The Matrix (1999) is a landmark movie for my love of cinema. I was a senior in high school when my mind was blown by a movie I’d just hoped would have some cool martial arts sequences. It did indeed have those – but it made me recontextualize everything I thought I knew. While I have mixed feelings about the sequels, I ultimately am a fan of the Wachowski’s style and films. I was worried that Lana Wachowski wouldn’t be able to bring us back into the world of the Matrix, and I am so happy that worry was for nothing. The Matrix Resurrections (2021) was a blast to watch, and it effectively did so many things that kept a smile on my face throughout its over two-hour runtime.
Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is one of the world’s most successful videogame developers after his game, The Matrix has propelled him to fame and fortune. The lines between reality and dreams seem extremely blurred, and it only gets more confusing when Buggs (Jessica Henwick) tells him she is there to free him. Deja vu is certainly a feeling that Mr. Anderson is having…but who can he trust?
The innovations of the first film are definitely on display again in this film. In fact, the first third of this movie is basically Lana working through the aftermath of the success of the first film in a series of metajokes that – as with most of the Wachowski work – you’ll either be on board with, or you’ll hate. I think this is an important part of the film, as those who are vibing with this seem to enjoy the majority of the film while others drift away at the inside humor. However, the signature action sequences and bullet-time are present again…and of course, the technology behind those effects is much more powerful now – and it shows.
I felt the changes to the story and the central love of the entire franchise between Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Neo really pays off here. In fact, rather than feeling like a new sequel looking to be a nostalgic cash-grab, it feels more like an entry that should have always been here. Many of the elements in the third film that never sat well seem to be fixed by the end of this one. For a late and apparently unplanned entry to the story, it feels intelligent, logical, and absolutely necessary. That alone is quite an achievement.
While some may find the choices Lana makes with this fourth film to not be what they want, I enjoyed this movie very much. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t excited to see what was on the screen. I looked at my watch wondering how long I’d been back in the world of the Matrix and was surprised to see there wasn’t much time left of the film. That’s a great feeling to have when watching a longer movie. The Matrix Resurrections breathes new life into this franchise and absolutely felt like a Must See movie to me.