The Matrix Resurrections Review – Maybe Take the Blue Pill This Time Around

The Matrix Resurrections

When the first Matrix came out in 1999, the flick became a pop culture phenomenon. Of course, with any hit film came the inevitable sequels. Yet, the possibilities were limitless since the franchise was rich with lore. But rather than expanding and building upon what was already there, the sequels settled for a bolder approach. Eighteen years after the last Matrix film, Lana Wachowski goes bold once again with The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections follows Neo/Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) as he tries to find out if his reality is authentic or if he’s going crazy. Once again, he’ll learn that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of the Matrix. Yet, Neo doesn’t know that the Matrix this time is more secure and dangerous than ever before. However, to save Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), he must become the hero that he was a lifetime ago.

If the original trilogy was exhaustingly philosophical, The Matrix Resurrections is heavily satirical with none of the mind-bending set pieces that distinguished its predecessors. As a whole, Resurrections is a tale of two halves. The first half weaves an ingenious satirical storyline that pokes fun at Hollywood’s reboot craze. It’s the kind of meta storyline that only The Matrix can tell. Sure, some of the gags are just cheesy in the same way as other satires. Yet, the foundation was there for a fearless and cheeky return for the franchise. Unfortunately, everything falls apart once we leave the Matrix and go to the real world. 

If the original trilogy was exhaustingly philosophical, The Matrix Resurrections is heavily satirical with none of the mind-bending set pieces that distinguished its predecessors.

It’s admirable to see Lana Wachowski’s commitment to their unwavering philosophies. It’s not the kind of flick that’ll resonate with everyone. The Matrix Resurrections is wrought with so many callbacks to the original trilogy that it gets confusing and a bit overkill. At the same time, the hidden surprises within the film serve no purpose whatsoever other than catering to fans. Overall, it seems that they were so content with living in the past that they didn’t prepare for the future.

However, the most egregious thing about Resurrections is the shaky Michael Bay-style camerawork during the various action sequences. The Matrix is a franchise built upon revolutionary and inventive action sequences. Yet, when you shake the camera and deny the audience of seeing the incredible work done by the stunt team, and that’s a real shame. Not to mention, the sequences themselves aren’t that inventive or memorable to begin with. When humans are possessed by the machines and rabidly chase after our heroes, one can’t help but wonder where Lana Wachowski’s imagination had gone. Some of the action sequences in Resurrections are reminiscent of the big setpieces found in films like The Fate of the Furious, Inception, and Train to Busan. In other words, we’ve seen this all before. It’s nothing new.

Overall, The Matrix Resurrections is not a movie that’ll appeal to everyone, but it’s certainly the movie that Lana Wachowski wanted it to be. That’s a rare thing in Hollywood. It’s just a shame that the end result is deeply divisive. The Matrix Resurrections is more invested in poking fun at Hollywood in its own romanticized way than it is with the kind of philosophical action storytelling we’ve come to expect. In other words, although the original Matrix trilogy had its blatant issues, it was not shy on ambition. With Resurrections, we’re left wondering why the film was made in the first place. 

Rating: 2/5 atoms

The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22nd.

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