Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell, Aleksandar Hemon
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jonathan Groff, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Rated: R for violence and some language
When I was younger, living in Rawlins Wyoming, we had a two screen theater that the town all went to. I still remember looking up at the posters for both ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘The Matrix: Revolutions’ and being so excited because both films were releasing within the same year (if I remember correctly). Though I am confident the nuances and philosophy of the Wachowski’s didn’t hit as hard as it would seeing it at an older age for the first time, the films action and story stuck with me like the mirror Mr. Anderson first touched after taking the red pill. In ‘Matrix Resurrections’, Thomas Anderson is plagued by visions of a life that he may have had, or is completely fabricated. Everything is similar, but different in this world and he will need to break free of his programming to know the truth.
The story is a meta look into the first Matrix, there are a lot of philosophical questions about control, what can be seen as freedom but actually isn’t, and expectations and what they mean when it comes to creating something new. Lana Wachowski does a great job bringing in the mind-melting questions and introduces them in a way that feels more palatable than the previous films had done. Additionally, the film is absolutely beautiful in its cinematography and set design, almost feeling dream-like in some scenes.
The performances by Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are both stellar, as well as some great new castings of old characters with Jonathan Groff, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The way these two specifically are able to pay homage to the roots of their characters while evolving them into this new story was done really well. Neil Patrick-Harris gets some great moments but in the end I don’t think his character had the weight he needed to feel like a full fleshed out character.
The action in the original Matrix Trilogy will, to me, be some of the greatest actions pieces in cinematic history. From the bullet dodge scene to the hundreds upon hundreds of CGI balloon animal Agent Smiths in a city basketball court. They all stand out to me as instant classics. With ‘Resurrections’, the action doesn’t quite hit the mark that the previous three had. I do appreciate a lot of the sequences, but they also feel a little choppy, and the moments not as memorable in terms of fighting and overall scale.
Overall, I think this is a great first film to a potential new trilogy. Though I wish there was more memorable fighting and action, the characters and the story really shine in this to make is one I would recommend.