The original Matrix serves as one of those eye-opening cinematic experiences for a person my age, so my connection to the trilogy runs deep. Watching The Matrix: Revolutions (2003) in theaters was a turning point for me in the formative years, so seeing another Matrix movie released 18 years later didn’t feel real. Despite my hesitancy towards a new Matrix, considering the sequel culture of Hollywood right now, I had decently high hopes for it. And unfortunately, those hopes were dashed quickly and often by the exact fears I first held.
Although Lana Wachowski does have something to say about the state of remakes, The Matrix: Resseructions is mainly a jumbled mess of tone, falling into a repeating cycle of storytelling with Neo (Keanu Reeve) and Trinity’s (Carrie-Anne Moss) story arc. The action set pieces lack inspiration and come across as basic. the visual effects are redundant, relying on older effects that we’ve seen in the past. The Matrix pushed boundaries as a VFX masterpiece in 1999, but in 2021, the visual element feels like it’s been overlooked. Add in the loss of the trademark Matrix green color grading and the aesthetic is severely lacking. The decision to play clips of the older Matrix films is a detriment to the visual layout of this one, and the look pales in comparison to the previous iterations.
Furthermore, I love Keanu Reeves but his performance as Neo here is phoned in from the first scene. It feels like everyone is acting around him, while he’s sedentary. The reluctantcy in his voice is so underwhelming in every interaction. Overall, extremely contrived acting but that also falls on the character writing of the script. The updates on these beloved characters were a flat-miss and a repetitive bore. I felt it added nothing to the Matrix universe, and to Neo’s legacy as a protagonist.
The fourth-wall-breaking first act immediately took me out of the story. A self-aggrandizing look at the original trilogy, sloppily blending in social conversation into the narrative that supersedes story beats. The impact of the ideas feels lessened because the writing is so convoluted. It’s nice to see old characters back together, but the entire affair feels like an unnecessary addition to what I believed was an untouchable sci-fi series. Hopefully, now we’ll all go back and appreciate the creativity of the trilogy.