American Zero

The Matrix Resurrections Review

by Joe Joe

The Matrix Resurrections Review

Take the blue pill for this one.

The Matrix Resurrections Review

Take the blue pill for this one.

Matrix

Oh my gosh, did that suck. After watching this, I wondered if people wanted another Matrix movie. When the first trailer came out, I was overly excited because I thought it was one of the best trailers ever made. The second trailer came out, and I lowered my expectations because the story was taking shape, and there was more “acting” and dialogue. Because the world is full of covid shit now, and I would love to transport myself to the actual Matrix, this movie was released on both HBO Max and in theaters. I hope it bombs everywhere.

SPOILERS. This is essentially a sequel, remake, and reboot all rolled into one. It tries to confuse things just for its sake, making it a goofy, bland, messy, sloppy, somewhat trite parody. When early reviews came out, critics called it a comedy that they joyously laughed at, which started to worry me. The original trilogy did take itself too seriously, so I welcome any range of humor. The problem is that it’s not funny to me at all. I only laughed once, and that was when they showed a statue of Morpheus because it looked unintentionally hilarious.

I guess the plot is that there is a new version of the Matrix, and the new Architect is now called the Analyst, played by Neil Patrick Harris, who is just playing his annoying self. He keeps both Neo and Trinity alive since they provide immense power for the machines. Apparently, the truce didn’t last, and the machines still kept humans prisoner inside the Matrix. There is some interesting backstory stating that there were machines fighting machines, but it’s just in the background, and it only provides stupid-looking robot characters that are so Disney cute that I’m sure Warner Brothers will want to sell toys.

Neo is now a videogame developer who created the Matrix trilogy in videogame form based on his experiences in the original trilogy. He creates it all, but he doesn’t remember his past accomplishments, so there is a Matrix within a Matrix. Like the original movie, he goes through the same motions questioning reality. Trinity comes back into the picture, and it’s deja vu for both of them. A resistance group in the real world led by Bugs played by the promising Jessica Henwick releases Neo, who then remembers everything and wants to free Trinity.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first. It has interesting concepts. That’s it. Now onto the bad stuff. EVERYTHING ELSE. The action, acting, directing, some visual effects, and writing are all BAD. This is one of the sloppiest big-budget movies I’ve seen in a while. No one seemed to care aside from Warner Brothers, who have been trying to get another Matrix film running with those Michael B. Jordan rumors from a few years ago. Lana Wachowski, minus Lilly, wanted to mess up her franchise instead of anyone else. I’m beginning to think that Lana is the conceptual side of the Wachowski’s and Lilly is the rest of the good stuff like action, editing, and overall competence.

Some of the visual effects are pretty good, but they’re too clean. When Neo woke up in the real world in the original Matrix film, it was dark, violent, gritty, and the visuals were memorable and scary—being born again. In this new version, Neo wakes up, and it looks too clean, and he’s rescued by friendly robots that don’t serve a purpose beyond that. Especially this Baby Groot grasshopper robot whose only purpose is to give someone a high five. You’ll notice that this movie remakes many scenes from the original film but in the worst way possible.

The action is disappointedly bad. This is what I think the original trilogy is most memorable for. I always thought it was funny when people would talk about the philosophy of the Matrix. None of that mattered to me since I thought it was just a typical sci-fi story trope of artificial intelligence taking over humanity. It was told interestingly, and it used tech in amazing new ways to get incredible action sequences, making it unique. Matrix Resurrections has poor action. The cinematography is crisp and clear, but the editing is terrible. It’s shot somewhat up close at times, and there are way too many cuts and a lot of choppy, slow motion, which I can’t stand. It makes it look like the movie has a bad framerate. After rewatching the original trilogy to prepare for this movie, it’s incredible how different this latest installment is regarding the action—such a crying shame. We can still do good action movies. Just look at the perfect John Wick franchise.

This is also a love story. Did everyone love the Neo and Trinity relationship? I always thought it was dull and wooden. I couldn’t wait for certain scenes to end in the original trilogy, and I feel the same for this new one. It sucks that this one has to repeat what I thought was one of the most lacking elements of the previous movies. The movie is just goddamned boring. Carrie-Anne Moss is a serviceable actress. She’s bland, but she can kick ass and has powers in this. People have been complaining that Neo is playing second fiddle to Trinity this time around (debatable), but that’s not a problem since he was always dependent on Trinity. Neo can do kung fu, stop bullets, and force push anything, but he can’t fly? The only reason he can’t fly yet is so they can have that shocking revelation that Trinity can fly. That’s the sole purpose as to why Neo can’t fly yet.  It’s bad writing.

I mentioned Jessica Henwick before as the new character Bugs, and she is the one character I liked in this movie. She eventually disappears until they have to shoehorn her in for something involving Trinity. I didn’t understand. She will be going places as an actress. This won’t make her a star, but I think people will recognize her more. Lambert Wilson is back as the Merovingian and as a worse French stereotype program. Jada Pinkett returns as Niobe and is looking really old, decrepit, and bad. Thanks for bringing some of the worst Matrix characters back.

Then you have the new Morpheus and the new Smith. Sigh. Morpheus comes back as a videogame character from Neo’s Matrix videogame. In the beginning sequence, Bugs is in the game in the Matrix, and red pill’s videogame Morpheus, bringing him into the real world. Did you get that? It makes me feel stupid explaining it. Now Smith. Not sure why he is in this movie. He’s misplayed by the excellent Mindhunter actor Jonathon Groff. Smith comes back for whatever reason, and it makes the machines look stupid for even having him in the new Matrix, considering what he did in the original Matrix. He also changes alliances throughout the movie and then just disappears. I don’t know why. I don’t care.

Over the years, I have found myself loving Keanu Reeves more and more. I’ve been enjoying him ever since Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure, and he has completely won me over with the John Wick franchise. He’s not one of the best actors, but his charisma is off the charts, and he’s just a likable guy in real life. Thank god he’s got John Wick 4 coming out in 2023 to put him back on track after crappy failures like Bill and Ted Face the Music, Cyberpunk 2077, and now Matrix Resurrections.

Would I watch this again? HELL NO. I’ve seen Matrix Revolutions several times, and that movie sucks, but I would rather watch it a hundred times before thinking of watching this.  It’s overkill junk meta that fails to be clever, and I would say that Wes Craven’s New Nightmare did meta so much better. The story doesn’t work. Everything seems easy peasy in this movie since only non-named cronies die, no relevant character dies. There is no strong, worthwhile villain. This movie desperately needed Hugo Weaving and Laurence Fishburn. They were the personality of the old franchise since they weren’t planks of wood like everyone else. Take the blue pill for this one.

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2
TERRIBLE

Good

  • JESSICA HENWICK
  • IT EVENTUALLY ENDS

Bad

  • ACTION
  • STORY
  • VISUAL EFFECTS VARY IN QUALITY
  • DIRECTION
  • EDITING
MATRIX
2
TERRIBLE

Good

  • JESSICA HENWICK
  • IT EVENTUALLY ENDS

Bad

  • ACTION
  • STORY
  • VISUAL EFFECTS VARY IN QUALITY
  • DIRECTION
  • EDITING
MATRIX
2
TERRIBLE

Good

  • JESSICA HENWICK
  • IT EVENTUALLY ENDS

Bad

  • ACTION
  • STORY
  • VISUAL EFFECTS VARY IN QUALITY
  • DIRECTION
  • EDITING