The Matrix Resurrections
The latest instalment in the Matrix film series, The Matrix Resurrections, continues the story of Neo (Keanu Reeves), who is once again living in the Matrix as Thomas Anderson. As Anderson, he lives a normal life as a highly successful game designer, with a prescription of blue pills convincing him that his previous experiences were simply a game he designed. However, an unexpected intervention from a new Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and new character Bugs (Jessica Henwick) means he escapes the simulation once more in order to fight a new threat to humanity – and perhaps rescue Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in the process.
The Matrix Resurrections is a very metatextual movie, with director and writer Lana Wachowski exploring and examining the massive cultural impact of the film series she and her sister created, and grappling with the ways in which its underlying themes and messages have been co-opted by capitalist systems. It’s a very personal piece, and at times can be a little indulgent, but in a way that feels deserved and doesn’t interfere with the effectiveness of the film as a whole.
Despite this heavy metatextuality, the movie manages to be as accessible to newcomers as it is gratifying to veterans, owing in part to the franchise’s inescapably large cultural footprint. The writing is intelligent and engaging in its introspections on both individual arcs and the film’s universe as a whole, giving fresh perspectives to old characters while allowing newcomers the narrative oxygen they need to reinvigorate the story – Abdul-Mateen II and Henwick, in particular, steal the show as Morpheus and Bugs. The by-now-familiar Matrix action scenes have also been revamped for this latest edition, playing with famous visuals like “bullet time” while adding some new fancy tricks to keep the action tense and interesting.
The Matrix Resurrections is a brilliant return to a familiar world, celebrating the stories that have come before but adding to the wider narrative in a number of fascinating and clever ways. With insightful and funny writing, bolstered by strong visuals and a talented cast, there’s a lot to love here, whether you’re a Matrix maniac or you just know it as the film series where they dodge bullets.
The Matrix Resurrections is released nationwide on 22nd December 2021.
Watch the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections here: