Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Director: Lana Wachowski
Running Time: 148 mins
The Matrix Resurrection is an American film and the fourth in The Matrix franchise. Living in a world that seems to offer normality, Mr. Anderson finds forces calling to him from beyond his life, suggesting that the world he knows may not be the reality he’s so comfortable with.
In the very world it created back in 1999, where action-heavy blockbusters filled with impossible special effects and convoluted sci-fi stories dominate year in and year out, it’s fair to say that The Matrix doesn’t have the unique appeal it once did. And, nearly 20 years after its last instalment, Resurrections is a film that struggles to give a reason why this iconic franchise needs to be brought back.
On the whole, The Matrix Resurrections is a disappointment. We know that both Reloaded and Revolutions weren’t on the level of the original film, but Resurrections is a movie that just doesn’t have enough ideas or imagination to sustain it over the course of a two and a half hour reboot.
The first act of the movie is probably the best. Recognising the appeal of the original film in its use of mind-bending, psychologically enthralling sci-fi and mystery, Resurrections combines your knowledge and memories of the original films with an interesting and refreshing story, peppered with enticing clues and moments of nostalgia that make for a captivating watch.
What’s more, the film’s first act is full of brilliant meta-humour and fourth-wall breaks, effectively stating its case for the existence of a fourth instalment in the series through the guise of its characters’ newfound realities. Whether that case is ultimately made convincingly is up for debate, but it’s a clever and fun way to ease you into what you might fear is just a repeat of the films that came before.
For about 45 minutes, The Matrix Resurrections holds back on action, and goes heavy on psychological drama. There’s a lot of sci-fi lore flying about, but the movie is generally rather understated, and that’s without doubt where it really succeeds.
Unfortunately, as the second act rolls around, the film loses all of what makes it work. Seeming to run out of ideas after a captivating and imaginative first act, Resurrections turns into a bog-standard sci-fi action movie, set against a pretty bland CGI backdrop more reminiscent of the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending than The Matrix.
Almost everything that the story seems to set up is revealed and resolved by the end of the first act, and that leaves the film with about 100 minutes of dead airtime. There’s a lot of large-scale action, and a few moments which do recapture the intrigue and mystery of The Matrix’s genre-defining premise, but this is a film that has almost no steam for the vast majority of its runtime.
The final act is a little better, as director Lana Wachowski allows the film to play with visually exciting action a little more, but it’s a far cry from the brilliantly complex origins of this franchise, which Resurrections oh so briefly seems to have the potential of bringing back to life.
Overall, I was really disappointed with The Matrix Resurrections. A film that seems to have promise early on, it abruptly runs out of steam by the end of its first act, leaving little more than a one-dimensional, CGI-heavy action story which has none of the depth, intelligence or imagination that this franchise is so well-known for. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 6.3.