"The Matrix Resurrections" (2021) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #153 Gem Mint 10

Updated: Jan 11

"The Matrix Resurrections" (2021)

Director: Lana Wachowski

Writer: Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell, Alesandar Hemon, Lilly Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahyu Abdul-Matten II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christina Ricci, Lambert Wilson, Andrew Caldwell, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt

Rated: R for violence and some language

Runtime: 2h 28m

Genre: Action | Sci-Fi

Country: United States

Language: English

Available on: Various VOD platforms / in theaters & HBO Max December 22, 2021

"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."

You might like this if you like: 'The Matrix', Action, Sci-Fi, Martial Arts, Lana Wachowski, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahyu Abdul-Matten II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christina Ricci, Lambert Wilson, Andrew Caldwell, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt

SPOILERS / do not read if you have not watched the film

"The Matrix Resurrections" (2021)

When I saw the trailer for this film a few months back, I think I was acceptably skeptical about it. The last ‘Matrix’ film did not do so well, certainly wasn’t my favorite, but I couldn’t be more intrigued on how they were going to do another one almost 19 years later.

It didn’t occur to me until I started watching, but the fact that there’s been so much pop culture aka satire, studies in school, technology jumps, philosophical arguments, VFX, all influenced by this one film.. it is a trip to see it finally comment on it itself, aka the original storyteller who is coming back; Lana Wachowski and to actually see what they think of this 19 year culmination of thought on one of the biggest films of all time. It’s meta. It’s almost too meta for me. I couldn’t look away.

Yahya Abdul Mateen II in "The Matrix Resurrections" (2021)

It was commenting on everything in every way I could imagine. In a world where “Inception” & ‘Black Mirror’ exist now, it’s fun to see ‘The Matrix’ come into play and see the OGs basically do a ‘Black Mirror’ episode. I get doing these sequels so many years later does pull in new audiences of new generations, but I particularly was excited to see ‘The Matrix’ play in 2021 and use 2021 technology that was so influenced by 1999 technology that the original film used.. It’s kind of perfect.

Back to the trailer for a moment, I was thrown off by Keanu’s haircut a bit, as I felt like I was just watching John Wick get thrown into the ‘The Matrix’ universe. It made me miss the look of the Neo I knew and the slick back, short hair and sunglasses. But once I actually watched the film, I was able to let go of that and the story they set up justified it a little for me.

Jessica Henwick in "The Matrix Resurrections" (2021)

Also what made me skeptical when watching the trailer was the lack of Laurence Fishburne, and even though I love Yahya Abdul Mateen II, without Laurence Fishburne, and Hugo Weaving, it just wasn’t feeling like ‘The Matrix’ to me. I wasn’t exactly sure how they were going to pull it off, but in the end, I was pleased with Yahya's performance, but I think I'm still allowed to miss them.

I was pretty pleased with the setup for the new film, once I got what was going on. Not an insult, just by nature of the storytellers keeping you in the dark and wondering for the first few minutes. But from the beginning, I could tell it was going to be a fascinating exploration of ‘The Matrix’ universe.

Carrie-Anne Moss in "The Matrix Resurrections" (2021)

Surprisingly more comedic than I was expecting, and just throwing our characters into unexpected situations that glued me to the screen with curiosity. I missed these characters. I mean god damn, just seeing Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss shake hands, and knowing Wachowski is behind that lens, it gives me goosebumps.

It's got some pretty amazing sequences, but nothing that really blew me out of the water. The train sequence and the fight scene where they're all fighting together when Lambert Wilson shows up were by far my favorites!

Jessica Henwick was a stand-out for me in this and honestly is the biggest reason I'm giving this film a Gem Mint 10.0. She's what 'The Matrix' has always needed and I would watch an entire 'Matrix' franchise with just her. Neil Patrick Harris was decent, I was worried they were goin to make him do these big action set pieces which I think would’ve been weird. I still haven't gotten over the lack of Asian leads and supporting members in a film series that is rooted in Martial Arts and pays so much homage to it.

"The Matrix Resurrections" (2021)

My biggest takeaway; I loved the first half, wasn't as excited for the 2nd, but overall was really enjoyable. I'm trying to tip toe around some stuff, but the ending... I guess I just didn't want it to end there? If that makes sense. I needed a little more resolution, but I also just wanted to see more of Trinity like that. I think I'm still a bit attached to the original trilogy, but I did really love most of this film and had a wonderful time watching. Certainly worth checking out!

Written by Sam Gall on Dec 21, 2021

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"If 2021 is going to end like ... this ... then I can think of no better a blockbuster to cap things off than The Matrix Resurrections." - Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail

"This could have been a purely cynical attempt to part us from our cash. Or, just as bad, an exercise in self-congratulation. Wow! Watch Lana dodge those bullets." - Charlotte O'Sullivan, London Evening Standard

"Resurrections grapples with its legacy and place with an existential self-awareness in true Matrix-style. Only this time, director and co-writer Lana Wachowski gets far more personal and sentimental, bringing surprising humor to the mix." - Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

"[Gives] returning director/Matrix co-creator Lana Wachowski a way to let rip with some playfully imaginative visuals that comment on the power of nostalgia in thematically interesting ways." - Alistair Harkness, Scotsman

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

#MovieReview #TheMatrix #TheMatrixResurrections #KeanuReeves #LanaWachowski #CarrieAnneMoss #YahyuAbdulMattenII #NeilPatrickHarris #JadaPinkettSmith #HBOMax

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