The Reel Review
18 years after the third film in the Matrix sci-fi franchise, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss resurrect their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity in this sequel, where most humans still are brainwashed slaves in a robot-controlled universe where reality is merely a construct.
For Matrix fans, seeing Reeves and Moss back together onscreen is a sheer delight, even if the sequel’s overly self referential premise is a little dubious. Reinserted into the Matrix, Neo is now designer of the Matrix video game (really?!) while ass-kicking Trinity is now a wife and mom named Tiffany (um, ok). An amazing looking Moss, who appears as though she hasn’t aged a single day in 18 years, is mesmerizing, really shining in the third act. Jessica Henwick (Love and Monsters, Game of Thrones) is Bugs, the leader of a ragtag crew that locates Neo, and a convincing Neal Patrick Harris is Neo’s therapist. But not all of the casting additions are so solid. Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Jonathan Groff feel more like stand-ins for Lawrence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving, who were way more compelling as Morpheus and Agent Smith in the prior films.
At two and a half hours long, The Matrix Resurrections drags way more than it should, with way too many boring, overly-choreographed fight scenes. But the eye-popping visual effects – the dark and brooding computer AI world in particular – are out of this world amazing. If only there had been more of that, to help offset a story that, while fun for hardcore fans, is only mildly interesting for everyone else, and lacks the cool, mind-bending elements of the original.
• Lana Wachowski says writing this sequel was her way of coping with the deaths of her parents (who died just five weeks apart) and a close friend.
• The original Morpheus, Lawrence Fishburne, was not asked to join this sequel and Hugo Weaving, the original Agent Smith, was unable to join due to scheduling conflicts.
• While she’s been busy in television (Tell Me a Story, Wisting), Carrie-Anne Moss’ last film role prior to The Matrix Resurrections was 2017’s The Bye Bye Man, which topped The Reelness’ 10 Worst Films of 2017 list.