By Seth Lukas Hynes
The Matrix Resurrections
Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Neil Patrick Harris
The Matrix Resurrections is an entertaining adventure with some fascinating concepts, but is also easily the worst Matrix movie.
Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Keanu Reeves), now a successful game developer, must escape the Matrix once again and, with the help of a plucky Resistance crew, rescue his lost love Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss).
The first act features a heavy metatextual layer that viewers may find cool or obnoxious. The Matrix trilogy exists within the Matrix as a series of video games, and the very self-aware dialogue conveys director Lana Wachowski’s frustration with demanding studio executives and overanalysing fans.
Resurrections reworks elements from the original trilogy in clever ways. Jonathon Groff is fun as the new Agent Smith, conveying the venomous essence of the character without copying Hugo Weaving’s original performance. Neil Patrick Harris clearly relishes playing the Analyst, the suave, cocky new villain.
Reeves’ performance as Neo is poignant and funny, reflecting the actor’s growth since the trilogy. Reeves and Moss still have great chemistry, and Neo and Trinity’s journey of escape and reawakening is very engaging, framed around a well-planted rooftop motif.
Unfortunately, Resurrections’ set-pieces rarely carry a strong sense of risk or direction, and the action is unsatisfying. The one-on-one fights are somewhat well-done, but the brawls and gun-fights are poorly-framed and full of quick cuts, compared to the beautiful long takes and clear camerawork in the trilogy.
With compelling characters and concepts but limited suspense and sloppy action, The Matrix Resurrections is an underwhelming sequel.
– Seth Lukas Hynes