Matrix

Review: ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ fails to resurrect the sense of wonder of the original

January 18, 2022 Mario Bautista 279 views

Matrix1THE Matrix’ was shown in 1999 and it was a big hit, making its creators, the Wachowskis, a brand name. So it’s not surprising that a sequel was made. They shot it back to back, Part 2, “Matrix Reloaded”, and Part 3, “Matrix Revolutions”, and they were shown in quick succession. “Reloaded” was shown in March 2003 and “Revolutions” in November 2003.

Since then, its directors, brothers Larry and Lana Wachowski have transitioned as sisters Lilly and Lana Wachowski. After saying there will be no more sequel, here comes “The Matrix Resurrections”, with only Lana directing it.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss reprise their respective roles. It is set 60 years after the last movie. Neo (Keanu) died in the last movie but he now lives a private life as Thomas Anderson, who has no difference in looks from Keanu’s other franchise persona, John Wick.

He’s a video game developer who’s told to make a sequel to his successful Matrix series. In a coffee shop, he meets Trinity (Carrie), who also died in the last film but is now known as Tiffany. She loves motorcycles and is already a mom, married to Chad, played by Chad Stahelski, Keanu’s former stunt double who has since become a director of “John Wick” and is now directing him in “John Wick 4”.

The original Matrix trilogy is definitely a genre classic. Now, they try to do some new world building and introduce new characters led by Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and Seq (Toby Onwumere), who operate the hovercraft called Mnemosyne and become Neo’s allies in trying to find Trinity to help free her anew from the machines that are controlling them.

Some original characters like Morpheus and Mr. Smith return but are now played by new younger actors and there’s a lot of explanation about this. Neil Patrick Harris is actually wasted playing a new character, the Analyst. He should just go back to Doogie Howser and play him in his middle age.

What is missing in “The Resurrections” is the original sense of wonder we felt when we watched the original. They just failed to resurrect it. More than anything else, this new movie has become a love story between Keanu and Carrie and so sorry, they don’t really have much of a chemistry on screen. They don’t even appeal to us as old long lost friends we’d really care to see again.

We don’t think anyone clamored for this sequel and that it’s really necessary. But the Wachowskis have suffered some career setbacks, so maybe Lana wants to regain old glory through a new Matrix flick. Sorry, though, as their new movie is a flop in the U.S. box office just like their other films: “Speed Racer: in 2008, “Cloud Atlas” in 2012 and the ridiculous “Jupiter Ascending” in 2015 with Eddie Redmayne, who just then won an Oscar, in a truly embarrassing performance. They then went to TV and did the series “Sense8” that also didn’t do so well.

We’re afraid “Resurrections” is just plain boring, quite uninvolving twaddle, so derivative of the previous films (so many footage from the old films are even shown) and is just a misbegotten way to revive the franchise.

A great part of the movie’s first half is about reviving the character of Neo and in rebooting his hit game The Matrix. At one point, a character literally declares that Warner Brother just wants a new Matrix and that they will not stop until they get one.

In all fairness, some of the fight scenes are still energetic and well choreographed, but it looks more like just a “greatest hits” selection of the fight scenes we’ve seen before, including bullet time. Same old, same old, more of the same, except for the romantic angle between Neo and Trinity that was taken for granted in the trilogy.

But it’s really in the story itself that they failed to use more imagination. Looks like something went wrong with their algorithm. The narrative as a whole is just absurd, sometimes too uninterestingly disjointed to follow and just lacks the original’s magic alchemy. They should just have left good things well enough alone. And Keanu would be well advised to just stick to John Wick.

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