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2021

The Matrix Resurrections Review

5.5/10. Resurrected boldly but not without its faults. Matrix Resurrections tries its best to explore new grounds in a science-fiction realm that doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

What makes the fourth film in the Matrix series exciting are its ideas. There are different possibilities hinted at and new areas unexplored in the film’s universe that make it interesting to dwell upon. While they can never compare to the original film, these concepts follow the same thinking of the previous two films in that at the very least, the series is taking creative risks in where to take the story. They also require rewatches as they continue to linger in one’s mind as to what they could mean for the film as well as potentially the future in real life.

However, while the ideas are bold and different, unfortunately, they aren’t very well explained.

Too little is given to understanding these pivotal moments where everything is explained and why things have occurred. Years of what has happened between the last film are glossed over and I would have enjoyed more time spent in seeing what has happened instead of being told. There’s a missed opportunity to expand on the universe and the richness that can be seen amongst the cracks.

The worst part for this new film lies with fairly much everything else but I’ll highlight two areas with the humour and the action.

Interestingly, a decision was clearly made to include a significant section for the first half of the film as a chance to make numerous meta-jokes about the franchise. While they were a strangely different part of this franchise altogether, ultimately, I found them completely distracting and self-serving from a writing standpoint. These jokes didn’t serve well to progress the plot but rather feel like a personal statement from the series to the fans about the ridiculousness of reboots, sequels, and the theories of the franchise altogether. The problem isn’t that I don’t agree with the jokes or comments, because I do, but the problem is that I don’t know if they were appropriate to the story.

Perhaps a rewatch will prove me wrong and I’ll look kinder to them.

Finally, the action which is something I cannot be kind about.

There are several action sequences where everything is way too crowded in terms of seeing the actual action. Far too many extras are jammed into these scenes and the cuts between hits are far too many. The element of clarity is missing and I would have liked them to have slowed down the pace with all the flurry of activity going on. Bullet-time was great for this in the original but now that seems like a remnant of the past.

Overall, Matrix Resurrections still managed to surprise me and while I don’t believe we will ever see something as close to the brilliance of the original, the series keeps me hoping to see new and bold concepts that will genuinely be great to see. In an age of reboots, sequels, and everything in between, at the very least, Lana Wachowski knows that she doesn’t want her baby to fall into the same trap and is consistently trying to push the envelope with concepts that she knows is why people love the original.

So, for that, I can’t help but respect her and what she’s trying to do.

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