Review: The Matrix Resurrections

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Back into the Matrix we go and why this is, we’ll never know. With fleeting moments of exciting action sequences and fun nostalgia that quickly gets old, The Matrix Resurrections leaves me wishing I had taken the blue pill.

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) aka Neo is once again presented with a choice that sends him back into the Matrix and ultimately on a mission to rescue Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). That’s right, surprise! They’re both still alive. The plot of this new entry is a jumbled mess that falters under the weight of trying to both justify the film’s existence and make sense whatsoever. It is a story stuck in what has come before, not willing to stray far from established plot points and instead remixing what we’ve already seen. An exercise in mental gymnastics, The Matrix Resurrections requires viewers to accept what is presented without much thought in order to not get bogged down in the cinematic cerebral exercise of inception. What is absent from essentially the entire film is a purpose, a reason for revisiting the Matrix. It largely feels like a retread peppered with new shiny objects that serve no greater purpose.

The strength of the film lies in the newcomers: Jessica Henwick and Jonathan Groff are both exceptional while Neil Patrick Harris does what he can with the strange cards he is dealt. The same goes for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II whose complicated Morpheus reimagining sadly fails to make an impact. Reeves and Moss are both fine reprising their roles, though they can’t quite capture the excitement of the original outings. The film is visually sharp in many ways, though Lana Wachowski’s journey back into the world seems more constrained than ever before. Fighting seems to have regressed, the hand-to-hand combat not remotely believable and the effects, while crisp, offer nothing new.

There is simply no need for The Matrix Resurrections to exist; the trilogy was best left complete with The Matrix Revolutions. The fourth film ultimately comes across as overly meta, goofy, and unoriginal, a frustrating disappointment that does little more than remind viewers of the potential of the franchise that continues to be squandered.

The Matrix Resurrections is now playing in theaters and on HBO Max.

Rating: 2/5

Photo from WIRED

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