. It's definitely more Back to the Future Part II than The Empire Strikes Back, as far as middle acts in famous trilogies go.

Where other summer blockbusters play it safe, the Wachowski Brothers show they're not afraid to take some risks [as seen in the outstanding Bound], I’ll give them that much credit, but in the process, a lot of the juice that made the first movie an iconic moment in pop-culture gets lost.

I didn't have very high hopes for this sequel due to the pre-release rumors about it expanding on the philosophical concepts, which were rather elementary to begin with, though that didn't stop them from overanalyzing and overexplaining everything to the ADD-suffering generation. I at least expected to be entertained by the visuals and painstakingly choreographed fights, but even that bored me.

The Matrix Reloaded drags, runs about 20-30 minutes longer than it should have, lacks any through action, has a plot that greatly destroys key concepts of the first film, and manages to end in a third movie setup with absolutely no emotional investment in any character.

Skip it.

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