The Matrix: Resurrections decides to bring a meta aspect to this innovative universe. This is a solid return to a franchise credited for redefining Sci-fi and action films. Some plot threads might be easier for fans of the trilogy to appreciate, but the breathtaking action sequences might be enough to draw in a new generation of fans. The meta approach is handled very well overall, Keanu Reeves impresses as a matured Neo, and his chemistry with Carrie-Anne Moss remains strong.
Jumping back into this world after so many years felt surreal at times. The original trilogy is heralded for its groundbreaking action and complex narrative. While this fourth entry could be overlooked as just another sequel, Neo and Trinity’s relationship makes The Matrix: Resurrections worth enduring. The film follows Neo (Keanu Reeves) living as Thomas Anderson once again, he has now made a name for himself by turning The Matrix into a game.
When a woman who appears to be Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) enters his life, an alternate version of Morpheus (Yahya Abdul Mateen) arrives to get his help against a new threat. The progression of Neo’s character is fitting when considering his computer programming background. This meta approach does grow tired once it’s put through the wringer. Luckily, it’s forgotten for a more familiar narrative. The Matrix: Resurrections does try to coast on nostalgia too much, but glimpses of the previous entries do help the romance being rekindled between Neo and Trinity.
The film’s events can be difficult to follow, especially when considering how Neo and Trinity are alive again. It’s necessary to have watched the previous installments because The Matrix: Resurrections caters to the established fan base in more than one way. Exposition dumping isn’t mandatory, nor is it always used in the best way. However, with the fourth Matrix film, there’s an argument to be made that not enough exposition dumping took place.
The Matrix: Resurrections script may have needed some revisions, but the performances are remarkable. Mateen joins the legacy cast as if he’s been present from the start. There’s familial chemistry that everyone shares. Jada Pinkett’s return was underwhelming, and this is due to Niobe (Pinkett) not having much to do. Reeves’ return as Neo doesn’t disappoint, but he does feel more at home when sharing the screen with Moss. The new additions to the Matrix family seemed more committed than some of the returning talent.
While the action sequences are thrilling to watch, none of it was memorable compared to the original. Neo and Trinity share some intimate moments complimented by excellent lighting choices. Sadly, a lot of the cinematography can be dull and lifeless. Lana Wachowski captures some brilliant shots and this franchise is still one of the best for slow-motion sequences. Neo and Trinity share a breathtaking moment during the film’s final act and Wachowski’s style heightens the emotions, as you anxiously wait to see if one of them will perish. This action-packed adventure is paced very well and the complexity of its narrative keeps you engaged just like its predecessors.
The Matrix: Resurrections arrives in theaters this week and audiences should have fun with it for the most part. The nostalgia baiting does get played out, and its meta aspect does get worn out rather quickly. Neo and Trinity’s revived relationship, the film’s complexity, and its gripping action sequences are its primary strengths. A second viewing will be needed to fully appreciate this long-overdue return to The Matrix. Staying true to its roots and only suffering from its narrative getting messy at times, The Matrix: Resurrections is a blast from start to finish.