A messy soulless cash grab that offers nothing new, and wants you to know it.
I find it incredible that The Matrix Resurrections was even made. Sure there was an opportunity to try and bring a fourth Matrix movie to the silver screen, but for the life of me, I cannot imagine what possessed them to go down this particular rabbit hole?
Filled with over-the-top meta moments that serve to annoy rather than inspire, and presented as some kind of fan fiction remake, Resurrections fails at almost every level.
Perhaps the two leads, Keanu and Carrie Ann, were just a little jaded and confused by what they were being handsomely paid to do, but they both phone in performances that are awkward and wooden. Now I know Keanu can often be described as laid back in many of his performances, but he seems almost checked out here. Playing a computer games designer, wealthy and comfortable after the success of The Matrix trilogy of games, Thomas Anderson is (once again) red-pilled into understanding the real nature of reality. He becomes obsessed with Tiffany, who resembles Trinity from his game, and once again follows the white rabbit to discover the hidden world behind the one he is living in.
Neo is awakened from a pod, again, and confronts Agent Smith again, and the whole film recreates scenes from the original Matrix, with Neo and Trinity fighting to reshape The Matrix into a more people-friendly environment.
The problem with The Matrix Resurrections is the ham-fisted attempt at revising the franchise, and the inevitable comparisons that it has with Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The recent Spidey film shares many of the central themes of Resurrections, bringing back characters and ideas from previous films, and presenting them to a new audience who may not have been born when the first films were released.
No Way Home manages to include returning characters and concepts and folds them into the ongoing narrative to further the arcs of the main players while telling a new story that can be enjoyed by even casual viewers. The latest Matrix film simply throws you into the mixed-up muddled-up world of Neo and Trinity, offering us nothing new, and requires the audience to be up to speed with the convoluted exposition of previous outings to truly understand the plot.
Possibly die-hard fans of this franchise will take a lot from this approach, but it just feels so contrived and shoe horned in, that it becomes annoying. You feel you should be along for the ride, but sadly it makes you feel like you are catching a glimpse through a window as it whizzes by you.
Meta references to “bullet time” and dialogue that knocks you over with its sledgehammer subtlety, The Matrix Resurrections feels more like regurgitations, once again leaving an open end for another entry in the franchise.
I honestly feel that The Matrix trilogy should have been left alone. It was bad enough that it ended the way it did, but this current presentation, which seems designed to purge the third movie, will simply muddy the waters even more for loyal fans.
Spider-Man managed to bring characters from decades gone by, back into a simply structured narrative, that offered closure and conclusion in a satisfying way. Resurrections fails to achieve this, and also manages to look tired and faded compared to its 1999 debut feature. Quite a feat if you think about it.
Perhaps this film had to be made. Perhaps the studio felt there was money to be made in another entry. Perhaps Lana Wachowski knew that if she didn’t take the project on, someone else would have, and there is dialogue in the screenplay that echoes that sentiment, but this film manages to take everything that was amazing about The Matrix and turns it into an inferior remake.