If there was a positive review to send me in the days leading up to the release of Matrix Resurrections, Google didn’t find it. I’ll bet I got close to two dozen push notifications of negative reviews, one neutral headline, and not a single positive one.
So this review goes out to all those who want to read a review from someone who didn’t get up on the wrong side of the bed the day they saw Matrix Resurrections.
Matrix Resurrections might be the most indulgent-yet-cerebral love story I’ve ever seen on a screen.
It’s a story of hearts having to pass through the weaponized illusion of the mind to find the truth buried deep in their soul. From there, everyone has the same decision: Trust your mind, or follow your heart?
It’s deep waters.
If you’re a writer like me, the integrity of the Wachowski canon is a wonder that weaves its characters and plotlines together like a spider web.
Matrix Resurrections is brilliant filmmaking and I dare say that the only people on this planet who have the right to say otherwise are people like the Nolan brothers, Stephen Spielberg, and other greats who have succeeded at the same level.
The plot is tight.
The conflict is real.
The music is an evolution—combining traditional instruments with digital sounds to create a signature symphony that will still be recognizable a century from now.
The characters are solid — including the additions:
The story evolves and leaves the characters on a new stage with new goals—albeit in a way that sets up anyone but the Wachowskis to make a total stinker of a follow-up.
This is their baby—periodt—even if only one of them is directing and writing, like Lana did with this installment.
By way of critique, I will say that there is one fight scene that is distractingly bad in its choreography, costuming, and filming angles.
I don’t know why, since these are all things the Wachowskis excel at. All I can say is that one thing we don’t talk about enough with the first movie is the quiet brilliance with which Lawrence Fishburne pulled off the physicality of Morpheus.
Fishburne left serious shoes to fill and they weren’t filled for the fight scenes of this movie.
Another critique I’ll add is there are about 5-10 minutes of this movie where the narrative and exposition seem to intentionally break the fourth wall and get really meta with the audience. It’s like Lana Wachowski is whispering behind her hand to you in your seat and, in that space, she drops a lot of lines that are likely to trigger different types of people.
I would need to watch the movie again to count how many types of people have triggers waiting for them in that window of the movie, but it’s pretty equal-opportunity in its pushing the audience to get defensive enough to flip off characters on the screen like Neo did in that one screen when he was talking to the Architect in the second movie.
It feels intentional—flagrant, even—and I’m guessing it’s why so many reviewers summed up their experience like they’d just been forced to sit through a 2-hour dirty diaper.
My advice is this: If you are severely triggered in the first half of the movie, based on dialog you feel is a personal attack, let it go. Don’t let the Matrix have you.
Keep going and watch the genesis of a bold, new love story told to the soundtrack of an evolving symphony that is a character unto itself.
The Wachowskis are geniuses. And geniuses don’t care if you like them or not. They can’t. Part of being a pioneer is leaving others behind and letting them catch up in their own time.
In my opinion, Matrix Resurrections is a brilliant reboot with an interesting story to tell that 99.99% of anyone would screw up. But everything the Wachowskis have done in the past tells me they—together, or apart—can build where they left off, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.
My opinion: Matrix Resurrections is going to age well.
Reviewers who crapped on it are going to eat their words over time and multiple viewings.
It is a love story for nerds and an epic of soulmates.
And this viewer loved every layer of it and looks forward to watching it again soon.