It is no secret that The Matrix has been a phenomenon.
It was the first film franchise that I ever witnessed cosplayers attend in cinemas, and the initial film from 1999 still holds up as one of the best sci-fi films to date. However, 18 years after the original trilogy ended, Lana Wachowski has brought The Matrix franchise once again to the forefront with The Matrix Resurrections. For fans and casual viewers alike, I know what you’re all wondering: Does the new film work, and is it good?
While this new instalment is plausible to marry the three previous films together, The Matrix Resurrections only manages to do so by undoing all the hard work and sacrifice that was built from the last three films. Remember when Neo went blind and sacrificed his life to establish peace amongst both humanity and the machines? When Trinity died, giving her life to help Neo on his final mission? Well yeah, apparently none of that matters anymore.
The Matrix Resurrection tries to tell its audience multiple times via various characters that “yes, there was peace”, but for some reason we’re going to war again… There are new faces, new ‘bots’, new enemies, ‘old enemies’ and a whole lot of wasted potential. Perhaps it’s because the past Matrix films were written by both Wachowskis, but this film was only done by one of them? Maybe two heads are better than one?
What I loved about the original Matrix trilogy was the clever concept use of technology, how you could get out of The Matrix after plugging in, but only with hard lines. I was initially excited to see how things would have changed in the new film, as technology has evolved so much over the past 18 years. However, The Matrix Resurrections never addresses it, assumes that the audience is stupid and won’t notice that it isn’t respecting the lore that the previous films had already thoroughly established.
Through no fault of the actors, because we all know how talented Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are, the film is a let down with its weak script among other things. But this is obvious, as Lana Wachowski has tried to extend a story that already had its conclusion. Was this film made for the benefit of the story? Absolutely not.
The fight choreography is also incredibly disappointing. The original films were deeply inspired by Hong Kong action cinema, but in The Matrix Resurrections, Neo has been reduced to ‘magical wizard hands’, and the fight scenes are intentionally blurry so that you know a fight is happening, but you can’t see a damn thing.
Although majority of the film takes place in a coffee shop of all places, the worst part of the film does not take place in the coffee shop, but in a game development company where the film not only ‘makes fun of itself’, attempting to appear ‘woke’ and self-aware, but these scenes linger on-screen for far too long, are unwelcome and quite insulting for diehard fans.
The Matrix Resurrection is an unnecessary instalment that insults the passion and intelligence of the fans who helped make The Matrix a phenomenon. It has tainted the entire film franchise and has now solidified the series as a shell of its former glory. If you are still curious to see it, do so, but don’t expect greatness, as it is far from it.
Massive trigger warning: Do not see this film if you are sensitive to topics of suicide.