This review is spoiler-free.
Before I begin, and if you feel safe to do so, I’d recommend watching this movie in IMAX as it really is a film that benefits from the scale and sound that this format allows.
Ok, onto the review!
For starters, this film is VERY self-aware and it makes use of some meta-storytelling elements as well as taking a firm position on some social and political issues which I very much welcomed! As for the main story, I think it is very fitting and while feeling very much part of The Matrix franchise, it also feels very unique as well as it is filmed in a very different way than you’d expect. The sound design and stunts were terrific and some of the practical elements really stood out. Is it as groundbreaking as the original? Of course not, but it doesn’t mean this film isn’t a worthy addition to the franchise.
Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are back and both Keanu and Carrie-Anne fall back into these roles, albeit with a twist, with ease like they had never been away!
With new additions to the franchise, it’s safe to say Bugs (Jessica Henwick) is the real stand-out and is a fun character to follow throughout the film. We also get a new version of Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Yahya does a great job in both honouring Laurence Fishburne as well as presenting his own take on the character – I think this re-casting works and they are able to explain this and a few others within the main narrative.
In terms of negatives, there are a few issues that I think the film suffers from – the biggest of these was the hand-holding, this movie does not trust you to know references from previous movies in the franchise and uses a lot of flashbacks, too many in fact. I appreciate this was done because the film requires you to have a good level of Matrix knowledge, so if the last time you saw the film was ten-plus years ago, then this format would have been useful. However, I think it is incredibly overused and can be a tad distracting.
Secondly, I think the secondary characters – I.E. the crew of the ship are not developed enough for them to matter. In the first Matrix movie, you got that connection with the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar immediately, here there just isn’t that same spark.
Finally, I think The Matrix Resurrections does not deserve the amount of pushback that I’ve seen it getting online. As a fan of the franchise, I genuinely enjoyed this movie and think it is more than a worthy addition to the franchise! If you go in with an open mind and do not try to compare it to the original movie, then you’ll have a blast! This is not a ‘gamechanger’ like the original, but it doesn’t need to be.
The Matrix Resurrections is a fun and enjoyable love letter to a wonderful sci-fi franchise while still having its own voice and presence. This self-aware, socially-charged movie packs more than a few slo-mo punches of greatness and with some fantastic sound design, you feel every bullet and every punch.