THE MATRIX RESSURECTIONS
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Jada Pinkett Smith
Director: Lana Wachowski
I’m not exactly sure how a movie can feel like a retread, be heavy with exposition, and still be confusing, but Resurrections does it. Outside of a nostalgia-driven money grab, nothing about this way-too-late sequel feels necessary. The story isn’t particularly interesting despite some admittedly intriguing meta elements, and the special effects are surprisingly shoddy at times considering 1999’s The Matrix was such a game changer in that department. Worst of all, it’s mostly boring and feels somewhat soulless for a looong 2.5 hours. It’s only for the most ardent fanboys of the franchise, if they even exist anymore.
The Matrix Resurrections is a massive slog. It’s visually stunning and the performances are really good, but the story is quite the convoluted, muddled, and confusing mess. There were several times when I thought the movie was about to end only for it to run for another half hour, which means you really feel that 2.5-hour runtime. On top of that, the movie has a weird meta commentary going on. It was a little clever initially, but it quickly got to a point where I thought “Ok, we get it.” This movie was very disappointing.
It’s not often that a Creative writes a love letter to their previous work. Revisiting our childhood classics is usually left to others so that what we remember is given a fresh look. But with The Matrix Resurrections, director Lana Wachowski waxes (read: criticizes) nostalgic to initially have us question everything we know about her original trilogy. That uncertainty hooked me until the movie began to explain things and my eyes glazed over. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you the film’s main conflict or the characters’ motivations. Maybe a second viewing will help, but that’s seldom a good sign.
The Matrix Resurrections is as good as it needed to be to avoid being a total disaster, but the shame of it is that it’s still not quite good enough to be more than “fine.” There are certainly plenty of things to enjoy, and the anti-meta-sequel swing that director Lana Wachowski takes with it is big; however, I’m not sure it entirely lands in the way it was intended to. Despite solid performances, some neat (if overcut) action sequences, and decent visuals, Resurrections feels as if it’s only half-committed to existing - whether that’s entirely fair is up to the viewer.