Fans still have a month to wait for ”The Matrix Reloaded” (May 15), but they can get a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come in the new 2 1/2 minute trailer that’s hit theaters, TV, and the Internet. Here’s some of what we learned:
HOT STUFF We knew Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) liplocked from previous trailers, but this time we see the pair will get their groove on. ”They need you,” Trinity says to Neo, looking lovelorn in her drab real-world clothes. ”I need you,” pants Neo, and suddenly we see Trinity, naked and sweaty, digging her fingernails into Neo’s back, apparently in the throes of ecstasy.
WONDER TWINS Sure, we’ve seen those pasty-faced, dreadlocked Twins (Adrian and Neil Rayment) before, but this time we learn what all the fuss is about (it certainly can’t be that hair). The Twins can ”ghost” – their bodies become transparent as an electrical current courses through them, so powerful it makes their dreads fly Medusa-like around their faces. As Trinity says, ”That’s a nice trick,” but she ain’t seen nothing yet….
CLEAR CUT Later we see the full extent of the Twins’ powers when they take their act on the road. Trinity, joined by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) in the passenger seat, is trailing the Twins down the freeway. A Twin decides to drop in on the meddling humans by ghosting out of the slick black Cadillac Escalade he’s in, flying through the air, and then slipping into Trinity’s front seat. Nice trick. In an even more impressive scene, the pair battle Morpheus in a parking lot. Though Morpheus has a metal bar and the Twins are unarmed, the creepy duo still have the upper hand: When the fearless leader takes a swing at one of the Twins, the freak job simply ghosts, leaving Morpheus swinging at dead air.
TERMINATRIX It’s nice to see the Wachowski brothers paying homage to one of their sci-fi predecessors. In one scene, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) faces another agent and abruptly rams his fist into his coworker’s gut. A black goo swarms over the poor guy’s body (not unlike the silvering effect we remember so fondly from ”Terminator 2”), then recedes, and voilà! He’s now a clone of Agent Smith. And about those body doubles…
CLONE RANGERS In a courtyard rumble, a swarm of hundreds of Smiths descends on Neo. He battles bravely but is eventually overwhelmed by the horde. Not to worry: An unseen force suddenly flings the clump of Smiths piled on top of Neo into the air, leaving them to hover weightlessly in a rotating bullet-time shot.
NIOBE BAD In one scene, knot-coiffed firebrand Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) pops into the air, spiral-kicking a man dressed as a security guard to the floor, exhibiting all the spunk we’re used to from Trinity and then some. Earlier, we see she’s more than just muscle (as Morpheus’ ex-girlfriend and a pilot in her own right, she’d better be): She spearheads a tactical powwow with her fellow Zionists to deliver some very bad news. ”The machines are digging,” she says ominously. ”They’re boring from the surface straight down to Zion.” And she isn’t kidding around….
GEAR GRIND We saw the Squiddies (those octopus-like machines that ripped through Morpheus’ ship) in the first ”Matrix,” but there are a whole lot more where those came from. As Niobe speaks, we see hundreds of the Squiddies boring away through the center of the earth like crazed sea creatures. It’s an impressive bit of CGI, but it also shows us exactly what the unplugged humans are facing in protecting their turf.
POWER UP At least one set piece is going to blow viewers away. We see a lightning-quick glimpse of what appears to be part of a nuclear power plant (if those Three Mile Island-looking twin reactors are any indication) getting blown to smithereens (another hint: The guards’ arm badges in several fight sequences say ”Power”). Even in the faux reality of the Matrix, messing with nukes just can’t be good.