"familiar but different"
Back in 1999, The Wachowski siblings brought us the ground breaking Cinematic entry; The Matrix, bringing with it bullet time and a story that questioned your reality in a compelling way. Following that, we were given two lacklustre sequels that I contend do have some good things and ideas in them, they just weren’t executed in a satisfying way following the promise of The Matrix and the brilliant Animatrix that was very experimental, with a couple of entries serving to bridge the gab between The Matrix and The Matrix: Reloaded.
Fast forward to 2021 and we have Lana Wachowski return to Write and Direct The Matrix: Resurrections, and it is wonderful, very clever and engaging from start to finish.
I won’t delve into the plot since that would give the game away, the best way to see The Matrix: Resurrections is with little to no knowledge of proceedings, and of course see it on the biggest screen with superior sound in IMAX! This is definitely a film that you don’t want to see for the first time on your computer or TV screen, however, with its day and date release on HBO Max and the current state of the world, you may not have a choice.
So, there is enough in The Matrix: Resurrections that feels familiar sprinkled into a compelling new narrative that sees our heroes return in welcomed and unexpected ways. Keanu Reeves shines as Neo, Carrie-Anne Moss hasn’t missed a beat as Trinity and there are no slouches in the new cast; Jessica Henwick is wonderful, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II further shows what a rising star he is, Jonathan Groff and Neil Patrick Harris are stand outs, showing their respective chops and Priyanka Chopra Jonas has some links to the past that are very clever. Jada Pinkett Smith returns as Niobe and she’s great too!
Once again, the music used in a Matrix film is second to none, there is also a cool reinvention by Brass Against of Rage Against The Machine's iconic Wake Up, which plays into the welcomed 'familiar but different' vibe of the film.
As expected, The Matrix: Resurrections does leave itself open to more adventures in this world, so if they go down that route, I'd be all for it, but don't repeat the the mistakes of the past.