Mild Spoilers Ahead. The choice is yours.

Nearly 18 years after the release of The Matrix Revolutions, fans today rushed to theatres to check out the fourth Matrix installation – The Matrix Resurrections.

With its Y2K aesthetic and philosophical ramifications, The Matrix has been the subject of countless online essays, barroom debates, and film posters over the years. In a changing world at the turn of the millennium, millions were captured by the film’s singular core question – is our world real?

With big shoes to fill, the 2021 sequel has a lot of work to do.

Re-Enter The Matrix

Keanu Reeves Carrie Ann-Moss

Without giving too much away, Resurrections gets the ball rolling with a clean slate compared to the previous films – having fairly little in common. This isn’t surprising given the definitive, ambiguous ending of the trilogy. However, the film does push several questions ahead to longtime fans.

Was the Matrix itself real, or was it just a videogame designed by Keanu Reeves’ Thomas Anderson/Neo? Was Carrie Ann–Moss’ Trinity real or fictional? These questions, and several others, keep pushing on as we discover an inverse side to the original story.

In previous interviews, Keanu himself has commented on how the film aims to flip around the original film’s dynamic. While The Matrix is about Trinity pulling Neo into the ‘real world’, this time, Neo is the one reaching out to her.

The film is visually stunning – there’s no questioning that. From slick action scenes to breathtaking camera and stuntwork, Resurrections certainly pushes the envelope when it comes to sheer spectacle. 

Keanu Reeves Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
The same exact scene plays out in ‘The Matrix’. It’s just prettier here.

The film, however, overindulges heavily on the nostalgia factor. Instead of pushing a unique idea or philosophical conundrum to us, the first half of the movie is drenched in so much fanservice that even diehard fans would begin to get a bit nauseous.

I wouldn’t be too hard on writer-director Lana Wachowski, though. Despite several past references, she seems to have used them to anchor Neo and his supporting cast into a wholly new world, while allowing the last 3 films to make sense.

There’s even some subtle, interwoven commentary on Hollywood’s obsession with reboots – no mean feat for a scriptwriter.

What Do Fans Think?

Keanu Reeves The Matrix

In a nutshell, the film drew fairly mixed responses from critics and audiences alike.

With a reboot-like treatment of a bookended trilogy, it was clear that the film would be compared to the original:

 

Others straight up dismissed the film because of its shrunk casting – losing series favorites such as Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving:

 

One thing that most viewers unanimously agreed on? The film is an absolutely beautiful visual treat, and a perfect choice if you’re looking for some old-school movie theater action.

It also tosses away much of the nostalgia bloat towards the end – making for some great mind-bending moments:

 

Of course, internet darling Keanu brings everyone together with a pretty great performance. Fans also enjoyed the newer additions, such as Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, and Neil Patrick Harris:

 

With deep, layered storytelling hindered by a weak start, The Matrix Resurrections is ultimately a pretty solid film with plenty of thrills for any good fan of the originals.

While it does rely a bit much on its legacy, it does pick up the pace towards the end – giving us more questions to ponder, more Keanu goodness, and plenty of kick-ass action.

(Image Source: Warner Bros. Entertainment)