Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Matrix: Resurrections - Movie Review

The Movie: The Matrix Resurrections

The Director: Lana Wachowski

The Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas

The Story: Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more.

The Review:
When it was announced that Lana Wachowski was working on another Matrix movie, I was immediately concerned about the how, the why, the what, and the who, and pretty much all the questions. I mean, the franchise already declined with each sequel as it quickly became apparent that, after the brilliance of the first movie, the sequels were hastily thrown together to meet release dates. Now bring it this far forward and a lot could go wrong.

A lot went wrong.

I have so many issues with this sequel that's not supposed to be a sequel yet it obviously is that I really don't know where to begin. You know how there are movie franchises that are self aware enough to go meta with the content in fun and innovative ways. This movie goes meta in all the wrong ways, the jokes are more laughed at then laughed with and the whole thing starts off trying way too hard to be cool. From there, the director tries to make this a love story and that just falls so flat that you can actually hear the air leaking out of it.

Is this an eye popping action spectacle like the previous films? I guess so but every bit of it is just a rehash or reworking of things we've seen before from the franchise, sometimes note for note recreations because I'm not exactly sure why. This movie was such an opportunity to do something new and fresh and exciting and yet lacks anything original which just happens to be the number one thing the franchise hangs its hat on. There are also way too many conversations that are in place to explain what's happening, who is who, and why they are all there.

Maybe the one thing I did like about the movie is the fact that Jessica Henwick is in it, having been a fan of hers for all the work she's done in franchises like Star wars, Game of Thrones, and Marvel's Netflix series which is where I really got to know her. I did find it a bit ironic that she shows up in this, a movie that pretty much rehashes the original movie's story, since she also made an appearance as an X-Wing pilot in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a movie a lot of people feel just rehashes the original Star Wars. Her character is not based on anyone else in the franchise and she is a completely badass who I would like to see a lot more of, blue hair and all.

This was such a swing and a miss and an absolute wasted opportunity to create something really special. I think even the cast knew what was going on as Keanu himself felt like he was mailing it in and others just seemed to be going through the motions. Might be the acting, might be bad editing, but either way, this movie was not put together very well at all. Most unfortunate is how some really powerful themes of gender roles and toxic masculinity get lost in this muddled mess of a movie.

The Verdict:
The Matrix Resurrections attempts to resurrect a franchise that maybe should have been left alone. Cheap tricks and rehashing pretty much everything we've seen before is not the way to bring back a franchise that etched its place in history with some of the most original ideas and concepts we had ever seen.

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