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‘The Matrix Resurrections’ movie review: Maybe it wasn’t necessary to go down the rabbit hole again?

The fourth film in ‘The Matrix’ franchise, written and directed by Lana Wachowski, is a bit too self-referential for its own good

My favourite part of The Matrix Resurrections is The Merovingian’s (Lambert Wilson) tirade against today’s digital natives. Even funnier was the attempts to bleep out the cuss words and still have the diatribe make sense.

The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth in the franchise, is written and directed by Lana Wachowski, and is a bit too self-referential for its own good. It is almost as if it is putting all the criticisms out there before we can think of them.

So, Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is deprecating of the portentous Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) from the trilogy. There is the red pill and the blue pill, green lines of code, white rabbit, illusion of choice, and even a black cat called ‘déjà vu’ for goodness sake!

The movie starts like The Matrix (1999) and just as you are wondering if the déjà vu is because of a glitch in the matrix, you realise you are watching a different-looking Trinity take down all those people foolish enough to cross her. You are watching with blue-haired Bug (Jessica Henwick), who has a white rabbit tattoo. Bug is talking to Seq (Toby Onwumere) over a headset. She is telling him there is something wrong here and Seq is telling her to leave immediately as it could be a trap.

The Matrix Resurrections

  • Director: Lana Wachowski
  • Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jada Pinkett Smith
  • Storyline: Neo goes down the rabbit hole once more in search of alternative realities/simulations
  • Duration: 148 minutes

Cut to Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) a successful designer of a game called… wait for it, tada, The Matrix! Cue for scenes from the trilogy, which have all found their way into the game. Anderson, however is troubled by dreams and a difficulty to distinguish between it and reality — we have all suffered similarly in a month of blursdays in the pandemic.

His therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) tries to make sense of his increasingly bewildering world. There is also Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss) who looks a lot like Trinity from the game and has a fondness for bikes, including Trinity’s Ducati. Anderson is drawn towards Tiffany without knowing why.

By the time Anderson’s partner, Smith (Jonathan Groff) suggests a sequel to the game because the funding company, Warner Bros, (come on!) wants it, we have a tic thanks to winking continually and a bruised side from all the nudges.

Everything about The Matrix Resurrections (incidentally, the title is more on point than you realise) feels the same without that Philip K Dick sense of little, disorientating differences. Everyone who felt The Matrix freed their mind might welcome The Matrix Resurrections as an old friend; it offers comfort but does not challenge like the original did.

The bullet time, fights and flight are all slick and professional as expected; we miss Cypher and his discourse on simulated steak though. Incidentally, the climactic battle is fought in a coffee shop called Simulatte (cute no?).

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a grown-up Sati, who Neo met in The Matrix Revolutions (2003) and makes cryptic comments including, “The most important choice in Neo’s life isn’t his to make.” The years have not been kind to Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe.

Maybe there was no need to go down the rabbit hole again, but it was nice to hear Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’…

The Matrix Resurrections is currently running in theatres


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