The Matrix 4 Review: Hey Guys, Remember the Matrix?

I had no faith that The Matrix: Resurrections was going to be good. As I stated in a previous article on the subject, between the creators making this about their personal transgenderism and modern mainstream sentiments, I expected this movie to be a woke-athon of messaging and bad attempts at selling narratives.

(READ: I Want To Be Excited for the Upcoming Matrix Film…But)

To be sure, you have to look beyond the metaphors to see it, but otherwise, I’m glad to say that I got what I wanted. The political messaging in the latest Matrix installment was well hidden enough that it didn’t get in the way of the film.

No, the main problem with the film is that it’s just bad.

As revealed by the trailer, the premise of the film is that Neo and Trinity have somehow survived the events of the third film and now live their lives separated from one another with their memories more or less wiped. Neo, now going by Thomas Anderson again, is kept on a steady diet of blue pills that keep his mind sedated. Still, something tugs at Neo’s consciousness, sometimes resulting in reality-bending “delusion.”

I’d tell you what comes next, but you’ve seen this movie before.

It’s up to Neo to once again break free of his machine bindings, discover the Matrix, and rescue Trinity, only this time with a cast of characters whose names you won’t remember along with a discount version of Morpheus.

Again, the movie isn’t bad because of messaging. It has all the philosophy-porn that you’d expect that, surprisingly, can be taken in many different ways than the one Director and creator Lana Wachowski likely intended. In fact, at certain points, I couldn’t help but feel like the film was speaking from my world perspective at times.

Metaphorically, Resurections is like an actor trying desperately to be his younger self, and instead of producing something action-packed and dynamic, he delivers a try-hard version of a better-made movie from long ago.

The Matrix: Resurections suffers from the same problem Star Wars: The Force Awakens did. It’s the same movie, just told in a slightly different, albeit less interesting way. This film even goes so far as to replay original moments from the film continuously. The difference here is that Resurrections does seem to be aware of its nostalgia-baiting, and even pokes fun at itself in various ways for it, but it doesn’t really save the film. In fact, you’re left asking why this was even made in the full knowledge that making these kinds of films is both silly and tired.

It doesn’t help that the plot is confusing and clunky. You’ll have a lot of questions by the end of the film other than why you took the time out to see it. For the first time, I can say a film is lacking some exposition that was wonderfully delivered in the original by characters such as The Oracle or Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus.

Speaking of which, Discount Morpheus, played by Yahya Abdul-Matten II, is no Fishburne. While he does bring some swagger to the character, this new Morpheus just doesn’t have the gravitas of the original. Alongside the return of Morpheus in a different body comes Agent Smith in a different body, though why he’s there is never really explained. In fact, he feels very plot-convenient and tacked on, almost like an afterthought.

You’ll also be introduced to other characters along the way, but they won’t leave much of an impression on you. They feel more like a peanut gallery along for the ride.

But let’s talk main characters. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are back and if I have to give this film credit where it’s due, these two have more on-screen chemistry in this movie than they ever did in the previous films. It was really fun to see them together again, but that just might be my nostalgia talking.

That said, don’t expect to see anything mind-blowing out of either of them. Reeves is definitely getting on in age, and that becomes very apparent at various moments in the film. The dynamic fight scenes that were a staple of the original films are more or less gone here as Reeves, being a busy man, doesn’t have the time to retrain and choreograph the complex maneuvers he once pulled off in the original films. Fight scenes in Resurrections are much slower with Reeves…and that’s when he’s actually fighting. Much of what Reeves does in this film involves using his powers much like the force. He just pushes his foes away really hard telekinetically.

Moss brings back some classic moves, but like Reeves, don’t expect much.

Overall, I’m not sure why this film needed to be made. I really do like The Matrix universe and would have loved to have seen more about it, but why did we need to revisit these characters? There’s so much more to explore here, and I’ll give you a perfect example.

Beware, from here there will be some spoilers. 

This film takes place 60 years after the conclusion of the third film. The freeing of a good deal of the humans from the Matrix caused something of an energy shortage which then lead to a civil war between the machines. Some machines sided with the humans and began coexisting with them, not only improving their lives and technological prowess but also lending a helping hand in the war for their freedom. These programs and machines even became crew members on the ships.

Gee, it sure would have been fun to see more of that. It would have been really neat to meet all-new characters and witness a huge turning point in the war that would finally end the ongoing conflict and bring true peace between man and machine. If written well enough I would have been happy to have another trilogy about this war.

But anyway, back to resurrected characters that should have stayed dead coming back to life to scratch that nostalgia itch.

The big problem with this Matrix film is that it’s disrespectful to itself. It retcons the importance of Neo, even stripping him of the discoveries and realizations that he earned in the previous films to arbitrarily depower him to make the film happen. It doesn’t even have a coherent point.

YouTube movie reviewer “Just Some Guy” made a very solid observation, saying it doesn’t feel like a Matrix movie. Instead, it feels like what would happen if a studio executive tried to make a Matrix movie.

My advice? Just go see the original.