Amazingly, we are indeed talking about me seeing a movie while it is still being shown in theaters. And yes, I will speak of spoilers in vague terms.
Since the success of the original Matrix made it easier on Reloaded to forget about really trying to be taken seriously and at the same time have a sense of humor, there were a lot more snide/snarky one-line comebacks. It also seemed to me that the role of color shifted, and became just as much an expression of style (or coolness) as of character alignment. If I recall correctly, "light" colors such as white or neutral grays were pretty much reserved for Morpheus and his crew while on ship (aside from the one chick who died ... the one who wore white while in the Matrix). Cypher (the traitor), if you recall, wore a reddish color. In Reloaded, foes or people with questionable intentions wear these light tones as well. We see Morpheus in a burgundy sweater for much of the film! But although it is "disobedience" or "single-mindedness," it must have different meanings when worn by Morpheus.
The original Matrix gave me the feeling that the philosophy was the driving force behind the film, and the special effects were the icing on the cake that made it platable enough for everyday viewers that the film depressingly refers to as batteries for machines. In Reloaded, however, the balance seems to have been switched: emphasis is on the explosions and fighting (with many inclusions of the now oft-referenced Matrix slow-mo focus instead of just a few special "wow" things), while the words try to tide the rest of the audience over.
The army of Smith rocked, and was what I enjoyed most about the movie (aside from Morpheus with a katana, which was fun). I'm drawn towards the conclusion that Smith became some sort of malignant virus and was therefore able to infect other parts of the system and replicate himself, but nothing was really mentioned about that sort of stuff - it was all "no I'm not surprised to see you even though I blew you into itty-bitty pieces" and smash punch pow slam action.
There was also a lot of sex. o_O I guess the point of this was trying to show that we are human and aware of it, whereas programs like the agents and the Matrix are not human and therefore sterile. Being actively human = having a sex drive. Also, the people of Zion were presented as very "ethnic," (not to mention rhythmic and full-figured) perhaps as an attempt at expressing humanity returning to its roots.
Some of my friends have made somewhat ... lewd comments about the set of pale twins that the information dude (even if he likes French, why he persists speaking in a heavy French accent is beyond me) has working for him. I loved them (the dissipating and reappearing as they wish is fun!), but I didn't find them very attractive. XD;
Good god, the ending really sucked. I thought it was a horrible ending, because it basically left the movie incomplete and was clearly aiming for another mega-hit sequel in the years to come. With the first movie, I could kind of see a sequel coming from the end ... it was implied that it was certainly possible as Neo awakened people "to a world without you," but it was nowhere as bold as the "To Be Continued" and that being that of Reloaded. The end result is a feeling that the scriptwriters went "oh crud, we're at the end of the standard 2.5 hours for a movie. How are we going to sew up this mess of tangles we have woven? Oh wait, we want a sequel, right? Well, that makes it easy!" We wind up with something that isn't a whole segment in part of a story, but rather a segueway into making more money off the concept. There's nothing wrong with that, but the ending made viewers feel incredibly cheated.
Ahem ... now, I allow myself a sentence of capital letters.
WHY WAS THE CREATOR OF THE MATRIX AN OLD WHITE MAN?
Can we scream any clearer the traditional Christian visual concept of a white, aged, bearded, "perfect" man as God that has been ingrained into American society? The character himself was certainly not a very positive cast on the role of the "intellectual" or the "psychiatrist" which his appearance fits into. Hell, the Matrix (:Reloaded) isn't a very positive view on much of anything. I find that it glorifies guns and hand-to-hand combat in a situation where communication has broken down (or has never really existed), portrays the world in which we live as a world of lies all about us, something unreal that exists only in our minds (wow, that's actually kind of Buddhist), a reality in which we are trapped (huh ... also sounds kind of Buddhist ...).
The original made it seem like humanity had a chance to redeem itself from its mistakes with the rebirth of "the One," this sequel reveals that this has happened six times over and in effect tells us that we are powerless to stop the cycle in which we exist, our decisions only serve to further a purpose not our own of which we were not previously aware. Or something.
Ok, my brain is beginning to fry, and I am hungry. I've had enough of this for right now. XD;