Friday, January 14, 2022

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Streaming Service: HBO Max
Movie Name/Year: The Matrix Resurrections (2021)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Length: 148 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Venus Castina Productions, Cinemundo, HKC Entertainment, Tanweer Alliances, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Warner Bros. Entertainment Australia, Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore, HBO Max
Director: Lana Wachowski
Writer: Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell, Aleksandar Hemon, Lilly Wachowski
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Cristina Ricci, Lambert Wilson, Andrew Lewis Caldwell, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Joshua Grothe, Brian J. Smith, ErĂ©ndira Ibarra, Michael X. Sommers
Blurb from IMDb: 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.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve been hearing a lot about The Matrix Resurrections, not all of it good. As usual, I prefer to make up my own mind.
One of the criticisms I’ve heard is that it relies quite a bit on nostalgia. I can’t really argue against that. There are a ton of callbacks to the other films – including straight-up clips. I thought the film could have used a little less of that. The parts that were new, however, really took me to places I didn’t expect.
It still felt like a part of the Matrix. It had all the mind-fuckery of the trilogy, along with the heavy sci-fi aspects. I don’t think that’s what it was written for, though.
I have a feeling this was going to be made with or without the Wachowskis.
So much of the film was written as if the original writers were a part of the story. There were whole scenes on how soul-sucking it could be to create a project for a company that’s sole purpose was money and not the creativity of it. I’ve spent some time writing in other people’s voices, you can easily lose yourself.

In The Matrix Resurrections I think Lana Wachowski (Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, Sense8) used what power she had to give a scathing review of the industry, and us.
Sometimes we forget that while we’re watching the films and the creators, they’re looking back at audiences. What succeeds, what fails. They need to understand target demographics and how to push the line without going to far.
I thought this was a passion project for Lana Wachowski when I saw that writing this helped her find comfort after the passing of her parents. Now, I think maybe she wrote the movie so that others wouldn’t destroy her baby – that she brought back Neo and Trinity as an act of mourning and wrote the script as an act of rebellion. I love me a rebel.
She brought the real world into the Matrix. Even that uncanny feeling that we’ve somehow dimension jumped into a crazy existence in the past few years. It felt like what was happening in the movie could explain the world from 2016 until now.
There are also some great action sequences to keep general audiences in their seats while the more meta stuff is happening in the background.
I enjoyed The Matrix Resurrections. I do think it’s not for everyone, and if you go into it expecting something exactly like the original trinity, you’re going to be disappointed. If that how you feel, I also think the point of this movie was meant for you.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was practically chomping at the bit for The Matrix Resurrections to be released on HBO Max. Naturally, my family and I watched it together immediately.
If you’re really into these movies, as I am, you are almost required to watch them multiple times just so you can get the most out of the experience. Every watch-through yields new Easter eggs and perspectives on the story.
The masterful storytelling and cinematography, with Lana Wachowski at the writing and directing helm, were entertaining enough on the surface level to captivate even the casual movie-goer. For die-hard Matrix franchise fans, there was also a red pill’s worth of content. 
We can all agree that Keanu Reeves (Destination Wedding, Replicas, Toy Story 4) is a gift to the world, and it was a treat to have him back in this series. His screen chemistry with Carrie-Anne Moss (Pompeii, Brain on Fire, The Bye Bye Man) as Neo and Trinity hasn’t waned with the passage of time.

I was a little hesitant with the new incarnation of Morpheus, however. I didn’t see how there could be a ‘new’ one at all. That being said, the story ironed out those details and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us, Watchmen, The Trial of the Chicago 7) did a fantastic job of following in the footsteps, and paying respect to the character, while still making this new version his own.
There were new characters in The Matrix Resurrections that elevated the story. Jessica Henwick (Underwater, Love and Monsters, Blood of Zeus) was one of my favorites. I have really been enjoying her voice work in Blade Runner: Black Lotus (2021-). Bugs was an amazing character full of a lot of symbolism. Another favorite of mine was Neil Patrick Harris (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Gone Girl, 8-Bit Christmas). I get giddy when I see him involved with projects. I don’t want to spoil his part here, but his performance gave me goosebumps.
If you have enjoyed this series over the years, don’t miss The Matrix Resurrections. If you haven’t experienced any of these movies before this might still be an entertaining flick for you, but you’ll really get more of it if you watch them in order. In fact, The Matrix Resurrections uses archival footage from the prior movies as a plot point. If you don’t want to be spoiled on some scenes, and miss all the references, the earlier Matrix movies are easy enough to find.
If you’re new to a cyberpunk concept and like the sci-fi genre – hop aboard and enjoy the mind-bending fun.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 63%
Metascore – 63%
Metacritic User Score – 3.8
IMDB Score – 5.7/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5
P.S. There’s a short after-credits scene.
Movie Trailer:

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