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Christian film critics say The Matrix Reloaded shoots itself in the foot

As Film Forum was being wrapped up this week, Christian film critics were just beginning to post their reviews of this weekend's surefire box office champion, The Matrix Reloaded. For moviegoers who want to hear early reports about Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and Agent Smith, the word is this: Don't set your expectations very high.

Reloaded is big on dazzling visual spectacle; it sets new standards for CGI-enhanced kung fu, digital animation, and car chases. But the plot meanders, stringing together redundant, even tedious action scenes that are short on new ideas. The intriguing philosophical questions that made the first film so compelling and relevant are reduced here to a marathon of dull and dizzying monologues. In the areas of character development and storytelling, the movie is running on fumes. Here are links to reviews by Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films), Michael Elliott (Movie Parables), and David DiCerto (Catholic News Service). My own review is at Looking Closer.

Filmmakers, critics, and Film Forum readers debate the definition, purpose, pros and cons of 'Christian movies"

Ask typical moviegoers to describe a "Christian movie" and you will hear a wide variety of adjectives. Some think Christian movies are safe, clean, a preferred alternative to popular cinema, and "movies with a message." Others will say they're poorly made, propagandistic, and preachy.

The answers will vary again if you ask them which titles spring to mind. Christian moviegoers may mention films shown only in churches, those that depict the lives of missionaries or Bible characters, or the widely used missions-oriented film Jesus. Others will settle on the recent resurgence of ...

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May 2003

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