Choices Made In The Matrix Resurrections Fell Flat
And this wasn’t an immediate process. For the first while, the movie felt like a true sequel, with all the philosophical and mind-breaking concepts that come with the property. A stunning return to captured magic with a postmodernist coat of paint.
This Franchise Was Made To Go Meta With Its Lore
Some people aren’t fans of when a story navel-gazes at its place in pop culture history, but to my mind, those properties never went far enough. The Matrix already questioned choice and reality—now it wants to level its inquisitive nature at storytelling. It wants to attack the concept of remakes and how a Matrix sequel even exists. It throws some deliciously cynical punches in the pursuit of this quandary.
And what’s even more clever is how they combine this with Neo’s new story. The palpable unreality achieved through stellar camera work and editing sells you on the latest Matrix trap. Scenes flush with dense philosophy mixed with special effects laid themselves out as a frantic tapestry.
The Matrix Resurrections Has A Fantastic First Part
And then it deflates. Everything falls downhill. Once the proper action scenes start, the movie takes a nosedive in quality, storytelling, and even visual wizardry.
That editing I mentioned turns to the dark side and becomes one of the major culprits. The original movies had dynamic and impressive fight scenes where you could tell what was happening. I rewound so many times in this movie to figure out what I was even looking at. Scenes where martial arts, guns, and super strength should’ve come together into a glorious kinetic spectacle land flat. The camera gets too close, cuts too fast, and doesn’t tell a story with its blows. The primary mass appeal of The Matrix isn’t here.
Somehow They Made The Action Scenes Annoying
And we get nothing to replace it. The philosophy becomes dull and unexplored. It hammers with simplistic hard-determinism rhetoric while almost abandoning examining stories with any depth. “Well, doesn’t this seem familiar” isn’t clever commentary when all you’re doing is a nostalgic hat trick. Yes, it’s a remake. We know you know that. The only time fun navel-gazing comes back with any bite is when we get the classic “long speech about the nature of humanity” from the villain. That scene had a few interesting things to say. It’s appealing worldbuilding. Shame it came so late it didn’t matter. Shame most scenes feel like hollow shells.
That might also be because they made the romance a big part of the plot. You know, the famously romantically charged and emotionally deep Matrix movies? Yes, Neo and Trinity’s love for each other and belief in one another are significant parts of the old plot, but it was never enough to carry things. How love connects to free will is at least something explored in the other films. With this movie’s simplistic romance plot, it turns The Matrix Resurrections into a damsel-in-distress fetch quest. And one where the damsel is one of the most deadly and capable female heroes in all of fiction.
The Matrix Resurrections Actually Sidelines Trinity
And while I feel like I’m just battering this movie, I must comment on the acting and the casting. To give some balance, though, I’ll start with positives. Keanu Reeves does a fantastic job during his early scenes—you can see how badly the false reality hurts him. He elevates the already stellar “White Rabbit” sequence. There are a lot of lukewarm line deliveries later, but he does that part excellently.
Carrie-Anne Moss, however, outshines him and everyone else. She’s stellar the whole time. She’s just killing it with facial acting alone. I wish she were in more of the movie.
Few Good Characters For This Long Of A Runtime
But, again, it’s a downward slide. The nostalgia baiting implodes. Who decided to have the Merovingian come back and spout weird buzzword swears? Why did they recast Mr. Smith when they couldn’t get his actor? And finally, why is there such a massive cast of underdeveloped characters? Jessica Henwick and Toby Onwumere play cool and interesting characters—we didn’t need a horde of others. This movie is baffling choices stacked upon one another.
The Matrix Resurrections Is Hard To Take Seriously
I’m not even done complaining. I don’t enjoy being this critical about a franchise I like, but here we go for one more bevy:
The climax feels limp. The action relies too much on superpowers—specifically shields. There’s random comedy like this is a Marvel movie. The ending is rushed despite the film being so long. And the technobabble gets atrociously thick.
I understand the pandemic likely influenced many shortcomings, and I don’t envy anyone who had to make a movie during those conditions—but it needed more time in the oven. Some rewrites. Some editing. It’s a self-critical rehash about being a rehash while downgrading the rehashed elements. I cannot comfortably accept this as a continuation of one of the great action movies of all time. The Matrix Resurrections is a disappointing movie.
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