PG Score: 7.5/10
The Matrix: Resurrections was released in theaters on 12/22/21
The Matrix took the film world by storm in 1999 and changed a lot of things in the film industry. Its two follow-up films were more divisive and The Matrix: Resurrections are more in the latter category than the first. I’m sure there will be complaints about this film, like how it doesn’t revolutionize filmmaking the way the original did, or how it rehashes too much of the original Matrix. I say malarkey to both. This film didn’t need to revolutionize anything and while the story has parallels with the original, it isn’t a copy. It’s its own unique film with a plethora of new characters that we might just see again if we get more sequels in the future.
The Old and the New
It is essential to see the previous films if you want the Matrix: Resurrections to make any kind of sense. There is a giant time jump from where we left off in Revolutions to where we pick up in Resurrections, and while the beginning is eerily similar to the opening of the original Matrix, things are far from what they seem. A lot of the questions fans of the original trilogy had coming in were answered throughout the film; not necessarily everything, but enough to not take away from the story being told. Visually the movie was beautiful, from settings to the fights and other stunts, the film looked really impressive. Stunt-heavy action scenes managed to avoid the Smith/Neo fights in Reloaded and Revolutions that, while amazing, the CGI wasn’t quite ready for at the time.
The two standouts of the newest cast are Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist) as Bugs and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Candyman) as Morpheus. Before you get too carried away, the film will answer any questions you have on how he is Morpheus, as many will remember that he was played by Laurence Fishburne in the original trilogy. Rounding out the main players of the new cast is Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter) as Agent Smith and Neil Patrick Harris (Harold and Kumar) as the Analyst. Along with these newcomers, we get the return of Keanu Reeves (John Wick) as Neo, Carrie-Anne Moss (Red Planet) as Trinity and Jada Pinkett Smith (The Nutty Professor) as Niobe. No one will win an Oscar for acting in this film, but everyone turned in a solid performance, making it easier to get swept away in the story.
Not Perfect, Far From Bad
The Matrix: Resurrections is not a perfect film. An interesting choice by director Lana Wachowski (Matrix Trilogy) was using scenes from the previous films, as either a memory or flashback and as a way to ease Neo back into the real world that he had been gone from for so long. It was a bit distracting and is a bit superfluous for those fans of the original series and it might be a bit confusing for those going into the film blind. The action was great but it was limited this time around, as the story was focused more on the story of Neo and Trinity and the strength of their love. It is very evident that Reeves and Moss love these characters; their performances showed as much and it was great to see their chemistry has not dwindled. This film isn’t for everyone, but I greatly enjoyed it and will definitely add it to the collection down the line. The Matrix: Resurrections leaves us with more questions to be answered and I feel that another sequel can only help this movie in the future.