More than twenty years since The Matrix launched a multi-million dollar movie franchise that catapulted minds into a vast millieu of sci-fi wonder, director Lana Wachowski (half of the duo that helmed the original trilogy prior to their transitions) returns to both amaze and bewilder with one of the most meta sequels you’ll probably ever see. And no, I probably won’t disclose much about the film and its plot. Like the great Morpheus once said… “I cannot tell you what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”
You’ll either love The Matrix Resurrections, or hate it; There’s plenty to appreciate in how Wachowski births a new story into the mix – an impressive and equally bold and brilliant move in the creativity department considering so many moviegoers are so myopic that upon the end of The Matrix Revolutions, things might as well have been what they were since then. It’s a new story that weaves interesting plot twists that cohese a nimble crocheting of the events of the first three films with what we see in The Matrix Resurrections, thus, firmly explaining away its reasoning. You also get a mix of new and returning characters that effectively foundate this film’s albeit nonplussing existence. And, it’s all very cool.
What doesn’t really bode well is that oftentimes, its extra emphasis on being so “meta” tends to border on parody that it gets in the way itself, and it lacks much of the caliber and sensational thrust of the original films. Less expect the wholesomeness and framework of the kinds of set pieces, shots and action design shot and directed by the likes of Master Yuen Woo-Ping and his highly skilled team of yesteryear, though it doesn’t hugely take away the efforts invested on this newest chapter. The action is fun and exciting to look at, coupled with some signature choreographical moments from the inaugural trilogy (recurring flashbacks included) but it’s an acquired taste all the same.
Come for the nostalgia, stay for the sci-fi thrills and spills and the enrichment of seeing how a director can McGyver their way into a new film despite any and all pre-existing conditions. The Matrix Resurrections doesn’t deliver the goods the way you remember them, but its continued authenticity, rooted in love for cyberpunk sci-fi and martial arts to the benefit of its commercial and fan-driven legacy abstains its complete dismissal. It’s in theaters and on HBO Max as of this week, so give it a shot.