The Matrix Resurrections

Back in 1999, there was a science fiction adventure film released that was imaginative, inspirational and epic. It was called The Matrix. It transcended the theater and planted itself squarely in the pop culture zeitgeist of a generation. Then came a pair of sequels that most (though admittedly not all) of the people believed were a major step down. They convoluted the narrative structure of the original until it was a mess.

Then, almost 20 years later, one of the original creators of the original, returned and resurrected the series with a brand new film featuring some of the same stars and several of the same characters.

The Matrix Resurrections returns to the world of the Matrix with our favorite Neo (Keanu Reeves) back on tow. Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), who died in the third film, is here too. Morpheus is back, sort of, with a different actor taking the role made famous by Laurence Fishburne, although it is not quite the same.

Then there are a group of other secondary characters who make up the crew, most notably Bugs (Jessica Henwick). None of these secondary characters mean much.

Our villain from the original trilogy was Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving, is now being played by Jonathan Groff, in one of the more interesting takes. Agent Smith’s newness is strange and I can honestly say I am not sure how it happened. I must have missed that reason among the ton of exposition being dropped.

Another villain was Neil Patrick Harris. He plays villains surprisingly well. He has some great facial expressions that provide the Analyst with his development.

I’m not sure if you can tell from my tone so far, but I did not like this movie very much.

It started meta to the max as Mr. Anderson was shown as the creator of a video game called The Matrix and that all of Neo’s memories were inside the game as fiction instead of truth. He was shown as mentally unstable and it had been stated that he was suffering from mental illness. I have to say the whole meta narrative started to pull me in a bit. I was wondering exactly where it could go from there.

Where it did go was to Exposition City. The next hour (or more) of the film was spent telling us what had happened and how our heroes had been placed in this new reality. Some of the exposition was documented through scenes from the original trilogy to help cement the concept.

It was during this period of time that I found myself losing interest.

The action scenes continued to be repetitive and were nowhere as inventive as the ones from The Matrix.

Most of the second half of the movie was spent trying to reawaken Trinity from the Matrix and getting her out while avoiding the Swarm, which was absolutely not zombies.

I enjoyed Keanu and Carrie-Ann in their iconic roles. They were a strength of the film. It continued to look tremendous and the CGI was top notch. I’m not sure the purpose of the film. The narrative was a basic retread with a few tweaks, and the characters were flat and uninspiring. Jonathan Groff was great too, as he always is.

There is a post credit scene that is as out of place as much of the rest of the movie. I feel as if there is a story inside this film that has a comment about the overall use of nostalgia in Hollywood, but it never takes full grasp. Otherwise, there is nothing new here and The Matrix Resurrections should have just stayed in the goo.

2.2 stars

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