The Matrix Resurrections Review

PLOT: Thomas A. Anderson – aka Neo – is led back into The Matrix when he discovers he may have to take another trip to follow the white rabbit.

REVIEW: If you could take the red pill, would you? Would you want to see the world as it is, or how others see it for you? After nearly two decades, The Matrix franchise is still very relevant. The imprint of what Lana and Lilly Wachowski created is undeniable in modern cinema. And now, Neo and Trinity return for yet another gravity-defying adventure into the unknown with The Matrix Resurrections. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are back, and yes, there is a creative and believable way they re-appear – at least in this weird world. Jada Pinkett Smith, who starred in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, also makes a comeback for this chapter. The new cast includes Christina Ricci, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jonathan Groff, Yahya Abdul Mateen II, and Neil Patrick Harris. Are you ready to follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole?

The last time we saw Neo (Reeves) and Trinity (Moss), they had made the ultimate sacrifice. So how have they returned for the sequel? Well, I’ll let you find that out. I’m keeping this take especially spoiler-free. All these years later, Neo – also known as Thomas A. Anderson – is now part of a team that created a successful series of video games. And he is continually forced to deal with a frustratingly arrogant boss (played by Jonathan Groff) who appears to keep a few secrets. As well, there is the kind and familiar woman that Thomas runs into at the local coffee shop. The polite stranger (Moss) appears to always have her children with her, and she doesn’t seem to know him, yet somehow Thomas feels connected to her. Maybe Thomas’ analyst (Harris) can help him make sense of all he is going through.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yizgw6Vql6A

Lana Wachowski has returned with a fascinating and generally engaging sequel. According to IMDb, the death of Lana’s parents inspired the return of Neo and Trinity. Ironically, it’s also the very reason why Lilly is not directly involved with the latest installment. The new chapter seemingly instilled the emotional connection to Lana’s real-life heartbreak that helped bring such an intriguing take for the latest sci-fi adventure. Yet it’s also filled with humor, as well as a sense of wonder and awe. A difficult film to discuss in-depth? Sure, because it would be much too easy to spoil specific plot devices or characters that play a role in connecting to the previous films. It’s a much more satisfying experience going in with very little knowledge ahead of time. Maybe aside from your appreciation for what came before.

The Matrix Resurrections is closer in tone to the original film. With the first act, you sense a bit of familiarity as we re-connect with Neo, Trinity, and the strangeness of the place they exist in. Thankfully, it manages to find balance without going overboard on fan service. There is one joke, in particular, that is so blatantly obvious, yet it will likely deliver guffaws for most fans watching. Even more importantly, both Reeves and Moss are still superb together. Instantaneously, the pair bring all that chemistry front and center. And considering she’s been out of the action game for a bit, Moss still shines as one of the most underappreciated action heroines to ever grace the silver screen. Whatever you think of the sequels, the two actors always made it look easy when they appear on-screen together. It’s no different here.

One change that may not sit well with fans is that you won’t find Hugo Weaving as Smith and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. It’s impossible to think about the original film and not think of them as well. Catching up with the first three films, you do kind of miss the energy that both actors brought. Thankfully, Jonathan Groff and Yayha Abdul-Mateen II are well cast, helping to continue this story and richly add to the lore. In addition, Love and Monsters star Jessica Henwick is especially good as Bugs. Henwick brings much of the same energy that Carrie Anne-Moss gave us with the original trilogy. The cast, old and new, all bring their best to this insane journey. Sure, you may miss Fishburne and Weaving, but thankfully, the casting never feels out of place here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYAWIdFfytk

In many ways, The Matrix Resurrections feels like exactly that, more like a resurrection of the first film as opposed to a straightforward sequel. The action sequences are top-notch, but they may not rise to the occasion as they did in Reloaded – that freeway scene is still one of the best in the franchise. The humor is more in line with the original film. In addition, the time that has passed offers an improvement on the visual effects. Even the story feels slightly familiar, to an extent, but this certainly doesn’t just come off as a simple reboot. Even without Lilly’s involvement, Lana has found a way to make what is perhaps the best in the series since we first took this trip back in 1999.

Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections is a lively and thrilling sequel. It returns to the roots of the original with humor and action. Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss haven’t lost an ounce of their shockingly good chemistry. And their continued story will likely please those of you who can’t get enough of The Matrix. While I appreciated the entire cast, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Yahya Abdul- Mateen II, and Jessica Henwick are standouts. And then there is the synth-heavy score by Tom Tykwer and Johnny Klimek that sets the right tone and mood that has resonated throughout all four films. If you appreciate this franchise, there’s little doubt that you’ll enjoy this trippy excursion down memory lane. So I ask again, the red or the blue? Which do you choose? Either way, you’ll want to check out this return into The Matrix.

8
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Source: JoBlo.com

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.