‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Review – Sometimes Being A Fan Hurts

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Damn man, when I heard that this film was divisive, I thought I would be on the side of praise, and I was wrong. The Matrix Resurrections is too cluttered with so many story elements, painful cinematography, and more. Is it all bad? Not really because I did enjoy the actors, plus the score was fantastic, but sometimes it’s not enough. This review is going to be stressful.

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The Matrix Resurrections, directed by Lana Wachowski, is the fourth film of The Matrix franchise. Neo (Keanu Reeves) is back, but is he in reality or trapped in The Matrix? It’s time for Neo to take the red pill once more to remember who he once was, The One. With The Matrix being more dangerous than ever before, but Neo will do whatever he can to be with Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) again.

The Matrix Resurrections has a lot of great ideas and I would love to see it fleshed out, but throwing it all into one film made it way too convoluted. To me, when the plot focused on Neo and Trinity, that’s when the film was at its strongest. When it comes to the messages and meta dialogue, I thought that was awesome because it reminded me how much I love the franchise. Without spoiling anything I will say this, if there was one moment that made me genuinely smile was the final act, which was the recurring theme of theme of the film.

The Matrix (1999) plot worked because anyone can jump in and not feel lost while it’s giving you lore. The Matrix Resurrections just gives you too much of it and only some land. If there’s another movie, I’m down to see the ideas expanded on. Maybe The Matrix Resurrections really was a “Fuck You,” to Warner Brothers because there was a joke brought up early in the film talking about how the company was pushing hard for another sequel.

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The cast did great. Keanu Reeves was way more expressive with Neo than he ever was in the other films, and easily my favorite portrayal of the character. Carrie-Anne Moss plays my favorite character in the franchise, Trinity, and she killed it! Every time Moss was on the screen, she stole the show for me, especially in the third act, so give me more Trinity please.

Let’s talk about the new players. Jessica Henwick plays Bugs in The Matrix Resurrections, and if she would’ve gotten a solo project film then I’m 100% behind it, that’s how much I enjoyed the character. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays Morpheus and he nailed the role, plus I don’t think Yahya Abdul-Mateen II disappointed me in a role yet. Jonathan Groff plays Smith, yes the same Agent Smith but coded differently, and I liked his portrayal. I mean is Groff on the same level as Hugo Weaving? No, but his take on the character worked for me, so kudos.

Neil Patrick Harris plays the main villain, The Analyst. I love Neil Patrick Harris, I really do, but this wasn’t it. He was the only one that didn’t flowed right with the story, which is crazy because in the first half of the film he worked and felt menacing, then he was playing as himself with blue glasses. I don’t understand why the script made him go this approach, but it’s a no for me.

The passion of The Matrix is there from the actors. Regardless if things didn’t work or not because of what was given, I just saw actors happy to be apart or returning to the franchise. How can you be mad at that?

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Now, this is the part that hurt me the most. This movie did not look like the other films at all as if it was fan made. Did Warner Brothers not give the film a big budget? Especially when the franchise is a cult classic and changed the game in Hollywood. The cinematography was painful, and the lack of Bill Pope really shows (he worked on Shang-Chi, and if you’ve seen that film then you know how badass this man is). Also, the film has so many cuts that it’s honestly ridiculous. I challenge you to count how many times the film cuts just from one scene alone, don’t make a drinking game out of it because you’ll die within 10 minutes.

The action, which anyone can tell you is amazing in the franchise, was bad. The hand to hand combat does so many jump cuts that it should be illegal. Yuen Woo-ping (watch Ip Man, 10/10) did the action/fight chorography for the originals, and the The Matrix Resurrections suffered without him.

I feel like the film nailed the score. From beginning to end, the film just had amazing music that made me go “Yes, give me more!” If there’s anything perfect about this movie, it’s the score by far.

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I watched The Matrix Resurrections two times to see if my opinion would change, and it was painful the second viewing. Maybe waiting almost 20 years and having high expectations for a fourth film is also why I felt disappointed. It’s a curse being a fan of The Matrix franchise sometimes because I always want it to work, and in the end, just disappointment.

If you’re a fan of The Matrix franchise, then I think you should watch The Matrix Resurrections. The reason why you should watch the film, even though I bashed it, everyone has a different opinion after viewing it. If you enjoyed it, I’m happy for you…sadly I have a rain cloud above my head.

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