Geek Clash Round 1 – Stevo vs Northstandmouth
So the newest feature on Cave of Man is Geek Clash. Basically this features two of the team providing their opinions on one topic. This is not a case of who is right or wrong, just the opinion of our writers. There will be a new topic weekly with a poll threw in for a bit of fun. This shall provide some entertaining reading for you so enjoy and don’t forget to add your 2 cents to the mix in our comments section.
In 1999, Andy & Larry Wachowski brought us the world of the Matrix. A futuristic world where machines use humans as sources of power whilst they are “plugged” into a Virtual Reality (VR) world called the Matrix. With a cast containing Lawerence Fishbourne, Hugo Weaving, Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss, this was an amazing film. Hard to follow at times if you didn’t know what was happening but when you watched it a couple of times, like everyone did, you knew all that was going on. Neo is a great character at this stage of the trilogy and Smith a fantastic bad guy. The rest of the team put on a great show and there isn’t one character i didn’t like in this film. But I’m here to talk about the sequels.
Reloaded was poor if I’m honest and nowhere near as good as the original. The story bored me from start to finish as it never gripped me what so ever. After the first film it decided to walk down a well trodden path lead out by another well known franchise. A story based on a war between machines and a human uprising (no guesses as to what film I mean).
Jada Pinkett Smith just annoyed me from start to finish and I just think she was a bad choice for her character as I never once felt anything towards Niobe and didn’t care as to what happened her. All the other resistance characters where just pointless in my eyes and didn’t bring anything to the film. The Merovingian is a pointless bad guy who does pretty much nothing in the film apart from speak some crap to them and shout a bit at his wife Persephone another pointless character & lets not forget the twins, whose purpose i still cannot wrap my head around. The architect is another character that just speaks some shit and asks the hero to sacrifice himself. The survival of a few vs the survival of one. It just seems like it was a recycled story wearing different clothes.
Then there is Matrix Revolutions. It was a terrible end to the series that held so much promise when the first film came out. Again still following the whole Machine V Man theme,it goes even more along the lines of the film I was talking about earlier, in that it is now one (now rogue) machine v the leader of the revolution. This pretty much sums up the whole film. There may more detail to said story but honestly no point as it still brings us back human v machine. This machine gains the ability to take over other people within the Matrix all because Neo killed him in the first film. To me it just became another action film and just bored me, especially given the length of the films and the fight scenes that become monotonous and the bullet time technology became over used. Again I lost severe interest in the story throughout the long long run time of the film. Once you strip back the fancy design of the story its just a repeat of stories we have heard before.
In summary, with the first film showing so much promise to provide us with a great classic trilogy it’s sequels let them down so bad. The story just seemed like a regurgitation of a classic story line, some of the characters were one dimensional and boring, the action scenes seemed repetitive and just boring. I know there a lot of people out there who love these films but if you go into even more detail than what I have done here then you will find even more flaws with this series.
Now we will pass over to Northstandmouth to attempt the impossible and defend the Matrix sequels.
Sequels – Sometimes they are not just cynical cash ins.
Stevo has quite elegantly expressed why The Matrix didn’t need to have a sequel, and it would be natural to assume I’m going to argue why the sequels are good.
Unfortunately I can’t do that. The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions I’m afraid are indefensible. Too often do these films descend in pointless exposition explaining the mysteries of the Matrix to Neo and subsequently the audience. I mean that whole scene with the architect…… I re-watched it in preparation for this article several times and I still don’t know why they decided to take the story in that direction.
So I’m not going to defend the Matrix sequels… So what is the point of this article?
I’m going to twist this to defend the practice of Sequels, and why when they are done well, give Fans another chance to enter fantastically created worlds.
I want to head off the obvious criticism of sequels at the start. Some Sequels are made purely to rape customers bank accounts by peddling poorly made, cynically produced and poorly acted dribble. Take one look at Pirates of the Caribbean, the Transformers movies etc. I condemn this type of film making and again can’t defend Hollywood’s obsession with making a quick dollar at our expense.
What I am going to discuss in this article are Sequels made with love, passion and a complete appreciation for their audience
Let’s take a look at some of what you would be losing if sequels never existed
Truly the best Superhero movie ever made and ever likely to be made, I will fight anyone who says otherwise. A film that builds on the foundations of the excellent Batman Begins, it combines Bales intensity with an amazing turn from Heath Ledger. This film was made with the utmost respect for the established fan base whilst building on what came before.
3 years after the original broke new ground, Lucas returned with the second (or fifth depending on how you look at it) of his celebrated space opera. Now if there was a better case for Sequels im not sure we are going to find it. Hoth, Yoda, Lando, carbonite, I’m your father so many improvements so many iconic scenes and characters. For me Movie perfection..
Game Over Man… I’m a huge fan of Ridley Scott’s paced Space horror (read my take on Prometheus here), but James Cameron takes the jeopardy up a notch with Multiple Xenomorphs plus the Gigerific Queen. For many this is the highlight of the series (Not I) with a cracking cast of characters
Grown men crying… Women afraid to look… No this isn’t Stevo’s latest blog entry but the scene when our heroes’ are heading towards the furnace. I defy anyone not to get all emotional, I cried like a baby. For me by far and away the best in the series who can forget Spanish Buzz…
The Matrix Sequels
Even the Matrix sequels have their fans. I might personally find them nonsensical, unnecessary, wastes of celluloid but no one can argue they are shameless cash ins. The Wachowski’s just completely jumped the shark with the story, but it was their story and one they believed in. The marquee action scenes are still fantastically exciting to watch. The sword fighting, the car chase, The fight for Zion, all of the fantastic wire work, all looked and felt fantastic even nearly ten years on. The steam punk world they created is up there with some of the best visions of the future, even if I didn’t really care if I saw Zion or not. There are also so fantastic performances throughout. Keano Reeves is perfectly cast as the monosyllabic Jesus with kung fu action. There isn’t a huge amount of acting asked from our modern messiah and the big emotional scenes are wasted on an actor this limited. My stand out performer goes to the amazing Hugo Weaving who takes every possible opportunity to Ham it up. Take another look at the scene when he absorbs the oracle… Textbook maniacal laugh. For everything that is wrong with The Matrix sequels there are redeeming features as above.
I bet you even read the above and felt a warm feeling about one or more of the things described.
So I hope I have to have changed your mind about sequels and given you some food for thought. If in the process I have changed your mind about the matrix sequels then that is a very happy coincidence
Written by Northstandmouth
So there’s our argument for this week. Let us know what you think in the comments section below and why not take our poll on this argument. See you next week.