I was planning to see the movie today at about noon, but some lunch plans intervened. So, rather than subject myself to the possibility of spoilers (I will hopefully avoid any significant ones here), the wife and I went to see it at the 10pm showing last night. The theater was about half-full to three-fourths full, mostly high school kids, and a few couples, and a few geeks.
I was impressed by the film, more so than I expected to be. The action is stunningly realized; the filmmakers are working with combat in this film like a painter of landscapes. Each swing is a tiny drop of paint, and the combined effect washes over you like a wave. You cannot possibly absorb all the little details, even though they are there. In one fight scene cups of noodles are one-by-one knocked off of dining tables by individual moves.
The world of the Matrix film has received, as Neo wryly notes at one point, "upgrades." The real world has expanded beyond the confines of the Nebuchadnezzar, and there are more players in the Matrix now than the Agents and Morpheus' crew, all pursuing their own interests, which are not made clear to us or to Neo and his cohorts. And among all this the writers have things to say about purpose, choice, love, and fate, and they are well-expressed for a film that is predominantly sci-fi and action oriented.
We also get little references to not only the first film... in "The Matrix" the interrogation of Neo by Agent Smith is introduced with a shot of a video screen viewing Neo in the interrogation room, and our last sight is of him making a phone call that cannot be traced. We see that video screen again in this film, and we hear a word from the failed trace of Neo's phone call. We also see Morpheus' favorite chair again.
It is flawed, with some long exposition and scenes in the real world in the film's opening third running a bit long. Those scenes were necessary to set up the conflict in the rest of the film, but they could have used some more trimming. And I could occasionally recognize a CGI combatant in one scene, mostly from faces not being rendered perfectly. But that's just a detail. If you stare close at any great painting, you will see the drops and grain of the canvas. See this movie, sit back, and appreciate.