In the Matrix trilogy, we see a future where humans have long been replaced by androids. Some people still remember that their reality is an illusion-a false program created by machines. With advances in computing power, it’s possible for movies to be much more realistic than ever before.
The “the matrix resurrections review reddit” is a movie that has been released on March 23rd, 2018. The film was directed by the Wachowski siblings, who also wrote and produced the original Matrix trilogy. It stars Lana Wachowski as Trinity, Keanu Reeves as Neo, and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus.
Review of The Matrix Resurrections
Lana Wachowski directed the film.
It’s only right that a film like The Matrix Resurrections—the long-awaited sequel to Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s breakthrough film trilogy—begins and ends in a simulation. After all, this is the same franchise that popularized a pop philosophy approach to the Simulation Hypothesis and solidified the term “red-pilled” into our (increasingly unstable) lexicon. It’s also a maneuver mastered by the Wachowskis’ first film, which is now regarded as a cult masterpiece of science fiction and action filmmaking in its own right.
Some could argue that there’s no harm in allowing such deliberate acts of creative déjà vu to occur. It’s only a little nostalgic desire for the past offered via warm gestures to the past. Unless such is the case, the experience of the “already seen” becomes an aberration in and of itself, a pathologized narrative instantiation of choice, a catastrophic cascade of third-order simulacra displayed as late capitalism’s hideous funhouse mirror. As a result, witnessing The Matrix Resurrections in 2021 seems more like a strange déjà vu: a malfunction in the lived experience of The Matrix as The Matrix; the startling realization of a helpless ghost trapped in the all-consuming algorithmic machine. But I’ll get to it in a minute.
Resurrections follows the activities of Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves), nicknamed the hacker Neo, aka “The One,” in the same way as its ponderous predecessors did. Following an initial detour, we see Neo in a simulated dream world once again. He’s a bit older now, and largely befuddled, working as a prominent game designer in San Francisco, where he’s in charge of designing a video game trilogy based on the events of The Matrix film franchise—yes, right down to the title, characters, and action figures. Neo is still the same existentially curious hacker we know and root for, daring to question the validity of this strange un-reality by running “modal loops” of his own “fictional” creations, caught between drunken fits of suicidal ideation and therapy sessions with the unnerving Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris) that end in prescriptions for familiar blue pills, pushing his visions of extraordinary past lives back into the foggy recesses of hollywood.
This apparently perfect world starts to unravel in ways that cannot be ignored once Neo’s corporate bosses demand a hurriedly workshopped successor to his cherished gaming series. At a coffee shop called “Simulatte,” Neo meets Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss), who resembles the Trinity of his game/dreams and shares his glimpses of former lives without fully comprehending their importance. His politely nefarious boss (Jonathan Groff) starts channeling the prickly persona of the once-vanquished Agent Smith, and he has a bloody run-in with a simulated version of Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) that leads to his rescue and eventual unplugging at the hands of rebel captain Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and her crew of freed-humans. Neo must return to the Matrix and rescue Tiffany/Trinity before their foretold love fades away forever, now that the dreamer has reawakened.
That’s because everything here is aggressively on-the-nose in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, excruciatingly metafictional, “Deadpool self-awareness” sort of manner. Despite Lana Wachowski’s best efforts, as well as those of co-writers and longstanding colleagues David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, that notion is both the goal and the difficulty of Resurrections.
For well over a decade, rumors about a fourth Matrix picture have been circulating in Hollywood circles. While they both vehemently denied any interest in returning to the franchise, the Wachowskis’ position with Warner Bros. executives grew increasingly tenuous throughout the 2010s, as their follow-up films received mixed critical and commercial success: Speed Racer (2008), Cloud Atlas (2012), and the box-office flop Jupiter Ascending (2015). According to reports, Warner Bros. pressed through with a new Matrix film without their input, and a polished script by Zak Penn was finally created.
Resurrections was not formally confirmed until 2019, with Lana Wachowski planned to direct (without Evangeline Lilly this time) and production beginning in early 2020, just in time for the worldwide epidemic that almost destroyed the picture. What’s more, these Hollywood snippets appear immediately in the film’s tonally off-kilter opening act, which is especially intriguing. Wachowski has Neo sit through meeting after meeting of enthusiastic twenty-somethings at his gaming firm, while they vociferously examine The Matrix trilogy as text and cultural touchstone—”Philosophy! Crypto-fascism!” in a bizarre Kaufman-esque turn. Bullet-time!” they exclaim, desperately hoping to elicit a fresh plot for their much-needed next chapter. It’s an excruciatingly self-referential scene in which Wachowski almost pours herself through the fourth wall and onto the screen.
In the end, one may ask what the objective of this exercise is. Resurrections does it in the most openly satirical but narratively toothless manner possible to bring attention to our culture obsession on reboots and rehashing old media goods via the intertwining of creative creation with late-capitalist imperatives. Cheap allusions aren’t refutations, and indirect criticism isn’t enough critique.
Whatever you think of the original Matrix and its much worse sequels, Reloaded (2003) and Revolutions (2003), at least they coupled narrative complexity with visual spectacle. If you were looking for a simply aesthetic experience, the VFX show on offer was a time-honored masterpiece with few equals. Each picture pushed the limit for action choreography, actual stunt work, and really exhilarating directorial decisions if technical expertise was the main goal. And if all that shoot-out madness and leather jacket fiesta weren’t enough to keep you entertained, there was always heavy cyberpunk mythology and deep, philosophically demanding worldbuilding to keep the nerds happy. It’s noteworthy, though, that Resurrections fails to strike any one of these key indicators and seems entirely unconcerned about its own flaws.
There isn’t a single memorable battle sequence in the whole movie, and when gunfights or hand-to-hand fighting are depicted, the camera work is unstable to the point of being unrecognizable. It’s evident that Reeves’ late-career success with the John Wick trilogy sold Warner Bros. on the notion of more Matrix mayhem, but this Neo is nothing like “The One,” who beat off a horde of Smiths without breaking a sweat. Larger-scale set-pieces are also marred by odd directorial decisions, such as the third act conclusion, which features a motorbike pursuit and the arrival of agent “swarms” in near darkness, making their dispatch seem like a low-rate zombie flick’s perfunctory headshot reflex. The Bugs crew is indistinguishable from one another, there are no serious injuries, and the whole episode lacks stakes and dramatic intensity.
The picture readily matches the visual standards established by today’s top blockbusters (i.e. every multi-million-dollar superhero feature of the last fifteen years). While the inclusion of various cute, anthropomorphized machine sidekicks to the world of freed-human society (known as “synthients”) allows for some CGI razzle-dazzle, nothing compares to Neo and Trinity’s elevator lobby murder spree, the Agent Smith boss-fights, or the gritty realism of Zion’s subterranean rave den. Resurrections also overuses archive material from the previous film trilogy, cramming sequences into the narrative for cheap dramatic effect, sometimes accompanied with emotional needle drop signals, with or without supporting character beats. When film shot around the start of the 2000 seems more fascinating and “genuine” than footage shot on a current $200 million budget, it’s a significant sign.
Finally, the tale of Resurrections is completely unnecessary to the overall plot of the film series, and it badly undermines the previously established film canon in many respects. Consider the characters in the film. As the primary narrative revolves on Neo and Trinity’s love story, the ancillary characters are left with no choice except to wander from scene to scene while events unfold around them. Why go to the trouble of putting in legendary characters like Morpheus and Smith, recasting them with new faces, and then ignoring them for the most of the movie? Why bring back Jada Pinkett Smith as General Niobe simply to utilize her for exposition dumps and a few lengthy stares? It’s simply mind-boggling.
Zooming out, the existence of a film like Resurrections throws everything before it into doubt. The first film trilogy closed with concerns about peace and rebirth, whether man-machine cooperation was feasible, and if the link between reality and the Matrix’s dreamworld might eventually reveal what it is to be genuinely human. In his book “Real Simulations: Notes on the Matrix Trilogy,” Matt Colquhoun writes:
Is it reasonable to assume that the actual world is the real world just because it is the worse of the two? And how does this explain Neo’s newly discovered ability to employ his superhuman abilities outside of the Matrix? Isn’t the Matrix just as real as the actual world if the real world is just as much of a simulation as the Matrix? What is anybody fighting for if that is the case?
Resurrections, on the other hand, is disinterested in delving into or undermining these bigger ontological issues. Instead, the film’s uneasiness is founded in issues of fear and desire, in which memory may be weaponized and abused. When The Analyst eventually gets his big villain moment, he expounds on human vulnerability and how all that was required was a means to maximize fear and want in the system, and humans-as-batteries started to create more energy for their machine rulers. It’s certainly no coincidence that this speech is delivered in business jargon and edgy meme phrases, with references to “productivity” and “efficiency” interspersed with quips about “feelings” over “facts” and people as actual “sheeple.”
Indeed, the worst of Resurrections is the change of a terrifying opponent renowned for brutality, relentless force, and cold reason into a snivelling, office space, middle management fool with tofu banter jabs. The conclusion of the film seems like a mash-up of Terminator Genisys and a cosplaying Ocean’s 11 (or, if you prefer, Terminator Genisynthient and Ocean’s 001011). However, if the pigs want their slop, they will get it. “Nothing soothes tension like a little nostalgia,” Morpheus says to Neo during their first encounter.
Slovenian philosopher Slavoj iek claims in The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006) that “Cinema is the art of appearances, tells us something about reality itself.” It reveals something about how reality is constructed.” When seen in this light, Resurrections’ impressions are certain to be as polarized and multi-valent as the waking world we live in, the weary result of our own hurriedly workshopped, consumer-curated modal cycles.
For others, it will be enough that it is the ambitious, big-swing love narrative Lana Wachowski so fervently envisioned. Others will see it as a jab at our culture’s ravenous demand for infinite iterations of recycled IP as ideological comfort food, crass business motivation, and the Marvel-fication of movies. And it will continue to be a source of seductive indifference for a select few, including this critic. A stain on the heritage of a once-loved, era-defining event reduced to simple artifice and a collection of meaningless signs, with any deeper subtext flattened into plain text insidiously.
“So déjà vu, and yet it’s plainly all wrong,” Bugs observes early in the film. Perhaps this isn’t the tale we believe it to be.” To be honest, it may be the case. Or maybe it’s that narrative. Finally, the fact that Resurrections exists is the most damning thing one can say about it.
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The “the matrix resurrections trailer” is a movie that was released in July of this year. The film has been highly anticipated and the trailer looks very promising.
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