Reel Opinions


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Matrix Resurrections


Co-writer and Director, Lana Wachowski, hits upon a great idea early on in The Matrix Resurrections, giving the film a meta approach.  Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a burned out video game designer who is famous for creating a trilogy of video games called The Matrix.  He is informed by the powers that be at Warner Bros. Studio that they want a fourth Matrix game from him, and we get some brief moments that have humorous and smart jabs at having to revive a long dormant franchise that has a nostalgic fandom behind it.

At this point of the film, I was kind of getting the same vibes that Joe Dante gave with Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which was essentially a parody of sequels in general, as well as the first movie.  Would Wachowski (working without her sister Lilly this time) really have the guts to dive as far as Dante did with her own meta idea, and give us a satirical breakdown on reviving a long-dormant property?  Turns out to be a bait and switch, as what follows is a fairly mediocre follow up to the two previous mediocre follow ups to the groundbreaking 1999 original film.  Just like before, Thomas starts to question his reality, despite the reassurance from his therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) that these feelings are brought on by stress of having to return to his video game franchise.  He has numerous encounters with a woman at a coffee shop named Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss) with a husband and kids that he seems oddly attracted to, as if he knows her from somewhere.  Then, he has a run-in with a familiar face, who is now being played by a new face.  That would be Morpheus, who is now played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, stepping in for Laurence Fishburne.  Thanks to him, Thomas is pulled back into the world of the Matrix itself, and audiences are pulled into disappointment.

The Matrix Resurrections, despite its early promise, ends up repeating a lot of ideas and images of stuff we've seen before.  And what little new there is here, such as certain machines now helping the human rebels who are fighting for freedom, is not explored as much as it could be.  This is a surprisingly wordy movie, where the characters wax in pseudo philosophical speak, while occasionally engaging in world-bending martial arts battles that don't seem as special as before because, again, we've seen it all before.  With a bloated two and a half hour running time, and an overall indifference to add much new here to draw in viewers who aren't already in the rabid fanbase, there's just not a lot here to warrant this kind of uninspired return.  There's a new butt-kicking woman named Bugs joining the cast (Jessica Henwick), some new bad guys to beat up, and a lot of regurgitated ideas and clips from the past movies designed to either instill nostalgia, or to help catch up the audience on what happened almost 20 years ago when the original trilogy ended.  

I can understand that Wachowski and her fellow writers are trying to add tension by having Thomas/Neo trying to reawaken Tiffany/Trinity's memories so that they can fight alongside each other again, but it doesn't work here, because the movie keeps them apart for almost the entire film until its final moments.  So, fans who are anxious to see Reeves and Moss kicking butt together again are in for a long wait, and will probably have to wait for the inevitable sequel to get any real mileage out of the reunion.  Even the special effects and battles that have always been a hallmark of the franchise are strangely unmemorable here.  They're appropriately epic in scope, but they lack any memorable moments, or a reason to care.  Oddly enough, the action sequences here come across as one of the countless movies from the early 2000s that tried to copy the original Matrix, rather than innovate.  Unlike the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home, this movie cannot build upon its past legacy, but rather seems held back by it, and a curious lack of understanding as to what wowed audiences about it in the first place.


I'm not sure if a fully meta take on The Matrix would have worked, but at least it wouldn't seem like the movie was eventually going on autopilot, as this sequel gradually does.  Sure, it gives us what we expect, but it does so in such a way that feels less in the end.  I'm sure I'll be in the minority, the film will make its money, and the next installment will be hitting in a couple years.  You know what?  I'm okay with all of that.  I'm comfortable being in the minority when it comes to this, and I'm comfortable with the filmmakers getting a chance to hopefully build upon what could be.

0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010
12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011
01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011
02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011
08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011
09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012
05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012
06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012
07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012
11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012
12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013
01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013
02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013
03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013
04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013
05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013
06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013
07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013
08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013
09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013
10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013
11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014
01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014
02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014
03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014
04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014
05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014
06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014
07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014
08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014
09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014
10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014
11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014
12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015
01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015
02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015
03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015
04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015
05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015
06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015
07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015
08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015
09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015
10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015
11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015
12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016
01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016
02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016
03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016
04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016
05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016
06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016
07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016
08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016
09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016
10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016
11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016
12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017
01/01/2017 - 02/01/2017
02/01/2017 - 03/01/2017
03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017
04/01/2017 - 05/01/2017
05/01/2017 - 06/01/2017
06/01/2017 - 07/01/2017
07/01/2017 - 08/01/2017
08/01/2017 - 09/01/2017
09/01/2017 - 10/01/2017
10/01/2017 - 11/01/2017
11/01/2017 - 12/01/2017
12/01/2017 - 01/01/2018
01/01/2018 - 02/01/2018
02/01/2018 - 03/01/2018
03/01/2018 - 04/01/2018
04/01/2018 - 05/01/2018
05/01/2018 - 06/01/2018
06/01/2018 - 07/01/2018
07/01/2018 - 08/01/2018
08/01/2018 - 09/01/2018
09/01/2018 - 10/01/2018
10/01/2018 - 11/01/2018
11/01/2018 - 12/01/2018
12/01/2018 - 01/01/2019
01/01/2019 - 02/01/2019
02/01/2019 - 03/01/2019
03/01/2019 - 04/01/2019
04/01/2019 - 05/01/2019
05/01/2019 - 06/01/2019
06/01/2019 - 07/01/2019
07/01/2019 - 08/01/2019
08/01/2019 - 09/01/2019
09/01/2019 - 10/01/2019
10/01/2019 - 11/01/2019
11/01/2019 - 12/01/2019
12/01/2019 - 01/01/2020
01/01/2020 - 02/01/2020
02/01/2020 - 03/01/2020
03/01/2020 - 04/01/2020
04/01/2020 - 05/01/2020
05/01/2020 - 06/01/2020
06/01/2020 - 07/01/2020
07/01/2020 - 08/01/2020
08/01/2020 - 09/01/2020
09/01/2020 - 10/01/2020
10/01/2020 - 11/01/2020
11/01/2020 - 12/01/2020
12/01/2020 - 01/01/2021
02/01/2021 - 03/01/2021
03/01/2021 - 04/01/2021
04/01/2021 - 05/01/2021
05/01/2021 - 06/01/2021
06/01/2021 - 07/01/2021
07/01/2021 - 08/01/2021
08/01/2021 - 09/01/2021
09/01/2021 - 10/01/2021
10/01/2021 - 11/01/2021
11/01/2021 - 12/01/2021
12/01/2021 - 01/01/2022
01/01/2022 - 02/01/2022

Powered by Blogger