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The Matrix Resurrections (2021)


Gavin
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Director:
Lana Wachowski

Main Cast:
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff & Neil Patrick Harris.

Writers: 
Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell & Aleksandar Hemon. Based on original characters by Lilly Wachowski & Lana Wachowski.

Release Date:
18 December 2021

Runtime:
148 minutes.

Summary:
To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, Mr. Anderson, aka Neo, will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. If he's learned anything, it's that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of -- or into -- the Matrix. Neo already knows what he has to do, but what he doesn't yet know is that the Matrix is stronger, more secure and far more dangerous than ever before.
 


Rotten Tomatoes: 63% (Audience & Critics)

IMDB: 5.7/10

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Hummed and hawed about making this thread ever since I saw the movie a few weeks ago. I know most of the traffic we get nowadays is usually people lurking out of nostalgia (guilty) or giving real life updates (always nice to see) but The Matrix as a franchise really was hugely influential for OB back in the day and I was curious to see what people from back then made of it.


Personally I was kinda whelmed overall I guess, somewhere between 6.5 to 7 out 10 seems fair.

There were a lot of interesting ideas raised and the usual big philosophical questions were there but I didn't feel that those ideas were as well capitalised on as they could've been and some of the most interesting (for me) were barely addressed at all

the Machine Civil War

. I thought the cast and casting was good overall for what was intended with retrospect, Groff and Harris I would've liked to see pull themselves back a bit, particularly Groff given the character he played (I wasn't expecting 1:1 of the original but Ian Bliss's version still felt like the character IMO). I thought the concept for Harris's character was great but again not well executed. This is purely a me thing but I'd also have

brought back Clayton Watson's Kid (probably with a different actor) over Pinkett-Smith as Niobe just because I like the juxtaposition conceptually with Kid's character more than using Niobe's (and "nobody's called me "Kid" in 60 years" as a line tickles my dad-joke punny bone).



Visuals-wise I thought it was pretty badly let down by the action sequences/fight choreography (Woo-Ping Yuen not returning) and a general lack of polish in comparison to the original trilogy, lot of very obvious green-screening. There was apparently substantially less prep work in comparison to the first three and that's pretty palpable. The soundtrack itself was actually quite forgettable for me which is very weird to say about a franchise with such a strong stylistic sense. 

The meta commentary though makes it clear the sequel itself wasn't a work of passion for Lana like the originals and whether it was intentionally used as a sort of "take that" to Warner Bros for forcing it, or just that lack of passion (and Lily's absence) translated into an end product which is missing the Wachowski "spark" isn't clear to me, probably it's a mix of both.

It struck me as the type of movie that benefits from multiple viewings, I'll probably give it another go in a few months.

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  • 3 months later...
On 1/15/2022 at 5:55 AM, Gavin said:

It struck me as the type of movie that benefits from multiple viewings, I'll probably give it another go in a few months.

This is my overarching thought too. When I first came out of the cinema, I really wasn't sure how to feel. Did I like it or not? I'm a huge Matrix fan (having argued passionately in favour of the sequels on these very forums for years, heh) but I was genuinely confused about Resurrections initially.

But over time - after watching some commentary on it, and re-watching - I've come to appreciate it. 

It occurs to me that The Matrix trilogy is a very neat triptych; trying to extend the story was always going to be a daunting task. I think Lana Wachowski took the right approach by applying a meta lens on the whole thing. At the same time, she actually provided a very plausible chronological sequel (the front half of the film is wonderfully cynical, while the back half is lovingly earnest and digs into what happened after the events of Revolutions).

I suppose that my biggest criticism of the film is that its special effects aren't nearly as mind-bending as the original trilogy. Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful shots

like the sequence that leads into the bullet train, and the 'tiny mirror' sequence

but I feel that the special effects here aren't as ambitious. That said, I like the transition to natural lighting, and I think you can see that Lana Wachowski leveraged a lot of her learnings from post-Matrix films (the cinematography feels less "tightly controlled" here, and more natural - aligned with the lighting, I guess).

I can't say really what score I'd give this, because it almost defies numerical scoring for me. In some respects, I think Lana pulled off the impossible with this film. She actually made a sequel that simultaneously extended the plot of the trilogy while also itself being a super unique and conceptually ambitious movie (in a similar way to the original film). I think I have to accept the reality that no movie is going to completely replicate the impact of the original trilogy for me, which is okay.

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  • 3 months later...

I do not have as lengthy a response. I was a huge matrix nerd back in the day. Posters, merch, etc. Lol. I was very pumped to get back into that world and see something new and different. I enjoyed it, though 1 & 2 were my favorites, but that could just be because I was so influenced by it as a teen. I had a few qualms with it but I don't know how to put them into words. I think I wanted more action, less psychological chit chat in his video game world... But that's also the old teen in me. 🤷‍♀️

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