I got to see the Matrix Reloaded twice already in the theater. Although the film was flawed, when the final movie in the trilogy comes out, a lot of people will re-examine Reloaded and be blown away.
In the first Matrix, I caught the whole the story early on, and most of my ruminations were about philosophical issues, social theory, hyperreal, yadda. It was pure brain candy. I have seen Reloaded twice now, and I still can’t figure out the plot.
I have re-watched The Matrix recently, and in retrospect there are several additional cool things. For example, the Oracle tells Neo something to the effect of “I don’t know what you’re waiting for, maybe your next life.” In other words, there are several moments where you can reinterpret the first movie based on what you learn in the second movie. The third movie, however, will probably reinvent the first and second movies.
The second time I saw Reloaded, I closed my eyes during the scene with the Architect (who, incidentally, can be reductively interpreted as Freud) so that I could focus on what he was saying, and not get distracted by the bank of video images of Neo. I still don’t follow it.
Some reviews in Rotten Tomatoes says that Reloaded is all pot philosophy. I disagree. Neo is hearing about the rules of the computer game he lives in, and he must figure them out. The rules have minimal bearing on the real, external world. It’s the difference between real world philosophizing (or even pot philosophy) and the philosophy you might read in a White Wolf game as it applies to a certain character template.
There’s a good analysis of the movie on BET.com from a “black perspective,” whatever that is. The reviewer talks about the importance of representing many races in the film, which is rare for SF. The article discusses Cornel West, who has a cameo. Someone somewhere said the Wachowski brothers cast him to make fun of the culture vultures who teach university classes on The Matrix. (GUILTY!) Who knows.