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‘Matrix’ Fans Remember: It’s Only Half a Movie
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For fervent movie fans anxious for the widely-hyped debut of science-fiction thriller “The Matrix Reloaded” this week, producer Joel Silver has some news: it is only half a movie.
But wait! Don’t get upset and don’t ask for your money back from those advanced ticket purchases.
“Matrix Reloaded” begins previews on Wednesday as the most anticipated film since last year’s “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” debuted on roughly the same week. Time magazine has replaced cover pictures of war with “Matrix” movie stars — a sure sign that pop culture has reclaimed news turf.
In fact, “Reloaded” is so much in demand that distributor Warner Bros. has scheduled Wednesday previews ahead of a huge, 3600-theater opening on Thursday. Despite an R rating limiting audiences, “Reloaded” won’t be firing box office blanks.
The previous best domestic opening by an R-rated film was serial killer movie “Hannibal” with $58 million in 2001.
“Certainly that opening weekend for ‘Hannibal’ will fall,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations Inc. “I don’t want to predict (and) I don’t want to put any limits on this film, either.”
Still, “Reloaded” is only one-half the entire movie, Silver said, because when it ends, its companion, “The Matrix Revolutions,” begins, this coming November.
The original “The Matrix” wowed audiences in 1999 with its tale of software created cities, run by ruthless machines and powered by the minds of humans. It scored big at global box offices ($456 million) and became a king-size cult hit.
“When I made the first film, I had no expectation that would happen at all. “I was just hoping people dug it as much as I did,” said Keanu Reeves, who plays the central character Neo, or “The One,” whose destiny it is to save humankind.
“Reloaded” picks up where “Matrix” left off. The machines have discovered the human stronghold of Zion deep inside the Earth’s core. They are tunneling there to kill the human race.
Neo, along with his comrades Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), must travel inside the matrix to destroy the machines and end their attempt at genocide.
Once inside, the trio discovers freaky software glitches — sort of like computer viruses — that mess with the mind of the one being that created the matrix.
Neo must get around the viruses and find the one being to realize his destiny. But he finds the going tough, and his sense of right and wrong, duty and honor are challenged.
“We really develop the vulnerabilities of Neo,” said Reeves. “In the first one, he lost his fear and freed his mind. The second one kind of courses back in terms of, now that Neo can do that, what does he think about being ‘The One,’ what are the responsibilities and how does he feel about that.”
The first “Matrix” showcased groundbreaking special effects allowing fighters to walk on air before landing their kicks. It slowed speeding bullets so audiences could see them slide by a dodging Neo. In “Reloaded,” the effects are just as sharp. The fashion, again, features long black trench coats, dark glasses, hard bodies and skin-tight leather. “Matrix” dripped with cool and sex appeal. “Reloaded” doubles the firepower.
After cool kickfights, slow-motion gun battles, extended car chases, Neo finally finds what he thinks will end the turmoil and return the human race to a world of peace.
But remember fervent movie fans, “Reloaded” is only half a movie. There is more to come in November.