How do you ruin the expectations of the ardent believers of a serious and an exceptional cult? How do you bring down in front of them something they once considered sacrosanct?
The answer? Adding unnecessary layers to work or a product already complete in itself.
In this context, a reboot called The Matrix Resurrections, which was totally unnecessary.
Yes, according to me, the story was complete and had the necessary closure after part 3. And there was no need for another sequel. But do big production houses listen?
In fact, there is a gag, a jest in the movie itself, when agent Smith himself says, Warner Brothers want a reboot. Everyone loves a reboot. Reboots sell. Something along these lines. Guess, what? Agent Smith was wrong. Not only The Matrix Resurrections has failed miserably at the box office. It has also garnered mixed reviews. But mostly in the binaries. Either positive or extremely negative.
Why is it so?
Well, let’s discuss.
1) The film lacks the seriousness of the original trilogy. Sure one has to improvise and keep up with the trend, and have to have some light moments, to keep people entertained (Yes, everyone, is doing a marvel these days). But it seems, there was too much focus on the one-liners and the jokey part than the seriousness for which the Matrix cult stands for. At some places, these gags look forced and unnecessary. A true Matrix cult fan (who is generally a millenial) found it absolutely disappointing. I respect the Wachowskis too much, but I think the shift of hormones (i.e. from testosterone to estrogen) have indeed changed their outlook. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not at all saying that women are bad writers or bad directors. But to do justice to the trilogy, we needed the Wachowskis of the past and not the Wachowskis of the present. It feels as if two completely different people made the original trilogy and this reboot. This is why many hardcore fans were extremely disappointed.
Sure, who doesn’t want more of Keanu (I simply adore that guy)? and who doesn’t want more of the Matrix Saga? But some stories and some projects are better left finished. It is a tough decision. To let go. And move on. But it seems there are pressures from production houses (as jokingly told in the movie itself) that you have to succumb to, even you don’t wish for it.
2) The movie is more about feelings than facts. And they themselves admit it in the movie itself (with quotes like these ⤵).
Instead of focusing on a higher goal, what it seems like is instead a quasi romance story. A lover who desperately wants to rescue his damsel in distress. The longing to unite with a long lost love. Yes, the movie is all about Neo and Trinity alone.
What happened to their lofty goal of freeing mankind? This, I think, didn’t go well so much with the hardcore Matrix fans. They wanted purpose. They wanted action. But so much time is spent on the relationship aspect, that it makes the original trilogy looks like a geeky affair.
The action sequences are phased out, with too many cuts. It feels as if it was all rushed up. In many places, one can’t even discern what is actually happening. There is so much clutter. Perhaps purposely. Like the original trilogy revolutionized action choreography and special effects, this film has nothing new or bizarre to offer.
3) The rebooted characters of Morpheus and Agent Smith don’t have that charm, that seriousness, associated with the actors who enacted the roles in the original trilogy. At one point Agent Smith says that he is better, but it doesn’t at all feel so. Hugo Weaving is a legend. And the new Smith (Jonathan) couldn’t carry forward the legacy that well. This was a huge disappointment, I think. For the fans.
Well, enough of this negativity and criticism. Let’s focus on the good part. 🙂
1) Well what made the movie bad is what makes the movie good too. These jests. These references. Jokes like Warner brothers needs a reboot. That jibe by the Merovingian on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and Wikipedia was hilarious. There were many other funny moments, especially in the end, and in the post-credit scene (yes, this matrix has a post-credit scene too) that gave many viewers some much-needed laughter, given how serious our lives are, especially in these Corona times.
2) The philosophical aspect. Not only did they depict the concept of Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence on the screen, but they also endorsed Schopenhauer’s views on how making a choice is just an illusion. Many of the ideas on free will, mass propaganda, thought control, feelings vs facts are explicit and many are subtle. But the movie offers a philosophical side too. As a result, it is meant for both intellectuals as well as casual fun-loving people alike.
3) Some super cool dialogues that can be used as quotes. The Matrix Resurrections is full of some super interesting thought-provoking words.
Quotes like this… ⤵
and this… ⤵
Such words make us ponder about our lives, our place and our role in this Universe. They continue the Matrix traditions and do complete justice to it.
4) Machines, AI, and some of the Sentient programs helping humanity. Isn’t that the way forward? Coordination? Symbiotic relationship? Isn’t that the way forward?
There are some super cool science fiction elements in the movie’s real-world too, which is IO now. Extracting the DNA information of the strawberry from its digital signature in the matrix and growing it for real? It was super cool. It gives hope to us that perhaps someday we would be able to revive extinct species, such as Dodo.
The part where we learn that machines fought against each other for control over resources is equally believable. Don’t we humans fight over resources? Why conscious machines be any different? Blood bonds are few. And when it comes to the machines, it is not even the case.
They aren’t indebted to each other. So it is highly likely that two conscious machines would fight in the testing times instead of sacrificing themselves for the sake of “brotherhood”. To me, this part was very convincing.
And last but not least…
5) The Analyst played by Neil Patrik Harris. As expected, it was legendary.
The analyst is not only a highly cunning and vicious fellow, he has a great sense of humour too.
Black and White don’t work for him. Unlike the architect, this guy feels no qualms going back on his words.
And in the ending, his reaction🤣. Even after being humiliated again and again by Trinity, is super hilarious. Super awesome. Super super awesome.
Unlike the serious architect, this guy has lots of shades, is sarcastic, cynical and have a kick-ass attitude. I think Neil did complete justice to his role. He is indeed one of the best things about this reboot.
To sum up everything, The Matrix Resurrections is indeed a mixed bag. It would appeal to some of the fans but would disappoint many others. It is not a bad movie at all. Not if it had been a standalone film. Perhaps an 8+ IMDb star.
But since it is a reboot, a sequel to the original cult trilogy, comparisons would be made. And as compared to the trilogy, it indeed appears to be a bit shoddy and rushed up job. There was no need for this reboot at all. But since they made it, they have to make the fifth one too.
Why I am saying that?
To restore the saga to its rightful place.
They have to make the next part to set things right and provide closure at last.
Many possibilities can be explored, still and there is still scope to redeem.
But if the producers are bogged down by the commercial failure of part 4, and decide not to make the next, the reputation of the Matrix franchise would be tainted forever.
The only way you can undo the disappointment caused by the fourth is by making the fifth.
So Lana, if you are watching this or someone in the Warner Brothers studio is watching, I request you to please make another. We need closure. Once and for all.
Well, that was my POV.
The comment section is all yours.
Do tell me what you feel about my opinions.
Thanks for reading. 🙂