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Thoughts on 'The Matrix Resurrections' (all spoilers hidden) · 2:12am Dec 23rd, 2021

So... we got a new installment of the Matrix franchise today. And it was... uh, something. A big, jumbled something.

I was I was more enthusiastic. I wish I was overjoyed and excited at seeing the continuing adventures of Neo and Trinity. And I especially wish I could say that this movie defies the Legacy sequel trend of feeling tackled onto a story that had already featured a satisfactory conclusion... but I can't, because 'Resurrections' is a giant mess of a film with too many ideas, too many characters, and too much stuff it tries to cram into an already lengthy runtime. While I appreciated how it explained that Neo and Trinity are still alive after the third film, as well as explaining what's happened between humanity and the machines since that time, it also fails to explain it adequately: We're told that things are going one way, but get lots of evidence to the contrary. Important characters are gone, returning characters are handled so poorly they would have been better off being written out of the script, and all of the new characters are utterly forgettable, save for the Analyst and a few machines.

Oh, and New-Morpheus? My gosh, was it really that hard to get Lawrence Fishburn to come back? The reasons we're given for there being a new Morpheus are hopelessly convoluted and feels entirely unnecessary. And there's one other character who's reveal should have been the best surprise of the film, but that reveal is atrocious. Easily one of the worst, 'It's really me!' moments I've ever seen. The film can't even figure out what it wants to be: a love story? A continuation of what came before? A passing the torch moment? It tries to be all of them and fails miserably. Even the climax is about as exciting as the farting sound of a deflating balloon, and I left the theater feeling completely indifferent to everything I just saw.

While I wish I could say this was a film worth waiting 18 years for... it wasn't.

Now for spoiler thoughts:

1. So New-Morpheus is actually a program that Neo created that then broke free and decided to take on the Real Morpheus' role. That's... interesting, I admit. But would it really have been that hard to have an older Morpheus be the one to help Neo remember who he really is? Not only would it have been more emotional for the audience, but remembering his old friend would have made for a more emotional reunion between Neo and him, and make the subsequent quest to free Trinity more emotionally compelling as well. But, alas, Real Morpheus either died of old age or was killed by machines off screen between the third and fourth movies. While he wasn't killed by an assassin made out of bugs, it still feels like such a half-hearted way to kill off such a major figure in the series.

2. Niobe is a decrepit old jerk who does her utmost to be as jaded and unlikable as Old Luke Skywalker from The Last Jedi. She would have been better off being written out of the script.

3. As I said above, I found every single new character to be boring and forgettable. Bugs and her crew are just there to... well, none of them actually die, so they're not cannon fodder, so why are there so many of them, especially when they get no character development and MAYBE one line of dialogue each?

4. The Merovingian shows up looking like a hobo and yells at Neo for a minute about how he sucks before walking off camera and never being seen again or having anything to do with the story. Why did they include him, again? For a fight sequence that adds nothing to the story and could have easily been cut out?

5. I did love the new friendly robots who showed up; the one thing the film does right is showing humans and machines working and living together as equals, and these guys are fantastic. I especially like Cybebe, or, as I dubbed it, the Hugbot. Who wouldn't want to go for a ride while being embraced by this big, strong thing? And making it so that programs can now take physical form in the real world via nano-machine things is a fascinating concept that New Morpheus puts to good use by sneaking into tight spaces.

6. But to go off of what I wrote above, it's implied that there was a machine civil war that's... apparently still going on? Niobe tells Neo that everything he and his friends went through was for something, but humanity is apparently still trapped in the Matrix and doesn't have the choice to leave if they want, and sentinels are still flying around and ripping people to shreds. So did Neo's sacrifice mean anything or not? The film doesn't answer that question, and it's ambiguous if ultimately anything was accomplished.

7. Smith... Oh sweet Celestia, how the film handles Smith is beyond awful. That moment where he reveals himself as really being Neo's business partner? It feels more like he decided to just pick up a gun and start shooting at Neo for no reason while trying to mimic Smith's voice pattern. There's no, 'Oh shit, that's Smith!' moment. Smith's inclusion in the film makes no sense, either, as he was deleted in the last film, so why would he be back now? And why would the Analyst and the other machines be fine with that considering that Smith, you know, almost destroyed both humanity and the machines out of sheer hate towards both. Why isn't Neo horrified or shocked at encountering his mortal enemy yet again? Despite being one of the most memorable film villains of the past 30 films, he's treated like an afterthought. If Hugo Weaving had come back, it MIGHT have worked, but as it is, Smith should have been written out of the film completely. He's a freaking joke here.

8. Is it just me, or were some of Bugs' lines hard to hear? It sounded like she was mumbling much of the time, which probably made me miss some important plot points.

9. Agent Johnson comes back from 'Reloaded,' only to vanish after the opening and have nothing to do with the rest of the story.

10. The Analyst certainly inherited the Architect's love of being an exposition dump in that he delivers MASSIVE humps of information all at once without it making that much sense. This movie desperately needed to simplify things and stop trying to make things complicated and complex just because it can.

11. For me, one of the biggest flaws is that there are no memorable action sequences or fights in this film. Even the much-maligned 'Reloaded' and 'Revolutions' had the freeway chase, Cheateu fight, Burly Brawl, and Super-Burly Brawl. This film? Well, we have a rain-drenched office shootout that's kinda neat, a poorly shot and edited fight between Bugs' crew and some exiles, and an uninspired fight between Neo and Smith. The idea of the Matrix brainwashing every single human in it and dispatching them as zombies (urg) to overwhelm any threats has a lot of potential; problem is, the idea isn't executed well. If we had seen, say, millions of people rushing after Neo and Trinity, it would have been cool, but we just get maybe fifty. The whole climax just feels like it could have been pulled out of any generic thriller, and the much-hyped scene of Neo and Trinity leaping off a building is... boring. It turns out that Trinity can fly, and then they leave. Wow. How exciting.

12. I will admit that, despite all its flaws, it is kinda heartwarming seeing Neo and Trinity flying off together while holding hands... but imagine how much more moving it would have been if Laurence Fishburne had been with them, too.

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Comments ( 2 )

the matrix online game is cannon to the movies storyline and takes place between the 3rd and 4th movies in that Morpheus is killed off in the matrix by being shot so he is just a copy in 4

My brother and his wife saw it and gave it a rather damning review: "Nearly two and a half hours of continuous 'wink-wink-nudge-nudge see how awesome our references are?' left me feeling bored. It was so insipid cannot even muster up enough enthusiasm to be upset."

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