Well, this is confusing. Here’s your official LMO Matrix Resurrections review. For whatever that’s worth!
My first reaction after seeing this was “Ok, I see what you were trying to do there.” It was a ground-rule double at best for me. But I did appreciate the ideas it was trying to convey. Namely: Reboots are nothing more than soulless cash grabs, the YouTube/google algorithms are the Matrix now, we are comfortable being told what to do and living in the pod (and that’s dangerous), and some creators wonder if they will ever be more than their best-remembered work.
My problem with it was that they needed to pick one. Maybe two. It’s a bit of a blender trying to do it all.
So after I watched it, I began to gather my thoughts and, as per usual, get some other opinions to see what the general reactions have been. Usually, I’m pretty in-step with most people on this sort of thing, but here, apparently, I’m completely out of step.
The vitriol for this movie caught me pretty off-guard, especially when it seems to be commenting on all the things we comment on. What am I missing here?
I kinda admired the balls on Lana Wachowski (given she had them cut off) to make something that was pretty much Gremlins 2, but without the in your face satire. This took the original Matrix trilogy, something that was pretty special to a lot of people, and made it a minor fiction in the world… of the Matrix.
It’s not a denigration of the property but of us. Specifically, those who make these reboots (amusingly Warner Bros is called out by name) and us who demand more and more of this stuff. Even while saying we don’t.
Oh, YOU’RE different? Did you watch it? Yes? Then shut up, you fed the beast too. And yes, so did I.
I’m not going into major plot points but more of specific ideas that I saw I appreciated. Where I think the movie fails is that it didn’t go far enough into the critique and satire. It takes itself too seriously and makes you think you’re seeing a movie that is a genuine extension of the Matrix storyline.
Lana has too much affection for the original movies to do that and Warner wouldn’t have accepted it anyway.
But there is anger coming through here and there. I guess I found these moments pretty fascinating. It was after Neo was freed from the Matrix again and headed to Zion, oops sorry, Io that it slowly slid into a bog-standard movie. There was still some interesting imagery and symbolism here and there.
For instance, the new architect is a psychiatrist, studying humanity to control them. Using behavioral studies to get people to be angry and in conflict, mostly because it gets people to generate more power than otherwise.
Well, what do you think these big tech algorithms are doing to us? Neo is shown at the beginning just taking the blue pills and stuck in a loop basically. There were these banal corporate meetings that continually had drones spitting out the same idea over and over and over again but acting like they just had a major epiphany.
The mirroring of the first Matrix but slightly different, with the Matrix scenes always appearing in the background on shattered screens, looking like dim reflections of what’s come before is really a comment on how reboots are the same but less. Star Wars: The Force Awakens anyone?
I’m not really down with the upbeat ending. I think that’s what makes it bad for me. If Neo and Trinity had ended up back in the pods feeding the beast, I think I would’ve applauded. But no way that was going to happen. If you’re going to satirize, go for the gold.
The post-credit scene basically tried that by saying pretty much we are all choosing what’s comfortable instead of challenging ourselves. It’s all cat videos, all the way down.
The hate is pretty mystifying to me. Clearly, this is not the classic that The Matrix was and that it was never going to be. To dismiss it as a re-do of the first one feels like missing the point. But even with my appreciation of what it tried to do, I feel like it didn’t follow through and that’s the real problem with it.
Maybe the happy ending is more cynicism, like Maximus shouting “Are you not entertained?!” But if so, it should’ve been a little more biting.
I know, I’m not in step here. But take another look with your cynic goggles set to empathize with the creator, instead of against her, and see if you start to see some of those things too.
Still, with all that being said, the truth is as a movie, it’s a bit too long and doesn’t exactly go for it on many of these themes. It bogs down in the real world. And there are too many ideas going on to really commit to them. So I can’t give it a giant recommendation based on those things. A tepid one at best.