Director: Lana Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Jada Pinkett Smith
Movie length: 2 hours 28 minutes
What it is: The 4th movie in THE MATRIX franchise which takes place two decades after the events of 2003’s THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. The film sees a resurrected Thomas Anderson (aka Neo) living an ordinary, comfortable life as a video game developer (which gives space for meta jokes and dialogue galore, naturally), a life which gets upended when a mentor from his past visits him and once again offers him a choice: a red or a blue pill.
What Dan Thought: Since THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS is another movie in the dynamic and action-packed world of the Matrix, we do need to talk about the fight scenes and choreography. They did not disappoint at all, thanks to the experience of world-class stunt coordinator Scott Rogers (who worked with Keanu in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM and the upcoming JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4) and his very, very big stunt team.
When a studio rolls the dice on a release like this, opening on both standard and IMAX screens as well as the HBO MAX streaming service, a film such as this needs some high-quality special effects in order to draw fans to the cineplex – hell, THE MATRIX redefined special effects and in order to live up to that legacy, here they are delivered in spades. Kudos go out to the special effects crew, led by veteran Special Effects Supervisor Pau Costa.
Now, let’s talk about the cast, seeing as we were never supposed to be seeing them in these roles again after the pretty much definitive ends in which we left them in. Keanu and Carrie-Anne once again showed that they have great chemistry in their roles of Thomas Anderson (aka Neo) and Trinity (now living her life as Tiffany), and it was great to see them in those roles again after nearly twenty years. Director Lana Wachowski thankfully leans into that two-decade stretch and doesn’t sugar coat the time that has past for our heroes, even if she doesn’t hold back from putting them through their physical paces.
In addition to the returning Keanu and Carrie-Anne, Jada Pinkett-Smith stars as an aged Niobe and Lambert Wilson reprises his role as The Merovingian from the original trilogy, helping to bridge the gap between the first three movies and what may be a new trilogy.
The new additions of Yahya, Jessica, Neil Patrick, Jonathan and Priyanka were all terrific, Yahya and Jonathan shine especially as they take over the iconic roles of Nu-Morpheus and Nu-Smith respectively and, for the most part, nailed the mannerisms – and a large chunk of the charm and charisma – of the original actors for those roles. Overall, I enjoyed the movie but, at times, the dialogue was a bit sluggish, giving a sense of a film that struggles under the weight of its own expectations.
But THE MATRIX was never just about kick-ass action scenes, big guns and bold effects – the Wachowskis always strove to underpin the spectacle with a solid philosophical backbone and it is here where the clunkiness kicks in, leaving RESURRECTIONS to be a full-blown sequel to not only that ground-breaking first film but also its lumpen sequels. The movie bridges the gaps between the previous instalments, seamlessly incorporating scenes from the originals to show how things got to how they are now – which may be good news for the younger members of the congregation that may not be entirely tuned with the last movie (released in 2003) struggling to remember to how we got there or what took place in the first place.
Dan’s grade: B. As I said at earlier, the dialogue seemed to drag a bit, and at just shy of two-and-a-half hours, the movie could have knocked a bit of time off that running time, I feel. Overall, though, it’s a good movie and a grand return to the world that The Wachowskis created over twenty years ago.
Here’s our own Darren Shulman’s podcast review of the movie: https://anchor.fm/darren-shulman/episodes/Matrix-Resurrections-Review-e1c8s97
The Matrix Resurrections is set to be released in United States’ theaters on December 22nd
Do you plan to watch it? Have you already? Let us know in the comments or chat with us on Twitter – @TheConCollectve!