While it is both naive and unfair to expect lightning to strike terrain this fertile twice, the most distressing thing about the reloading of The Matrix is just how much it feels like The Phantom Menace.
Eyes will pop, nerves will jangle, thoughts will be provoked and other summer blockbusters will shrink in comparison. But to quote from one of the few cultural touchstones not referenced in this film: 'Houston, we've got a problem.'
The refreshing draft of effervescent movie magic leaves a sludgy sediment of metaphysics. The latter may be less than brain-buzzing; the former is something else, thanks largely to genius fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping.
While upping the ante considerably in the action and effects department, storytelling stumbles frequently this outing as the movie stops cold for philosophical digressions about fate and destiny and reality.