Friday, December 31

The Matrix Resurrections Review

The Matrix Resurrections

Dir: Lana Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, and Neil Patrick Harris

2h 28m


“Follow the white rabbit.”


Lewis Carroll’s reference to the elusive bunny Alice chases into Wonderland are the words that evoke an awakening from Neo, aka The One, in the iconic science-fiction action film “The Matrix.” The metaphorical “white rabbit” leads Neo to discover a world outside the reality that he believes is real and into a savior-like position for a group of under-dwelling people fighting for freedom from the machines. The interpretations for “The Matrix” have spawned books on philosophy, podcasts, and essays on social/economic structure. It’s a pop culture phenomenon and masterpiece of science fiction, and action, cinema.


“The Matrix Resurrections,” solely directed by Lana Wachowski this time around, is an intriguing and weird look back and push forward for “The Matrix” saga. It's a film that doubles down on the emotional resonance of love’s lasting power to awaken and provoke action. A film that understands its limitations, and its 20-year influence, and cultural relevance and continues to charge forward with storytelling that pokes, prods, and persuades that the viewer examines their understanding of “The Matrix.” It stumbles during the execution of its narrative propositions throughout the film; however, the chemistry of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, along with the directorial passion from Lana Wachowski, makes “The Matrix Resurrections” a beguiling and flawed journey. 


Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a world-famous video game designer who has recurring memories of a life he hasn’t lived. These memories have influenced Neo to question whether his reality is a physical or mental construct. After meeting a determined woman named Bugs (Jessica Henwick), Neo comes face-to-face with Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). He is provided a choice: to remain intact with the reality he knows or pursue answers that will put his life and those around him at risk. Neo understands what he needs to do but doesn’t know that the Matrix is stronger and is waiting for his imminent return. 


Director Lana Wachowski composes “The Matrix Resurrections” as a film exploring the rabbit holes of its iconic and influential legacy. Along this path, explored with puzzling self-awareness, is a film that admires and mocks the relevance that “The Matrix” has occupied both as a heady science-fiction/drama and as an iconoclastic action/adventure blockbuster. It’s undeniable that “The Matrix,” released way back in March of 1999, paved the way for big-budget action films with heavy violence, special effects-driven environments, and superhuman characters. Wachowski understands the reverence for this franchise and uses it to shape and mold the story being told in "Resurrections.". The film even uses pieces of the past, flashbacks and cut-aways from the previous films, to directly influence the path of this film. 


“The Matrix Resurrections” attempts to subvert expectations at every opportunity. In the film, Neo is asked, “can’t you fly?” Neo confidently prepares into his power position. With his arms flexed and feet planted, Neo pushes up from the ground. The result is amusing in both successfully witty and unsuccessfully puzzling ways. That describes much of “The Matrix Resurrections,” a blend of bold ideas executed in varying degrees of success. 


Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves have fantastic chemistry whenever they are together on screen. It’s a joy to see these two talented actors back in familiar roles; their successful performances are effortlessly accomplished. 


Director Lana Wachowski composes much of “The Matrix Resurrections” with a rebel filmmaker spirit. Commentary on big-budget movie machines that churn out sequel after sequel is obvious, as are the understandings that “The Matrix” holds some responsibility in how properties are regurgitated over time. Unfortunately, many of these compelling commentaries feel like pieces of an unfinished puzzle. In an attempt to journey down the rabbit hole again, “The Matrix Resurrections” struggles with the choices of its execution.


Monte’s Rating

3.25 out of 5.00

No comments:

Post a Comment