In an age the place IP is king, and sequels, reboots, and up to date diversifications take priority, The Matrix Resurrections seems to fall proper in line. However what ought to a reboot or sequel be within the context of its franchise? Which strategy finest serves its legacy, and maybe extra merely, what is a reboot, remake, or sequel? Resurrections grapples with its legacy and place in movie canon with an existential self-awareness in true Matrix-style. Solely this time, director and co-writer Lana Wachowski will get way more private and nostalgic, bringing stunning humor to the combination.
Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves) lives an earthly life because the creator behind the favored online game, The Matrix. His firm is keen to return to the decades-old recreation to seek out comparable success, prompting Anderson to lose his grip on actuality. Is the Matrix a figment of his inventive creativeness or an precise place? Not even his blue pill-pushing therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) can hold him from following the white rabbit as soon as extra to find the reality.
Wachowski, together with writers David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, pares again the size for this affecting and extra private story. Whereas the unique trilogy centered on a high-stakes battle between humanity and machines, Neo did achieve attaining peace. Resurrections makes use of the mysterious hole between Neo’s fated voyage to the machine metropolis and the current to present room to reckon with the previous and the way the trilogy, and its characters, have held up over time. Anchoring all of it is the acquainted spine of Neo and Trinity’s (Carrie-Anne Moss) love story.
As soon as once more, their bond turns into the driving power of the narrative. Solely right here, it’s the all-encompassing ingredient. Wachowski crafts a poignant and private love letter to 2 characters deeply essential to her, who introduced consolation within the wake of shedding her dad and mom. It leads to a much more touching, lighter story that permits its characters to age with grace and introduce new gamers to steal the highlight.
Resurrections is deeply nostalgic. It constantly appears to be like to the previous, visually, archivally, and self-referentially, to replicate upon previous decisions, errors, and philosophies to ponder what meaning for the current. Meaning it might get downright tacky in elements with the sentimentality, however its emotional beats nonetheless resonate. So do the comedic moments through which new Morpheus actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II establishes himself to be fairly adept. Jonathan Groff exudes charisma as Smith, however Jessica Henwick threatens to run away with the movie because the fiery, rebellious Bugs. Not solely is Bugs the catalyst for the story, however she’s the information into a more recent, stranger Matrix.
With the emphasis on emotional resonance and romanticism, the motion suffers barely. Whereas Resurrections whisks Neo from set piece to set piece, many that includes spectacular explosions and gunfire, Wachowski struggles with filming shut fight and combat choreography. A few of it, notably when regarding smaller supporting gamers, turns into incomprehensible. Fortunately Wachowski injects sufficient selection in motion, crammed with heists and a high-octane last act, that it doesn’t turn out to be an excessive amount of of a detriment. It additionally helps that know-how has come a great distance because the unique movie’s launch, making for a visually slicker new entry.
Due to an endearing and entertaining reunion with outdated buddies and new ones, the two-and-a-half-hour runtime breezes by. Whereas it depends closely on the previous, it’s extra concerned with analyzing it from a present, lived-in perspective. It makes for a brand new entry assured to polarize. This isn’t the Matrix that we met simply over twenty years in the past, however a contemporary replace that builds on its legacy with stunning and sometimes humorous tenderness. Whether or not you’re keen to observe the white rabbit and take the purple capsule this spherical will rely upon how a lot you discover consolation in Neo and Trinity and their enduring love story.
The Matrix Resurrections releases in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22, 2022.