The Matrix Resurrections Review
When I first heard another Matrix sequel was in development, I was so perplexed as to why. The answer of course to that was to make money, so my bigger question than "why" was "how"? How can you make a sequel to something that ended so definitively in The Matrix Revolutions which packaged up the story and tied it with a nice bow? I thought it would be impossible to bring a plausible belated sequel to The Matrix...but somehow with all that insane pressure, Lana Wachowski makes it look easy with The Matrix Resurrections.
It's hard to get into even the basics of the plot without revealing too much, but Resurrections follows some similar beats to the first Matrix film, where, Mr. Anderson (Keanu Reeves) lives a fairly normal life until all at once he has a choice placed before him whether or not to follow the metaphorical rabbit down the rabbit hole. Does he listen to his therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) who tries to help him see reality, his boss (Jonathan Groff) who tells him to keep his head down and keep focusing on his all-important work, or a stranger (Jessica Henwick) who reminds him that things aren't what they seem?
Perhaps the aspect of The Matrix Resurrections that is the most fun, is how incredibly meta it plays it. This is absolutely Wes Craven's New Nightmare meets The Matrix and that may or may not work for audiences. Some will embrace this sense of humor with how it handles the story, while others will be turned off by how it recontextualizes the franchise as a whole. For me, it really worked and while it wasn't something I was expecting, in retrospect I can't picture successfully telling the story in any other way. For me, it works because we feel almost as confused as Mr. Anderson in knowing what is reality and what isn't inside the film.
Wachowski's answers to what everyone has been up to make sense to me and totally work to reignite the story. That's not to say every decision made in the film works for me. There's a definite over-reliance on footage and callbacks to the previous films, which honestly makes me really miss some of the cast members not included here (Hugo Weaving and Lawrence Fishburn to be more precise). Jonathan Groff is clearly having a ball here, but it's hard not to feel Hugo Weaving's absence as his Mr. Smith was so incredibly done.
While the previous Matrix sequels added more worldbuilding and rules to almost an exhaustible extent, Resurrections boils the story down to its simplest terms and focuses all of its energy on the love story between Neo and Trinity. To me, this works as their connection was always what grounded the previous films as well, so seeing their connection continue to grow and persevere is special. Storywise, The Matrix Resurrections feels more like a jumping-off point for new adventures than necessarily an epic adventure itself, but it has me excited for the future of the franchise should they choose to pursue it.