Matrix Resurrections review – it’s a mixed bag.
It’s been 18 years since we last jacked into the Matrix. Keanu and Carrie are back (and breathtaking) but does this meta reboot capture the magic of the original?
“In a world of two realities—everyday life and what lies behind it—Thomas Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. Choice, while an illusion, is still the only way in or out of the Matrix, which is stronger, more secure and more dangerous than ever before,”
With Keanu Reeves’ renaissance and reboot and remix culture at an all-time high it was only inevitable we’d end up back in the Matrix. 1999’s first film came out of nowhere and revolutionised the genre with its sheer originality, thought-provoking themes, razor-sharp action and one of a king special effects. The sequels followed a few years later and while not hitting the peaks of the original they were still absolutely huge. I was in my very early twenties when they dropped and the series was the coolest thing ever.
Without getting into spoilers, let’s talk about Resurrections.
I went in very cautiously with expectations in check to this belated sequel and walking out of it? That was probably the best mindset to go with. There’s a lot to like in Resurrections. The first third to half of the movie definitely grabbed me. It’s meta. So very meta. Almost to a fault but I think it barely kept on the right side of the line. There’s a lot to say about nostalgia, reboot culture and the corporate machine driving the early parts of the film. In media everything is remix and it’s definitely at the forefront.
We find Neo, well, more Thomas Anderson to begin, in an interesting place. This is obviously another iteration of the cyclical Matrix run by the machines. Mental illness, paranoia and questioning what just is his reality plagues Mr Anderson in this first act and it’s quite captivating. I almost wish this was a high concept series so more time could be spent here.
There are numerous callbacks and remixes of scenes and shots from the originals but it’s completely undercut by the literal quick flashbacks inserted into the shots. I get it. I don’t need it waved around in front of my face.
Once we break free of this reality, this Matrix, the film kinda loses its magic. With the original sequels, my interest dropped the second we unplugged and got dragged down in the “real world” and it’s no different here. From here we get very exposition-heavy for a long stretch and the fun initial premise is more or less forgotten.
Ultimately this one hinges on the love story between Neo and Trinity. It’s the driver and will tug at the romantics out there. Acting-wise Keanu is fine, if not a little wooden, but that’s Keanu on the regular. Carrie is her usual stunning self and when she truly slips back into being Trinity it’s such a moment. No Laurence Fishburn or Hugo Weaving is so glaring it bothered me the entire time. I almost think you’d have waited instead of going on without them.
Once we hit the climax things come together to a degree and we get a little more action-heavy. If nothing else the series could always hang its hat on ridiculously cool action sequences. (I can take or leave most of Reloaded but the highway scene? *chef’s kiss*). Sadly I feel like the action revolution the original started has passed it by. There’s nothing unique or mind-blowing here. Heck, Keanu’s other series John Wick is all over it for gunplay and fight choreography. Some of the VFX (you’ll know when you see them) seem low budget TV level which is so so odd for a series with this pedigree.
Ultimately Resurrection is a mixed bag and I’m sure your own mileage will vary. Die-hard fans of the series will pick it apart and adore it but if the original sequels slowly lost you, this one continues the trend
Matrix Resurrections Rating: 2.5/5
In Cinemas now
Watch: Matrix Resurrections Trailer
Check out more movie news on SoBinge.com.au.