I am sure The Matrix Resurrections has already fed thousands of reviews, think-pieces, and clickbait articles already. I saw it, and the sci-fi film is in line with the topics I cover on my blog, so it seemed relevant to address it here. But I don’t really have much to say.
It was fine. It was an overall enjoyable sci-fi love story with cool fight sequences and a retreaded heroic journey. It was fun to see Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity again. It was interesting to see Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jonathan Groff doing their own versions of Morpheus and Agent Smith. (Jonathan Groff is so good in everything he does, and I somehow never recognize him at the time, which is probably a credit to his performances.) There were other new roles, and returning roles, and references to characters from the other movies. These were all mostly entertaining and/or interesting, as well. None of this movie felt vital or fresh or new, though.
The movie even argued against itself. Thomas Anderson is saddened that he has to make a new Matrix video game, that the studio was going to make one with or without him. Despite his creative involvement, he isn’t sure about what to do with the new game. Plenty of people who grew up with his games tell him what the game should be about. A consensus is never reached. Lana Wachowski is hardly subtle here.
In general, there was nothing subtle about anything in the movie. I don’t think the Wachowskis know how to be subtle. They can be cryptic, but not subtle. That’s fine; they offer big ideas coupled with gripping action sequences. But they’re most fun when setting up a new concept (even when adapting a property or riffing on a genre), like the original The Matrix or Speed Racer or Jupiter Ascending.
I have seen the full Matrix trilogy. I’ve watched those movies maybe twice, once around when they came out and once as a young adult. I’ve enjoyed them. I recognize The Matrix as groundbreaking. But none of them got deep under my skin, like they did for some people, like especially the original did for many people. I don’t remember the details well enough to have a deep appreciation for all the callbacks made in Resurrections. That’s fine. It didn’t ruin my experience.
But Resurrections did not need to exist, and it has not justified its existence or the continuation of the franchise. Maybe die-hard fans will disagree. That’s fine too. I think I’d get more out of just watching the original again. This franchise can go on and on beyond Resurrections if it wants, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t need to, and I won’t care at all if it does.