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Critics Review
The Matrix Resurrections review: This needlessly complicated idea should have stayed dead

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss look exhausted in this convoluted fourth film. 

Manisha Lakhe
Dec 22, 2021
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Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections | YouTube

Story: Thomas Anderson is a successful video game designer, and like all Americans, he goes to therapy and gets his coffee… He has been told that the Matrix didn’t happen, it’s all in his head. Trinity is now a housewife with two kids! It takes a new crew that has taken the red pill to remind Thomas that he’s Neo, the legend.

Review: ‘One pill makes you larger/ and one pill makes you small/ and ones that mother gives you/ don’t do anything at all…’ goes the song that you should know if you are a fan of the holy trilogy. Looks like Lana Wachowski has dished us a ten-foot-tall Alice who does nothing at all for the fans but talk, talk and give us so much talk, you wish you had not jumped headlong into this rabbit hole. No wonder Neo and Trinity look fed up through the movie.

Reincarnation is not a new concept for Indians (remember reading those ‘local boy remembers his past life’ type snippets in newspapers?), so it gets really tiresome when you have a smorgasbord of characters, explaining and explaining some more to the usually gorgeous Keanu Reeves why he should not be a confused Thomas Anderson, game designer but Neo the saviour for over an hour into the movie. The movie should have been titled The Dithering instead of Resurrections you think, as you wish your coffee would turn into many martinis.

You also wish they’d stop talking so much. They talk about what is real and what is imagined, whether there is destiny or free will, and more importantly, everyone tries to convince Thomas Anderson that he’s Neo and The One, even though you remember the Oracle telling him clearly (after so many years too), ‘Sorry kid, you’ve got the gift but looks like you’re waiting for something.’ You grew up knowing that Neo cannot be The One if he doesn’t believe that he’s the one. But there’s so much gobbledegook philosophy from everyone (oh yes, Priyanka Chopra Jonas appears too, spouting a whole lot of it from her chocolate plum lipsticked mouth).

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus | YouTube

Everyone includes Morpheus 2.0 (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who’s so foppish, it’s hard to take him seriously (where’s the man who pursued his belief in The One, you wonder). There’s the lovely electric blue-haired Jessica Henwick (hers is the only believable back story) and her crew, plus there’s Trinity (Carrie Anne-Moss), who now believes and lives a life of Tiffany, a mom to three kids (we see two and third is mentioned) and a husband called Chad, played by Chad Stahelski (unbelievable that macho man of patriarchy would let his wife ride a motorbike, let alone work with them!).

A still from The Matrix Resurrections | YouTube

As an audience, we are ready to go chasing rabbits, but all we do is fall (sorry Jefferson Airplane) because when the action comes, there’s no thrill anymore. The bots who swarm act like zombies, climbing on cars and chasing in large groups. Trinity and Neo on a bike between colliding cars that burst into flames should have been an awesome action sequence, but it gets so predictable, you begin to check messages on your phone. Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith is incomparable, but Jonathan Groff makes for a strong enemy too. And yes, they could’ve explained why his story arc suddenly changes. The real villain of the story is believable too, but then he also talks and talks and then talks some more…Tiresome.

Jessica Henwicks as Bugs | YouTube

Deja Vu the cat again and again and again must’ve been funny on paper. On the big screen? Not. Plus, why ruin a perfect trope where machines are bad, and sentinels are scary? This ‘Not all machines’ theory came out of nowhere. Plus a children’s movie called Big Hero 6 already showed us how microbots can choose to become a person, so you’re not amazed at the special effects at all… Fans of the trilogy were happy to eat protein slop (has all the nourishment a body needs, no?) Why offer this steak? We would have loved a reboot, a remastered version of the trilogy far more than watching Neo and Trinity in a hostage video of a movie.

Verdict: It’s interminably long, and the philosophy gets too convoluted to make sense after a while. Whereas the three Matrix films combined action and philosophy seamlessly and simply, this one just dithers. And despite being dialogue-heavy, the lead pair say very little. As a homage, the film fails. Watch it at home.

Manisha Lakhe writes on film and tv shows, is a poet, teacher, traveller and mom (and not necessarily in that order). Could sell her soul for Pinot and a good cheesecake.

The Matrix Resurrections is playing in Indian cinemas. Watch the trailer here:

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