The Matrix Resurrections – Director: Lana Wachowski: Film Review

The Matrix Resurrections – Director, Lana Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris

Eighteen years after the “last” Matrix film and 22 years after the much-lauded first Matrix film comes The Matrix Resurrections. So let us roll away the stone and see if this resurrection  is worth getting excited about.

After quite a bit of speculation, denials and teasers the Matrix franchise lives again and resurrected along with it is Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity.

Full disclosure….I saw the first Matrix and was unimpressed so this is my first foray into the Matrix universe (or universes) since 1999. But don’t worry, if you are like me and not completely up on the various characters and plotlines developed over the intervening sequels, there is plenty of exposition in this film to explain things. And honestly, to paraphrase Desi Arnaz, they’ve got some “splainin’ to do”!

Matrix ResurrectionsThe film opens with a hail of bullets. Honestly, I’ve never witnessed so many rounds fired at such close range without hitting anyone, except for the odd unlucky anonymous background actor.  Director Lana Wachowski (sister Lilly wisely avoided this one) can certainly cut together a good fight sequence, but they quickly become tiresome when there never seems to be any consequences to the ultra-violence…its just an excuse to parade the now-classic Matrix slo-mo moves and bullet trails.

Ho hum.

It quickly feels like Matrix Resurrections is more of a romantic comedy than a sci-fi action thriller. I was amused by the scene set in “our beloved parent company Warner Brothers” office, as Keanu’s Thomas Anderson is tapped to create a sequel to the sequel (yes, this is actually in the film).

Neil Patrick Harris as Neo/Anderson’s analyst is good for a few laughs and, for a bit of nostalgic romance, it’s cool to see Trinity and Neo back together again although, it must be said, that they don’t exactly set the film on fire with any kind of blistering passion. That may be because Reeves’s acting skills are “low key” at best.

There are a few flashbacks and so you get the occasional glimpse of Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus…replaced by Yahya Abdul-Mateen in the new film. And Jada Pinkett Smith shows up near the end of this needlessly-long (2hr. 46min) test of your patience.

One of the few welcome new additions is the blue-haired character Bugs played by Jessica Henwick. But it seems that the villains get all the good lines, Keanu is, well, Keanu, and this is more a money-grab than a film with something to say.

Marty Duda

The Matrix Resurrections opens in New Zealand cinemas December 26th.