Matrix Resurrections Should Not Have Been Made

The newest Matrix movie flies in the face of the legacy of the original.


When The Matrix Resurrections was announced it was met with mixed reception. Some fans were excited to see their favorite franchise return after a nearly two decade hiatus. Others however were less optimistic- believing it to be nothing more than another Hollywood cash grab, relying on that sweet, sweet nostalgia to get the audience in theaters (or at least to turn on HBO,) But no! It isn’t a cash grab, there’s no way a movie that goes out of it’s way to make fun of the constant resequeling of the film industry could be one itself right!… right? Well regardless of whether or not it was – one thing is certain, The Matrix Resurrections is not a good movie. 

Don’t get me wrong, it does have some positives, the film boasts some interesting world building and generally does a good job expanding on in-universe lore and seeing Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity is a sight for sore eyes. The new additions to the cast stand out too! Jonathan Groff is a ton of fun as Smith stealing every single scene he’s in and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II gives his performance as a wacky, offshoot Morpherus every bit of charisma he has and my god in a movie that’s two and a half hours long, (and you do feel that length) I am very thankful for it.  That being said, out of all the new additions, the best very well may be Jessica Henwick as Bugs, the one who kicks off this trip down the rabbit hole. The relationships between these characters is one of the film’s few definite strengths. It’s a shame that it lies in a sea of shortcomings. The most apparent of which being the film’s length.

Resurrections comes in at two hours and twenty eight minutes. Being long isn’t inherently a bad thing, in fact if that length is justified it can make for an incredible experience… but in this case it isn’t. Instead of using it’s run time to expand on the characters, or plot, it opts instead to spend that time on nostalgia- showing you clips, flashbacks- telling you all about the previous movies to the point where it almost seems more interested in those stories than the one it’s telling now. The run time is further bogged down by the film’s fixation for being “The most meta” incessantly making reference to both itself and the film industry as whole- in an effort that rather than actually contributing to the plot in any meaningful way serves purely to chew up run time. This doesn’t only waste time, it actively hurts the film as their jokes about bad plots and sequels only shine a light on the films own inadequacies.  

Maybe had they spent less time rehashing or trying to make Mark Zuckerberg blush, they could’ve improved on the effects and action sequences that were so pivotal in making the Matrix into the groundbreaking classic that it was. That time was clearly needed as the effects, One of the Matrix’s defining characteristics that “changed special effects forever,” is reduced to bad CGI that could be found anywhere. The same can be said for the fights and action that the matrix is so well known for. It replaces the iconic choreography and style from the original trilogy, with short, choppy action sequences that come off as nothing but generic. Something you could see in any run of the mill action movie. It feels as if the fights are no longer an anticipated part of the event but rather a necessity they had to get out of the way in order to continue the story. They rush through it and in the process end up hurting the film.

Though that is a theme for Resurrections as it genuinely does have some interesting, fun ideas that it either side steps completely or botches in it’s execution.The only idea I feel confident in saying it doesn’t totally mess up is the love story between Neo and Trinity which acts not only as the driving force of the plot but as the heart of the story. Though even here there are things they could’ve done better.

In the end the Matrix Resurrections was a disappointment, a meta laden farce. In its attempt to rejuvenate the franchise it swung for the fences, but couldn’t make good on it’s lofty ideas. Instead it delivered an over bloated mess of a plot – rife with shotty effects and uninspired action sequences. While it does have few redeeming qualities via it’s world building and cast, they’re few and far between. The Matrix 4 ultimately betrays much of what made the Franchise so beloved in the first place. It’s a shame but by the time the credits roll you’ll be left feeling that the story was better off dead.