The Matrix Resurrections marks our return to the Matrix in nearly two decades. The last time we entered the Matrix, we saw Neo (Keanu Reeves) defeat Mr. Smith (Hugo Weaving) and sacrifice his life to reboot the Matrix and save the city of Zion. It appeared that the story of Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and the journey to save Zion and defeat Mr. Smith had come to a perfect close.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would get another Matrix film. The Wachowski’s seemed to have moved on from the franchise and the trilogy ended on such a perfect note, it seemed almost impossible to add on to this story. Also, because of the ideas, themes, and game-changing technology of the Matrix films, this is a franchise that is nearly impossible to reboot or remake. How do you continue a story when the entire world we were in for three movies has rebooted? How do you top bullet-time camera work and landmark action sequences that are still being copied and parodied to this day?
Writer/director Lana Wachowski has done what I thought was impossible and made a great and surprising new entry in an iconic franchise. The Matrix Resurrections is an action-packed and visually stunning sequel loaded with meta-text, a surprising amount of humor, and tons of heart.
Neo, or Thomas Anderson (Reeves, looking like John Wick with a desk job), is back! How? I’ll let you see for yourself, but he is, and he is living in the present day as a video game designer who is most famous for making the video game The Matrix, a game that seems to have the exact same plot and story of the original films. When his business partner Smith (Jonathan Groff) starts to push for a sequel to the legendary video game, Thomas begins to suffer from hallucinations and psychotic breaks about a different world much like the one he created in the Matrix video game, which his psychiatrist (Neil Patrick Harris) says is because he is too invested in the video game world he created and prescribes him some metallic blue pills to keep him calm. But when Thomas stops taking the blue pills and starts to be visited by characters from the video game, he realizes that the world he was living in isn’t what it appears to be and opens his eyes to what is real.
The world of the Matrix lives in the mind of Wachowski. There is nobody else who could have made this movie or any other Matrix movie. She understands the origins of this world and knows where it is going and combines both of that in Resurrections. The meta-text and humor are front and center, with Wachowski poking fun of legacy sequels and the bigwigs at Warner Bros. pushing her to make a new Matrix film. We get a mix of new and old characters, some looking different than they did previously, along with some thrilling and heart-racing action sequences that might not be as revolutionary as the ones from the previous film (there is no bullet time or any new game-changing technology here) but there is still enough to fill the screen with excitement. Wachowski also makes the world of the Matrix even bigger than it was before. The Matrix system has changed, and things are very different now from what we saw in the original trilogy. The real world of the Matrix and the city of Zion have changed as have the rules of the programming and everything inside of the Matrix. Wachowski builds this world out beautifully, making us want to learn more about this new Matrix and live in the world longer.
But through all the action, world expansion, and meta-text, The Matrix Resurrections is simply a love story between Neo and Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss). Both characters were dead when the original trilogy ended, and again, I’m not going to tell you how or why they are back alive, but they both are, yet in this new world they do not know each other. Trinity goes by Tiffany and is a domesticated wife with two kids who goes to the same coffee shop Thomas does. When Thomas introduces himself to Tiffany, the two shake hands and immediately feel a connection, which not only adds to Thomas’s hallucinations about a different life but makes Tiffany begin to think the same thing. Wachowski once again dives into the idea of choice versus fate and the want for something more, themes that were prominent in the original trilogy. Reeves and Moss give sensational performances reprising their iconic roles, not missing a single beat and having us believe that these two are meant to be together no matter what world they are in. The love story between Neo and Trinity is what drove the original Matrix films and is what drives Resurrections.
There is far more to The Matrix Resurrections than what I went through, but spoiling any more of the movie would ruin the overall experience. This movie is awesome. Lana Wachowski crafted a smart, tricky, fun film filled with action and romance. I never thought I would ever see another Matrix sequel in my lifetime, but I have, and I am glad that I did.
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