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Welcome to REEL Film Reviewed the show that delivers short spoiler free reviews of films, TV shows, and limited series followed by a deep dive discussion.
Brought to you by your host Kris Chaney, here is REEL Film Reviewed.
Welcome back, everyone.
This episode REEL Film Reviewed The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth installment of The Matrix franchise.
Let’s get into the spoiler free review.
Returned to a world of two lives. Mr. Anderson must choose to follow the White Rabbit once more to find out if his reality is the construct.
This film attempts to give us doses of the 1999 Red Pill experience throughout this new reality that has been uploaded yet there is still something missing.
Maybe it was that Neo appeared to be a form of John Wick if he truly was retired and forgot how to fight. Rather than being caught between the Matrix and reality, it felt more like we were caught in some weird, altered cinematic world where Keanu is stuck between being John Wick and Neo or Mr. Anderson.
Most of the original cast is gone, yet still a part of the story, replacing iconic characters such as Morpheus with a new version and giving some odd backstory.
This much anticipated reunion of the Matrix beloved system hackers fell flatter than curly hair after a tsunami. A combination of recollections, new action and a new concept being told over old bones.
The Matrix was unique because there were rules that it followed. It never bent our minds too far, and it always gave us a focus for each story it told. This story seemed a sad attempt to resurrect a story that honestly may have been best left alone after the original Matrix in 1999.
Only three main members of the original cast appear in this installment, just enough to keep us interested in seeing the film, but certainly not enough to keep us interested in the action they’re now going through. Keanu Reeves reprises his iconic role, this time playing Neo with a twist. Neo has returned to being Thomas A. Anderson, working as a video game developer and the creator of a popular video game, The Matrix.
The Matrix is now seen as a code on one of his monitors, and it is mentioned to be old Matrix code, as if video game code would somehow be this weird vertical pattern. He is made to appear and pulls off playing a burned out Neo yet despite this, he is still able to do the same things that he was able to do 20 years before the time that is set in this film.
Carrie-Anne Moss returns as a form of Trinity, though it takes most of the film before we get to see her as she once was, if you want to call it that. We see a glimpse of her old self at best.
The new Morpheus is detestable, I love the actor, but the character that once was Morpheus is gone, and this replacement and his weird mix of comedy and fashion had to be more than displeased. In Morpheus, we had a comfort, hope and a father figure almost. But this new version is merely an added member of the new crew, which was my least favorite add.
The REEL View Rating 5 out of 10 stars.
This film gave us what it could in terms of the old vibes that we all longed for ever since Revolutions left us all near tears wondering what would become of our favorite crew after the outcome of that film. There are sometimes issues returning to a story after time has gone by, especially a story with three previous installments.
What many focus on is giving the audience enough of the previous films in the new film for us to enjoy it in the same way, while telling us a different story.
In many circumstances, films miss the mark by overdoing it and causing the audience to lose interest and worse, comparing it to the previous films.
The Matrix Resurrections was released in 2021. Directed by Lana Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Jada Pinkett Smith and Neil Patrick Harris. It has a runtime of 2 hours and 28 minutes and can be viewed in theaters and on HBO Max.
All right, here is the spoiler alert warning. Those new to REEL film reviewed after this point, I will discuss this review further, potentially and likely reviewing spoilers.
Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review, I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.
Welcome back everyone, let’s dive into The REEL View Hollywood Comparison.
The REEL View was 5 out of 10. Critics said 64. Popular opinion was 5.7 and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 64%.
Getting into this story, 20 years following the events of Revolutions, both Neo and Trinity are alive and have been returned to the Matrix and are living out their lives apart from each other.
Neo is a video game designer with his best game being The Matrix. Less is known about Trinity save her family life of being a married mother of two. Both are unaware of their present state, but like they felt in the first film, they knew something wasn’t right.
Now, given the blue pill as a prescription, Neo lives his life as an unrecognizable Thomas Anderson being treated by a therapist who is really the analyst of the Matrix. Neo begins to rebel and stops taking the blue pill prescription, which allows a modern mind freeing crew led by Bugs to locate and free him.
Bugs hacked into something called a modal, which is designed by Neo and contains the computer program version of Morpheus. Together with the team, they free Neo in what appears to be a more updated way to quote unquote unplug, they go through this tiny bathroom mirror on a train, so him fitting through this small window was a fun illusion.
Long story short, Neo is found in a tower above the rest of the pods and there is a woman across from him who we all along with Neo, recognized to be Trinity. Neo is taken to io, which is the new city built by the humans and the machines. He learns what happened to Zion and works with Niobe to return to the Matrix to free Trinity.
When he returns, he encounters Agent Smith, programmed yet again, still roaming the Matrix freely and now apparently a threat to the analyst. It comes down to a choice that Trinity has to make with some unusual hurdles to jump through but with the added spin of seeing Trinity when she was in the Matrix.
Breaking down the REEL view.
It took three movies to bring us to an ending of the Matrix, whereas this film did everything all in one, all while a super out of touch Neo struggles to get his power back throughout the entire film. Then all of a sudden he’s stopping bullets and controlling explosions like it’s nothing.
The storyline was kind of boring. If you took away the nostalgia, it was kind of boring on its own.
Zion, the storyline of how it was destroyed. Niobe is the sole person in charge now. I guess there wasn’t really a Council, it’s just so she just governed this entire thing and there was just a couple of things that were put into this that could just be kind of fall apart.
Having her be the sole person in charge in a machine and human world. It just seems a little bit— I get that machines may not necessarily experience or feel jealousy, but they have risen up before, so it doesn’t necessarily. I don’t really buy that Niobe is just the sole person in charge. I mean,obviously she was, but it was just a little unrealistic and kind of weird and kind of not constructive to their story that they were trying to put around it.
Now bringing us to the towers that they built to keep Neo and Trinity in and where their pods were, it seemed like it would make them more obvious to find they were laid out, appearing as a modern day Adam and Eve and the analyst basically stated that they gave birth to the new Matrix because their souls being kind of close together provided the energy source for the new Matrix. To Neo and Trinity, it had only been 20 years when it had in fact been 60 years in the real world.
The non-aging was never really addressed, I guess it may have been due to the analyst taking time to resurrect them, but then that in itself made it appear more like they were risen from the dead rather than saved from the brink of death and to me that’s just odd. I didn’t really care for that part and the direction that it went. It wasn’t really thoroughly explained or explored, it was just kind of left to open interpretation, the film is called Resurrections and we see the reconstruction of their bodies. So are they like Ripley in Alien Resurrection? No idea.
Then there is the moment that Trinity can fly and Neo can’t, and then at the end they both can fly? That’s not really explored either and so there was just a lot left on the table. The film moved from scene to scene with no real exploration in each area.
The nostalgia and the desire to see Trinity return to the real world is kind of what keeps the momentum going for this film, but little else. The story itself was transactional with no elements of surprise for each one except for one, Agent Smith appearing at the end with the magic power to be able to stop the analyst. And finally, the post credit scene. The Catrix [Laughs] That is all I have to say about that.
This did not land very well with moviegoers or Matrix fanboys and girls. In fact, online, many commented about feeling nearly insulted by the insinuation in the scene. I thought it was stupid, slightly funny, but overall it was the cherry on top of the disappointing cake.
I will say that the scene where they extracted Trinity from the Matrix and kind of did the little unplugged switch thing, that was kind of a cool little scene.
All right, let’s get into some Did You Know? facts.
Let’s see if there’s an explanation for why this film fell the way that it did. Trinity’s alter ego, Tiffany, is married to Chad in the film who is played by Chad Stahelski, who directed the John Wick series which starred Keanu Reeves. He was the stunt double for Keanu Reeves in the original Matrix trilogy, so they both played Neo.
Laurence Fishburn was not in this film obviously, he was asked why and he stated they would have to ask Lana Wachowski.
Now I have an opinion about that, to be fair. Niobe like they stated, this was 60 years. Niobe if she was 20 in that movie, then this would have made her 80, at least in this film. And she’s in a world where health doesn’t necessarily or healthcare doesn’t necessarily look like it’s very advanced, I mean, possibly. But Morpheus always appeared to be so much older. Not a lot older, but he appeared to be older than Niobe. So I think it makes sense that Laurence Fishburn wasn’t in it. I mean, I guess he could have played the actual version of him, like the program. He could have played the program rather than this guy that they got. But as I mentioned, I like that actor, I just didn’t care for the Morpheus that they made in this film.
According to Lana Wachowski, her decision to bring back Neo and Trinity for the fourth film was inspired by the loss of both of her parents who died just five weeks apart and a close friend. She defines Neo and Trinity as the two most important characters in her life, and the writing process was her way to heal. For Lilly Wachowski however, this sense of loss was part of her decision to not return to the series.
Like many other films, it was impacted by COVID-19 in mid March 2020, filming for the San Francisco portion of the film had just been completed and the cast and crew had just arrived in Berlin when production shut down in response to the COVID pandemic, causing a shooting delay for several months.
Also as a fun fact, it’s kind of more of an overall matrix fact but, Will Smith was initially considered for the role of Neo but he turned it down and then he did I, Robot which is hilarious, anyway.
That is all I have on The Matrix Resurrections.
Let me know what you thought of the film if you have seen it.
If you watch the film after you listen to the review, I am always especially curious of your thoughts.
Thanks for listening, everyone, I’ll catch you next time.
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