By Abigail Mulonas
Scrounging for every ounce of originality and purpose, “The Matrix Resurrections” director, Lana Wachowski, brings back the nostalgia of seeing Neo and Trinity together and thinks it is enough to make a decent film. Taking for granted the revolutionary concept this once constructed, there is only one question that arises – after all this time, was this the best you could do?
Although I am not necessarily surprised, I am disappointed. Nine times out of 10, sequels or other additions to franchises are worse than the first. Eighteen years since the premiere of the last Matrix film, this latest installment proves the actors and producers, in fact, do not still have what it takes.
Set in the world of returning to two realities, one is the everyday life of Thomas Anderson and the other is what lies beneath in Neo’s life. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, he must choose to follow the white rabbit once more.
Reprising roles within the franchise are Keanu Reeves as Neo, Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe. Joining as new additions are Jonathan Groff as Agent Smith, Jessica Henwick as Bugs, and Neil Patrick Harris as The Analyst, along with many others.
My biggest issue of all, is the fact that this has no underlying theme or point. Touching on notions that could be important if given time, such as relationships, a female protagonist, or the repetition of a tedious Groundhog Day lifestyle once again, these thoughts were left high and dry without ambition, making it all useless.
Neo begins this film stuck in the Matrix trying to disassociate what is reality. These building blocks take too long expanding on portions of the story that are unimportant and grazing over the moments that would hold value.
While many actors return to reprise the roles of established characters, their arcs are unfulfilling when they’re paired with different actors playing already developed characters from previous films.
Not to mention my continuation of disappointment in both Reeves and Moss’ plain performances. Being the front people for the audience to connect with, their painfully monotonic and bland deliverance of lines and actions makes it hard to be on the same wavelength.
Therefore, this uneven implication of elongated details was just a hodgepodge of dulled down information.
I, for one, am a die hard Matrix fan. Yet my initial thought on the possibility of a fourth film was that it might have a chance. If the reasons for a sequel were justified and well-explained in the film, it would have been more successful.
Sadly, my wishful thinking for this plot was only due to my undying dedication and hope from the show-stopping first film rather than clear thinking. This sequel did the same tired things over again, this time without the benefit of novelty.
However, what originally made this series so watchable was the fact that this is based on a mind bending, believable concept. The Matrix films always had an “it moment.”
For example, the classic elevator scene, red or blue pill, dodging bullets, highway scene, etc. are all memorable moments that leave the audience saying, “holy crap.”
Relying solely on the development and household name of its predecessor, there is nothing to make this film desirable. Falling short in its visuals, the sci-fi aspects are muted in their potential and there was not enough action to coincide with its dragging down time.
The script was either filled with silent, short and unremarkable interactions with no depth, or relied on constant music to tell the audience to feel a certain way. With not even cheesy one-liners to lighten the mood, this wasn’t like “The Matrix” enough to be taken seriously and not unique enough to be treated as a stand-alone film.
As much as I wanted to like this film, it was too slow and filled with boring details that amounted to an inferior addition to a franchise that had already ended poorly.
Streaming on HBO and released in theaters simultaneously, this is a tragically unmemorable watch that is the epitome of Hollywood continuing franchises just because they can, not because they should.