Action / Sci-Fi
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Jada Pinkett Smith
December 25, 2021
«The fourth Matrix film is almost unbearably complacent»
Stylishly dressed hackers with anti-body martial arts skills and a penchant for nighttime sunglasses discover a mysterious code that leads them on the trail of Thomas Anderson himself, better known as Neo (Keanu Reeves). Despite what happened at the end of “Revolutions”, he’s still alive, and possibly still The One. Neo is now a world-famous developer of computer games. His trilogy of games “The Matrix” was absolutely awesome and changed the world and opened your eyes and became a box office hit of all time and was really stylish and with really good action and everyone knows all the lines by heart and did you know This matrix is an anagram for meta, Sir
In his spare time, Neo jogs on his treadmill or sits in a café to look longingly at the married tree grandmother Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss), who looks very much like his old flame Trinity. Yes, he is also in therapy. Neo has lost touch with reality. He has clear memories of everything that happened in the previous films (after all, he created the GREATEST computer game series in the world based on it), deep down he still knows that this world is not real, but can be confident that everything so is psychotic delusions. The fact that he recently tried to get out of a skyscraper because he thought he could fly makes the therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) arguments pretty compelling. I’m not going to reveal as much of the plot anymore (because there is a lot) other than more fights, explosions, red and blue pills, octopus robots, post-apocalyptic dreadlocks, redemption metaphors, pompous monologues and almost impenetrable explanations of what really is, to promise event.
You got it wrong
The filmmaker Lana Wachowski (sister Lilly was not involved in the film, the directing duo The Wachowskis is reduced to the singular) is in a certain way cunning to incorporate the matrix phenomenon into her story. If nothing else, to grab the board of expectation by the horns.
In a brainstorming session in which Neo is more or less pressured by shareholders to do “The Matrix 4”, it becomes clear that Wachowski has an ambivalent relationship with both a sequel and what comes out of the phenomenon (not least, how the whole basic premise has become sacred text for Internet knights on toxic crusades to be a coincidence. Neo’s low-threshold stalking and the belief that he can “save” Trinity without her even realizing that she was saved needs to be, Innmari is thematically much less vague).
The meta-perspective becomes clearest in a long list in which everyone in the drooling room has their explanation for the most important success factor of the series. The scene is on the verge of unbearable self-congratulations, but also seems to be a meta-meta-warning to the viewer that a sequel that makes everyone happy is impossible.
But the fact that Wachowski is smart enough to see this doesn’t mean she won’t succumb to temptation.
The result is a film that tries to be too much at once. There are a lot of decent ideas here, but hardly any has room to breathe or unfold, they are simply thrown into the air in three layers of metaphysical techno-babble. No matter how much pathos the film uses to sell itself at least as much as the original: It does not come from vague claims that we really want to be in the matrix (social media, anyone?), That truth and facts have become relativized ( Fake news, anyone?) And so on, has nowhere near the same existential philosophical effect of the shadows on the cave wall in the relatively simple cave-like plot of the original.
It would have been fine if it hadn’t affected so much else in the movie, but the lack of focus seeps through into the plot as well. Instead of expanding their universe by shrinking into lightning-fast, straight-forward action à la Mad Max: Fury Road, The Matrix Resurrections disappears into its own rabbit hole of serial mythology à la the last Star The Wars movie. It’s definitely great to be back and Reeves and Moss in particular are delivering the goods. But who wants what, who knows what or on which level of consciousness exists, where the battle lines are drawn, what is at stake and with what height of fall and so on, is sometimes told in a frustrating cryptic way. Real motivation and building real relationships are far too often replaced by self-referential flashbacks that are often projected as shadows over the scenography. Sometimes it works, but a little too often it doesn’t.
But even that would have been possible if the film had at least had the same elegance and the same adrenaline as the original. “The Matrix: Resurrections” makes it clear which of the siblings had the main responsibility for the action scenes. It’s a bit stingy and sad that the fight scenes seem less vital and the action sequences are more chaotic and confusing than a movie that came out 22 years ago.
The fact that the film also fails to create a single new, iconic motif that will gain a foothold in popular culture is perhaps more understandable when you consider how satisfied he is with standing and looking at the shadows on the wall, that the original still throws.