The Matrix has been rebooted with old characters given new roles, new villains to protect the system, and the old villains suffering the responsibility of deus ex machina. The Matrix Resurrections stars an aging cast in a soft reboot that, paradoxically, lacks the elements that made the old trilogy successful and also has too much of the old trilogy; a lack of restraint here, too much of it elsewhere. Directed by Lana Wachowski, the film has amazing writers in Lana herself, Aleksandar Hemon, and David Mitchell, but it still suffers the Hollywood reboot curse. A perfectly healthy movie franchise has been slightly blemished. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss return as the bedraggled couple, Neo and Trinity, stuck in the rigmarole of the matrix. The actors duly mirror the audience’s feelings with their performance; confused about whatever is going on for a good portion of the film, visibly exhausted to a fault but pushing, at least happy to be with each other again.
Neo has been rebuilt by the system within the matrix as a successful game developer who made the first trilogy into a game and has built an enterprise from it. The fourth wall breakage that saw Warner Bros, bullet-time, and other real-life elements feel exciting for the first two times quickly becomes a burden to the film. The same applies to the constant meta-references to the trilogy, with actual clips, dialogues, and cuts from the first three films such that the ghost of that trilogy suddenly comes alive. Add the scientific jargon that makes up seventy percent of the dialogues and what you have is a drool-fest that, it appears, confusingly, doesn’t know what made the franchise successful—or is too conscious of the things that have immortalized the franchise.
At the heart of The Matrix Resurrections is a love story. Neo and Trinity have been kept apart in various reboots by the system because every time they got together, the system crashed. In this reincarnation, Neo, with the help of a new machine-and-man jigsaw crew, will attempt a heist to rescue Trinity from the system’s control. Perhaps if the film had taken a simplified route—portray a rejigged Neo searching for the love of his life—without the clutter of technical terms and the constant references to the things that made the first trilogy great, this might have been a good enough film, a reminder of what was, and what now is; instead of the strained attempt to create something completely new and in-tune with the cultural/political sentiments of this age at the expense of the old. Even though it does little to the reputation of the franchise or the legend of Keanu and Anne Moss, this is a disappointment to the Matrix brand.
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- Keanu and Carrie-Anne Moss look tired throughout the film.
- The constant references to Neo flying, bullet-time, etc is just draining.
- You realize it is a failed film from around thirty minutes.
The Matrix Resurrections is available in cinemas and on HBO Max.