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I think that I've mentioned this a few times, but I work at a movie theatre as an assistant manager. One of the only things that I would call a perk about this job is that I get to watch free movies. Actually, it's required that I watch movies if I put them together, which seems like less of a perk considering the quality of most Hollywood drivel. At any rate, once in a while something comes out that I actually want to see. The Matrix: Reloaded was one such movie, and I've watched it twice already. I'm not bragging, though, I just wanted to talk about some of the fighting. I was hoping that there might be some Aikido, as I'd heard about one of the supporting characters, named Ghost, was a Japanese martial arts expert. He was only in the movie for about 2 minutes total, and he didn't do anything; now that I think of it all the stuff I heard about him was for the upcoming video game. I was also excited about Morpheus using a Katana, as I'd seen a few pictures of him holding it. Anyway, the fighting was, as always, very very good. The only real problem is that it's all Kung Fu, and only like one kind of it to boot. Nothing wrong with that, I love Kung Fu movies, but it doesn't look right with a Katana. I was looking for some nice kenjutsu, but the swordwork was just more of the "swinging it around like a sharp object" variety. I guess it wasn't totally bad, I was just expecting a bit more from that scene. There was one part where Neo started to do a Kotegaeshi, but he only did the tenkan and holding down the wrist part. There were a couple other spots where it started to look like Aiki, but it was perhaps more a matter of similar techniques in many martial arts. Anyway, the smoothness of all the fighting was really something this time around. In the first movie, once in a while the people would "focus" and everything would slow down, allowing the individual to do something extra cool. In this, since Neo can do that better than anyone else, it's used almost constant when he's fighting. It makes for some very impressive moves, and the smoothness and economy of motion are very impressive. It's fun to watch, just don't expect to be as blown away as you may have been with the first one. I'd love to hear from people with some knowledge of other arts, in particular the style of Kung Fu that Yuen Wo Ping uses. It's very interesting to look at, but is it even a real style or just more movie stuff?
Oh, don't forget to sit through all those credits, there's a teaser trailer for the next Matrix, dut out this Holiday season, that is actually pretty cool.