The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections

Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more.

Neo and Trinity are found alive and well where it all began in . Thomas Anderson () is seemingly alive and well as an incredibly successful game designer, but he is plagued by dreams and deja vu when he encounters a woman named Tiffany () in a cafe. While he is assured by The Analyst () that his doubts about his reality are all in his head, Anderson soon finds himself approached by Morpheus () and Bugs (), who reveals that the long-thought-dead Neo has been resurrected inside and upgraded version of The Matrix, along with Trinity. Freed once again, Neo hopes to find a way to free Trinity from The Matrix, while facing old foes such as the similarly resurrected Smith ().

Arriving 18 years after the conclusion of the original trilogy, The Matrix Resurrections is a legacy sequel that sees co-writer and director Lana Wachowski return to the series that put The Wachowskis on the map. The film takes some meta pokes at the concept of legacy sequels by having Thomas Anderson be introduced as the designer of a video game trilogy called The Matrix, of which he is being asked by his business partner Smith to create a new sequel. The overall plot of the film also covers a familiar trajectory, following many of the similar beats of the original, such as a kung-fu fight with Morpheus, whose different appearance is explained at the start of the film by the fact that he is an AI replica in a simulation created by Neo.

It cannot be argued that 1999's The Matrix was a highly influential sci-fi action film, which in some ways stole the thunder from Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, released the same year. However, the sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003, had mixed reviews at best and the Wachowskis both stated that they had no intention to ever return to this world. However, Lana Wachowski apparently had a change of heart and has returned to direct her first film without sister Lily, who has remained adamant about not returning to the universe of The Matrix.

The Matrix Resurrections doesn't ignore the optimistic ending of The Matrix Revolutions, showing that humans and some machines have been living in harmony in a new city named IO, headed by a much aged General Niobe (), who would rather not risk reigniting the war with the machines, despite the creation of an upgraded Matrix, which makes the imprisoned humans much more subservient. With the help of friendly AI and a past ally of Neo, Sati (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), a plan is put into place to save Trinity.

My best description of The Matrix Resurrections is that is a film soaked in nostalgia, while also feeling bright and shiny and new. There is nothing particularly revolutionary about the film this time around and indeed the most impressive visual effect in the film just comes off as a copy of the Quicksilver sequences in the X-Men films. While it is fun to laugh at the meta jokes in the first half of the film, you are still left questioning at the end whether we truly needed a new sequel to The Matrix. However, I still ultimately enjoyed The Matrix Resurrections and that is probably all that counts.

The Matrix Resurrections opens on Wednesday, December 22, 2021

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.