Movie review: The Matrix Resurrections

Synopsis: Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more.
Director: Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris

When I finally saw the first Matrix movie, which came out in 1999, it took me four times to get through it. I kept falling asleep when I tried to watch it. That is not a commentary on the quality of the movie but probably the fact that I scheduled watching it when I was tired . . . that and the ‘Laurence Fishburne effect.’

Do you remember Fishburne in the Matrix? Recall his hypnotic voice?

Hear me out. When I saw the original, I fell asleep several times during the same sequence: “What is the Matrix? Who is the Matrix? Where is . . .  .” And just like that . . . zzzzzzz.

I’m not taking shots at this Academy Award-winning film, but Fishburne put me out!

Now, when I finally watched it . . . all of it, I was blown away by the visionary direction of (at the time) the Wachowski brothers. ‘Visionary’ is such a catchy term, but the reality is that they created something so incredibly unique that it made the Academy forget that there was a new Star Wars movie released the same year. Two sequels and over a billion dollars at the box office later and there is no doubt this is a bankable series with a loyal following.

When you look at Keanu Reeves and his career, he has a lot of things going on. The John Wick series has introduced him to a new audience; there was a Bill and Ted sequel last year, and now we are getting treated to a new Matrix film. I didn’t think I needed another Matrix film but apparently, I did!

Director Lana Wachowski dabbled with Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending, both of which barely broke even at the box office, so Wachowski has come back home to the Matrix franchise. I suspect this will be a box office success. Many people I know, who I would call causal movie theatre attendees, have been counting down for this new film and I don’t think they will be disappointed.

I found this installment very captivating, somewhat confusing at times but that reaffirms the fact that you need to be very familiar with the previous movies before seeing this one. If you haven’t seen the other Matrix films, you won’t truly appreciate this one.

Without giving a lot away we meet Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) who is a video game designer. He has created a game called the Matrix. Catchy name, right?

Reeves’ character doesn’t get along great with his boss (Jonathan Groff, who has put down his crown from Hamilton) and his therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) is trying to help him through some of the challenges he is facing. Should I mention the lady he sees at the coffee shop (Carrie-Anne Moss) who he seems taken by? (Side note: Carrie-Anne Moss doesn’t age and is amazing in this!) We are brought back to a universe where there is the world we know about . . . and the one we don’t. We are also treated to some amazing fourth-wall humour courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

We live in a world where we are constantly getting sequels, reboots, etc, and many times I am left wondering why? Most often they don’t add anything to the canon and many times they disappoint. Lately, that isn’t the case. Ghostbusters and Spider-Man both gave us sequels, and both were very impressive. And now, you can add The Matrix Resurrections to that list.

With The Matrix Resurrections, it’s as if Wachowski is reminding us there isn’t anyone else capable of handling this franchise. (Her sister Lilly decided to sit this project out)

Visually, this is a stunning film. The special effects stand out in a category of their own. The way that Denis Villeneuve solidified his position in the IMAX world, Wachowski does the same here.

Wachowski is having fun with the audience at times but is also lending her commentary on the world. This hasn’t been done as effectively by her since V for Vendetta.

People who have refreshed their memory with the original Matrix trilogy should thoroughly enjoy this installment. There is nothing ‘cookie cutter’ about these movies.

If you aren’t familiar with the series, it may be more difficult to jump in cold.

Overall, for a series we haven’t seen on screen since 2003, this was definitely worth the wait and I assure you, no one will be napping during this one!

Grade: B+

Watch the movie trailer:

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures