Continuing on from The Matrix Revolutions (2003), we meet Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a well-known software developer. Known for developing many creative video games, Thomas feels lost and almost robotic as he completes his daily routines. He begins to see and feel things that force him to question reality and the people he interacts with.
Thomas visits his local shrink (Neil Patrick Harris) regularly for support, and his shrink attempts to help Thomas with his concerns, doubts and worries. To help with his worries, Thomas is given prescribed medication which looks like blue pills. He also feels that a stranger at a local coffee shop is familiar and somehow connected to him. What is this world that surrounds Thomas, and more importantly, will he uncover the truth?
Growing up, I was a massive fan of The Matrix, with the first film being an all-time favourite of mine. When Warner Brothers announced the fourth film, I was generally excited to see the world of The Matrix and the return of a few familiar faces. The Matrix Resurrections begins with many (and I mean many!) mysteries and lays down a unique foundation and concept while remaining familiar to the previous films. The good news is that visually, The Matrix is back! The film is filled with lots of creativity and stunning visual effects, delivering a few nice surprises. Movie lovers are encouraged to pay attention while watching as several clues, nods and even easter eggs are shown throughout.
In my opinion, action sequences take a step back from the previous instalments. These sequences are either done with a shaky handheld camera or have generally been filmed with little light and more darkness. At times, action moments are also rather quick, and sometimes they are either challenging to watch or even uninteresting. While it’s exciting to see Keanu Reeves return as the lead, the actor delivers a role that’s different to the previous films. Reeves once again executes powerful action, but here there’s a bigger part to play. His character encounters many mysteries and twists, and he develops a strong romantic connection with a stranger.
I found myself welcoming this new story, especially during the film’s first act. But sadly, once the first act passes, things start to feel either slow or messy. I personally found some aspects confusing to the point that when the credits rolled, I still didn’t feel as though some areas of the main plot made sense or were explained properly. This also goes for certain characters and their outcomes. The transitions and cuts between scenes were also questionable and highly distracting. Scenes at times don’t feel natural and sometimes feel as though they transition into each other randomly.
Another aspect that didn’t work was the attempt at humour, especially from side characters who work around Thomas. Jokes are poorly written and overstay their welcome. I honestly questioned why the filmmakers decided to bring in such childish gags. One joke even referenced Warner Brothers themselves. Attempted comedy and forced gags like this only reminded me instantly of other films such as Space Jam 2: A New Legacy or Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Overall, fans will be pumped to revisit The Matrix, and it is quite exciting to see this world and the leading characters return to the big screen. There is a new fresh story and many mysteries right from the start. Granted, my investment for the film was on point during the opening, but sadly, like the matrix itself, at times, the film feels glitchy, including the editing between scenes, unexplained plot details and key details relating to its characters. The action sequences are thankfully creative and have some fun moments, but some moments lack excitement. In the end, sure, a rewatch might be required to understand the story better, but for some aspects, a rewatch won’t change anything. The Matrix Resurrections (2021) is Now Available in Australian Cinemas!