Movie Review: Matrix: Resurrections (2021)

In theaters and on HBO Max.

If a movie consistently protests its own existence, believe it. Lana Wachowski’s Matrix: Resurrections (D+), the misguided fourth installment in the groundbreaking sci-fi action series, presents within its storyline several meta constructs about why a follow-up to the trilogy should occur in the first place. Then the director exhumes the bones of the franchise’s previous efforts and attempts to justify continued tinkering with its themes of technology and identity with extremely mixed results. It all makes for a rather existential take on an already trippy narrative. To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, video game programmer Mr. Anderson (a.k.a. Neo, played by Keanu Reeves) must re-enter the film’s alternate universe, now stronger, more secure and far more dangerous than ever before. The film’s action sequences, new characters both human and cyborg, makeup and visual effects are all subpar compared to the previous trilogy of films. The only element of this episode with intrigue is the return of Carrie-Ann Moss in a new form that may or may not be her former character Trinity. Neo and Trinity’s love story overcomes many of the film’s oddities and obstacles and provides the film’s singular flickers of fascination. Otherwise much of the movie is moribund and obligatory, a folly of a follow-up.

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