The Matrix trilogy was a huge success, although the sequels were not as well received as the first film. Either way, the cult fanaticism surrounding the trilogy has led to a larger franchise, equating animated shorts, video games, and comics, revealing the extent of the Matrix ‘s cultural impact.
The latest addition to the franchise, The Matrix Resurrections , covers a pretty similar scenario (except decades in the future). Overall, the fourth installment is just as luxuriously designed as its predecessors, but there are several elements that overshadow or lag behind the original trilogy.
Ten Resurrections Is Better: The premise of the video game is quite fascinating
Ever since news of the sequel broke, fans have wondered how Lana Wachowski plans to breathe new life into a series that ended successfully. It seems that Neo is still alive because that’s what the machines want, although they help keep his real memories in check by mixing them with artificial memories.
Neo is a world famous game designer, a recluse, whose entire life revolves around the video game Matrix that he is developing (within the current Matrix). The concept is not radical, but enough to trigger a new series of missions.
9 Resurrections is worse: mediocre fight choreography and generic action
The original trilogy won public praise for its masterful martial arts choreography, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as film and kung fu anime. The fight sequences involved weeks of detailed planning and flawless execution, but the end result paid off very well.
Unfortunately, the styles employed in Resurrections of the Matrix smacks of generic Hollywood action, from abrupt montage to over-CGI, making it considerably less impressive than its predecessors in this central regard.
8 Resurrections is better: Super Bullet Time is smart, even if it’s not a game changer
Bullet Time was a truly revolutionary addition to film, a format that was eventually adapted to other forms of media, such as television shows and video games. Arguably, the impact of Bullet Time extended beyond audiences and critical appreciation, given that it practically became a movie buzzword.
The Matrix Resurrections incorporates a new and improved version, a process that requires enormous human power and a great deal of modern technology. The new Super Bullet Time slows everything down to a painful drag, so much so that it takes minutes of exposure for a real bullet to reach its destination. Smart, even if the situation doesn’t change.
Seven Resurrections Are Worse: Nostalgic Reminiscences Turn Into Excessive Fanservice
One of the first things audiences noticed about resurrections was the amount of screen time given to the first three films. Excerpts from the trilogy are played back and forth, interspersed and highlighted by the resurrections story.
While adding a few examples of sentimentality wouldn’t be remiss, especially with such a devoted fandom, Resurrections takes nostalgia far enough to seem like fan service.
6 Resurrections Is Better: Sensational Cast, Including Veteran Actors
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Lambert Wilson are the only four OG cast members to reprise their characters in Resurrections of the Matrix .
However, the new film features several fantastic actors, including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, and Priyanka Chopra. In addition to these talented veterans, many brilliant actors from Sense8 (Wachowski’s science fiction television series) play a significant role in Resurrections .
5 Resurrections are worse – unwieldy exposure leaves viewers confused
Exposure was the flaw that turned Reloaded and Revolutions into watered-down extensions of the first Matrix movie – the sequels were a somewhat incoherent mix of philosophy and battle scenarios.
Resurrections does not learn from the past and dives so deeply into discussion and comment that it leaves viewers confused rather than satisfied. Some concepts are pretty simple, but others could have used a lot more show and a lot less tell.
4 Resurrections are better: 21st century aesthetic (and no green tint)
The original trilogy was released between 1999 and 2003 and thus carries the tech cues from that period, with folding phones and old computer consoles being the most commonly viewed items.
By comparison, resurrections take place around 2020, reflecting the technological and cultural arrangements of the current era. The characters use smartphones, wear hipster clothes, and generally behave more independently than their predecessors. More importantly again, resurrections removes the famous green tint.
3 Resurrections are worse: unnecessary references and distracting metacomedy
Strong allusions to Warner Bros. and Hollywood’s ubiquitous dominant reboot culture would have worked in any other movie, but they fail miserably in the fourth installment in an already perfected franchise.
Jokes and jokes that refer to real views on the Matrix rarely reaches the trilogy, from “transpolitics” and “crypto-fascism” to “capitalist exploitation.” Resurrections is intentionally framed in the meta-comic style popularized by a certain mega-superhero franchise, leaving no room for the story to breathe.
2 Resurrections is better – Agent Smith is back
Agent Smith is Neo’s yin yang: shards of light and darkness locked in an eternal battle. At least until Neo realizes that the only way to truly destroy Smith would be through an act of selflessness. Both die together, but are later resurrected together by the machinations of the analysts.
The matrix without Agent Smith seems incomplete, even contradictory, given the overwhelming influence of Hugo Weaving’s antagonist. Jonathan Groff has gigantic shoes to fill, but he manages to become a pretty credible Smith.
1 resurrections are worse: agent smith is back (again)
While Jonathan Groff’s portrayal of Agent Smith is unique and refreshing, the fact that the creators forced an older villain back into the plot suggests a lack of preparation.
Certainly designing new character arcs for the Matrix isn’t that easy, but reworking the same antagonist makes Smith little more than a collector’s item, a keepsake the fandom can hold on to. Smith anchors resurrections to the old days of good versus evil, indirectly preventing the film from spreading its narrative wings.