The Matrix: resurrected or not?
True to its name, the beloved Matrix franchise had been “resurrected” for an encore performance last December, nearly twenty years since it’s original ending. Earning a mediocre 5.7/10 on IMDb, Matrix Resurrections received a mixed bag of responses. I myself have watched the original trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed them, so I was extremely excited for the fourth one. There's something about the world of the Matrix that draws you in and leaves you utterly enchanted by it, which is why I was so disappointed when the sequel failed to live up to expectations.
My immediate tip for all of you out there is DON’T watch this if you aren't a fan of the original trilogy, because you'll be wasting your time. Matrix Resurrections is 85% nostalgia and flashbacks rather than a plot, and when the actual storyline decides to make its appearance, it’s messy and long-winded. It starts off promising, as you are introduced to this new version of the Matrix, with jokes and Easter eggs, but you eventually grow bored by the endless drag.
One of my biggest problems with the movie was the lack of epic fight scenes which the original trilogy had been known for. Keanu is certainly capable of carrying them out (as seen in his John Wick movies), but although there were a few action sequences, they didn't come close to the level of amazingness that was seen in Matrix 1-3. It lacked the distinct style of the previous movies, and I wish there were more of the beautiful sequences and bullet time like the previous films.
Another big peeve was Trinity’s character. Everyone knows what a badass and strong person Trinity is, yet throughout the original films, she had been sidelined and prevented from reaching her full potential. She had been introduced as such a capable character, but as Neo becomes stronger and stronger, she is relegated to the role of a damsel in distress. It's widely known as the “Trinity Syndrome”: the hugely capable woman who never once becomes as independent, significant, and exciting as she is in her introductory scene. I had hoped it would change in the new film, but sadly not - Trinity is the damsel once again, waiting for Neo to save her. Granted, at the end of the film, there is slight redemption (saying more would be spoiling!) but it’s not enough.
Some positives included the huge amount of representation and diversity. I also liked the addition of Sati, as she had been a very interesting character in Matrix Revolutions, and I wanted a bit more insight into the role she plays. A couple of other things I adored were the idea of Neo being prescribed the blue pill for his “depression” by his psychiatrist, the cat named Déjà Vu, and the Simulatté cafe where Neo and Trinity first meet.
In all, Matrix Resurrections lacks the same appeal as the previous three films. It was quite a letdown, but the ride is enjoyable and it’s fun to go with the flow and just immerse yourself in such an interesting world for two and a half hours.