Originally Posted by mproper
Eh, I like them all. Surprised you were less letdown by Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Phantom Menace (although maybe your expectations were already diminished going into those)
Raiders of the Lost Ark is my all-time favorite flick, and Indiana Jones was my movie hero as a kid. With that said, my expectations for KotCS were surprisingly low. The Last
Crusade, with Indy, his dad and the crew riding out into the sunset at the end brought closure to the series for me, so I never expected another entry. When it came out, I simply wanted a decent popcorn knowing that there wasn't any way for it to synch up with the other three after so much time had passed.
I wish Ford allowed them to CG him a bit so that he appeared a little younger, I never liked that Transformer kid in anything he's done, the CG bugs were terrible effects and I hated the tree swinging. Other than that however, I was entertained by the film as a random summer movie that I don't group with the other three in my heart.
The Phantom Menace is #2 on my list in this thread. I wasn't as hardcore on the first trilogy as some others, but as a movie standing on its own, it was pretty bad. The main thing that stands out most is how unappealing most of the new cast was.
It seems that all the main characters of the first trilogy added some appeal to the overall series, but TPM did little to replicate this. Jar Jar was just stupid, and little Anakin was just poorly cast. Entering him in speed races and having him inside a space ship blowing up targets in space when most kids his age can barely ride a bike are some of the dumbest plot lines I've ever seen in a major release.
Still, none of that surpasses Reloaded. I actually left that movie feeling deeply saddened. Unlike the two sequels mentioned above which followed established series from long ago, The Matrix was the new crown prince of exciting action films, full of potential as to what the sequels would bring.
A lot of what I disliked in the sequels can be loigically explianed by the plot, but I still didn't like what they came up with. For instance, with The Matrix ending as it did, Neo realized the extent of his powers. With him being almost godly in power within the Matrix, I just knew that the sequel would have to go to unreal lengths to have god-like adversaries that could challenge him. Instead, they gimped Neo's power in Reloaded, so once again he's threatened by average goons. HUUUUUGE letdown.
Not only that, the setting in the first film captured the imagination like no other movie in recent memory. For Reloaded (and even moreso in Revolutions), the setting spent a lot of time in Zion, which was extremely unappealing. Again, I understand how the plot was written so that it all made sense, but as an audience member, leaving the Matrix and being transported to crumble-Ville is like watching a sequel to Alice in Wonderland where she gets transported from Wonderland to the slums of Victorian England. Totally backwards when it comes to sustaining (or building) excitement in a sequel.
The rave dance scene was a worthless time waster. Ultra-chic Trinity from the first movie looked haggard to me in the next two. All of the new characters were forgettable except the phantom twins. And it still upsets me to this day how much they de-masculated Morpheus, who was a man among men in the first movie, into a impotent wallflower just so that Jada Pinkett could take over as the tough-as-nails, bad mofo of the series.
And instead of some new uber-boss character for Neo to face that ranked far above Agent Smith that terrorized him in the first movie, Agent Smith is the lead bad guy again! From comic movies (until they reboot) to Die Hard movies to 007 movies, etc. you always get a new bad guy to root against. To recyclle the same villain in BOTH sequels was just lame (despite the multiple Smith forms in M2 and the Dragon Ball Z air battle in M3 changing the rules a bit).
They cut out the slick bullet-time gunplay that the first film made famous (most likely because of political correctness after Columbine). The increase in martial arts didn't impress me as much as others since I'd seeen dozens of high quality martial movies like Fists of Legend, Druken Master 2 and Iron Monkey before that was released. The gunplay in Revolutions was more video gamey than interesting, with waves of Galaga enemies being shot down.
And then there's the convoluted plot that tried to make itself seem deeper than it needed to be... I can't even begin to mentally revisit that failed experiment.
The Matrix sequels disappointed me like no other movies have done before. Even if my objections can be explained by the plot development I still don't like the direction of the overall story structure. At all. I wish I never saw them because now I get a bad taste in my mouth when I watch the first one. Hopefully in twenty years somone reboots the series with radical new ideas and actually makes it special this time.