The cultural impact of The Matrix is undeniable. Released in 1999, the work of the Wachowski sisters permeated with its purpose and its codes a pivotal time when the Internet was beginning to impose itself in our lives. Its special effects (the impressive bullet time), its style (black leather, sunglasses), its music (Massive Attack, The Prodigy) and its themes (freedom of choice, artificial intelligence) have influenced countless works. In a way, the film even popularized conspiracy theories.
Confusing and boring, the two sequels — Reloaded and Revolutions –, launched in quick succession in 2003, were quickly forgotten. So when 18 years later Lana Wachowski plunges us back into the matrix, we hope for an avant-garde approach and a distinct signature, as in the case of the original. Rather, it serves us as a fourth chapter that overstates our attachment to the trilogy by multiplying the references to it. In fact, the preceding events dictate the entire narrative. We are stuck in the matrix of the matrix, literally and figuratively.
We find Neo again “asleep” in the skin of Thomas Anderson, now video game designer, author of the planetary success The Matrix. He was inspired by a past that he only remembers in fragments to create his game. His memories are illustrated by brief but numerous excerpts from the three previous films. Haunted by this old life, Anderson consults a therapist (Neil Patrick Harris), who prescribes him blue pills… Keanu Reeves embodies a depressed man and, he who is not already known for his great vigor, he seems completely disinterested here.
Those disconnected from the Matrix have not forgotten the legendary Neo, however, who will be “saved” by Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). The latter is not the prophet of old, but a program created by Anderson in his game, which managed to get out of the matrix. No, it’s not easy. However, Abdul-Mateen II, brilliant in the series Watchmen, is equally so in Resurrections. It updates the character while drawing inspiration from the performance of Laurence Fishburne. Jonathan Groff (we hope for a third season of Mindhunter) is also excellent in its reinterpretation of another mythical role (we leave you the surprise).
Unfortunately, we have already covered the positives.
Confusion and gunshots
The trilogy of the 2000s had accustomed us to the succession of explanatory monologues and action scenes. It passed for the first, because the concepts were ingenious and the visuals impressive, but the formula wore out in the second and third installments. To offer the same in 2021 is just lazy. In addition, the degree of complexity reaches peaks. We display the same empty look of Keanu Reeves at several points.
The shootings are linked without real stake. We keep wondering why they use firearms so much in this universe, when they so rarely hit the mark. The quality of the special effects is not the problem, it just feels like you’ve seen every shot before. Possibly because they are so often in slow motion.
Buried under all these casings, there is the love story between Neo and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). Unfortunately, she, too, is instrumentalized by screenwriters Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell, and Aleksandar Hemon in service of the fight against the Matrix. Even love is not real. The same goes for our interest.
Video on demand
The Matrix Resurrections
Avec Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
2 h 28