2021 December 29, Wednesday
I saw the Matrix Resurrections last night. The reviews I saw said the movie was terrible. However, since I saw the first one in a theater in 1999, I decided to bookend the experience.
People I generally agree with told me it was awful. And, still, I chose the, well, “red pill,” and watched it for myself.
The first third of the movie caused me to think, “What was real in the first movie trilogy?” The second third of the movie caused me to think, “What was the point of the first three movies?” The last third of Matrix Resurrections caused me to think, “Where’s that blue pill when you need it?”
The premise was interesting, the execution was forced. The metaphors in the first Matrix film provoked thought, and introspection; the metaphors in Matrix Resurrections were banal, nihilistic, boring, and redundant. The action sequences in the first Matrix were a true joy to watch because of the youth and vigor of the cast, while the action in Matrix Resurrections was what I expected out of slower, 57 year old man who never strips down because of his dad bod. Worst of all, this new Neo – while fighting seems a bit hard on him – can sure use that “Jedi force push” thing when the going gets too tough. Plus, remember that part in the original Matrix where you realized, “Oh, so THIS is what the movie is about?” Yeah, in Matrix Resurrections, since you know that’s going to happen at some point, the “reveal,” is so obvious, you may ask aloud, “Really? That’s the big surprise?”
Which is to say, there is no big surprise in the Matrix Resurrections. You’ll see all the “easter egg” moments, all the “remember this character from the other movie” parts, and the only question you’ll have is “Hey, is this the first acting gig that guy got in the last 20 years?” On the topic of characters, you’ll also wonder why so many from the original film are simply replaced… Then, you’ll recall, “Oh yeah, the only two people in the first films who matter, AND stayed in fairly good shape, are Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.”
Did I mention the ZOMBIES? Yes, you read that right. Matrix Resurrections includes a plot-device as sloppy as they come: When in doubt, give the protagonists hoards of zombies, er, “bots,” to hack through.
There is an anti-wokeness to the film that seems to be the overarching point of it all. And, for that, well, I was grateful (at least I wasn’t rolling my eyes the entire movie at SJW claptrap). And, to be totally fair, in 2021, this was the perfect franchise to take up the mantle of woke-tardation – the cast was the definition of “diverse.” Now, there is a decided “women are not just as tough as men, but in the end, have to save the day,” vibe, but, again, it’s a thing in the movie, but not THE thing.
On second thought, okay, yeah, the entire movie is about women in charge, they do have all the “leadership roles,” and in the end Neo does come across as a whipped house-husband. The scene where Trinity does the thing that only Neo used to be able to do, but for some reason – never explained – now can’t, is pretty sad. But, I really don’t have a problem with all that because it’s so over-the-top, it comes across as SO obvious, it MUST be parody.
Even the hammy, sap-fest of an ending seemed to actually support the ideas that men and women are different, better together, and love can conquer all. So, yeah, that’s a thing that’s good, right?
And, yes, I just referred to the end of a Matrix film as a “hammy sap-fest” with a “love can conquer all” ending.
If you have 150 minutes to give up, just to rewatch the original Matrix, spliced between scenes of a romantic sci-fi flick with a happy ending, then, by all means, take whatever pill you need to keep you awake, and watch Matrix Resurrections.