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The Matrix Resurrections Reviews: Nostalgia Lifts this Deflated Keanu Reeves, Priyanka Chopra Starrer Film

In this world the Matrix is reduced to nothing more than an entertaining story, and while Thomas doesn’t want to make a fourth game, his software company is forcing him to. In January 2020, Eréndira Ibarra was cast, with Priyanka Chopra entering final negotiations. That same month, Lambert Wilson, who played the Merovingian in the sequels, revealed he was in negotiations to return. Weaving was later confirmed to be appearing in the film, but through archive footage from the original trilogy, while Groff was confirmed to have been cast as Smith in December 2021, replacing Weaving. Chopra and Wilson’s castings were confirmed in February 2020, along with the additions of Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith and Ellen Hollman.

Did they have a budget of 10m and a timeline of a week to make this film, it certainly looks like it. Spoilers are understandably a concern with this sort of eagerly anticipated genre movie, but the one benefit of “Resurrections” is that it’s not entirely clear what there is to spoil. Yet the sentiments it inspires in us, the audience, feel drawn from some deeper abyss.

Don’t sleep on Jonathan Groff or Neil Patrick Harris’ mystery characters either. Since his sacrifice at the end of the original trilogy, Neo has been living again as Thomas Anderson, now a programmer known for his game on The Matrix who takes blue pills to stay grounded in everyday reality. A new version big foreignprofit hoard targeted tax plan of Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) arrives to give him another offer to escape from this unreality, and he soon discovers that The Matrix as he knew it is real and has changed beyond his imagination. Neo joins a new group of rebels, aiming to achieve an impossible goal against a terrible enemy.

It’s as if the production team gave up already and conceded that what people yearn for is the original but we will never be able to amount to that, so here are some clips from the original as a supplement. Even the way the archive footage was shoehorned in there showed a lack of creativity or concern. In short, it’s a big case of déjà vu (see what I did there?). Hugo Weaving and Laurence Fishburne had the good sense to stay away from this embarrassing attempt to flog an old horse to death; I bet Christina Ricci and Neil Patrick Harris wish they had followed suit. In this, the fights are meaningless, badly filmed, just thrown in for no reason. There is no tension, no one dies, nothing is really at stake, the FX are terrible.

These new characters they did don’t inspire and don’t have that intellectual depth. The only thing good about this film are the moments of fights, CGI, and of course, it’s nice to see Niobe, Trinity, and Neo. The trailor takes tiny snapshots of the film and make it look like a fantastic blockbuster, but in reality it is a nostalgia-heavy, poorly thought out and terribly acted ‘remake’ of sorts of the first film. There’s one joke that works, but is ruined shortly afterwards.

And then there’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus serving looks after looks. I’ll admit this new Morpheus wouldn’t really work if the character wasn’t played by Yahya. Then there’s Neil Patrick Harris’ perfectly cast therapist act. Added to the supporting ensemble is Priyanka Chopra Jonas who plays Sati and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II makes the role of Morpheus his own, replicating some elements of Fishburne’s performance, while also reinventing the role. Two unexpected stand-out performances were Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff who break out from the boxes they’re typically restricted to on-screen. In addition to Neo and Trinity, Jada Pinkett Smith is back in the role of Niobe, and an older Sati is played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas. It dives into that legacy from the off, as Jessica Henwick’s Resistance leader, Bugs, watches someone who looks like Trinity doing what Trinity did at the beginning of that first film, while characters say the same things other characters said. Bugs — who is in awe of Neo and Trinity, and has studied them for years — has seen this before. Two decades after Neo supposedly died, we find his synthetic alter-ego Thomas Anderson living out his life obliviously, munching blue pills prescribed by his therapist .

Entire sections of past films are recreated in this one, and not because they serve any thematic, plot-related, character-related purpose. They are tactics solely deployed to heave at the nostalgia strings in the hearts of audiences. It feels like a work of fan fiction, filled with fan service. Now, there is meta humor, there is breaking the fourth wall, and then there is parody. “Resurrections,” at times feels absolutely like a parody of itself. The video game aspect feels tacked on and at times exhausted to oblivion, for laughs.

With every passing day, the film, directed by Lilly and Lana Wachowski, seems to mean different things to different people, who all claim it as their own. To some it’s merely the groundbreaking, hugely influential, oft-imitated sci-fi action movie that’s rarely been bettered. The first three minutes of the demo features Reeves and Moss speaking philosophically about reality, games and movies alike, with seemingly high-brow concepts being thrown around. Then, there is a three to four-minute action segment that repeats beats on a loop – in true video game fashion – before the demo drops you into the world of the Matrix to roam around, and only roam around, freely. The whole experience is strangely prophetic, managing to foreshadow how the film feels. The level of meta packed into the first hour of “The Matrix Resurrections” will feel like a boxing glove punching viewers in the face, because of all the jokes the film makes at the expense of the previous trilogy.