While the first Matrix is considered by many to be a modern classic (Contrarian article to come…? Though we already sort of covered “big, convoluted sci-fi premise where a vastness of possibilities boils down to shooting completely normal guns” with Inception), its sequels have been largely disregarded as declining trash. There’s no reason to think that, after The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Lana Wachowski’s third stab at doing this completely inexplicable “Re…” sequel theme would be fruitful. Yet after this first trailer for the latest attempt, well…
It sure is another redone Matrix.
The Matrix Resurrections looks exactly like you’d figure a major studio’s two-decade-old resurrected property would look. This isn’t Twin Peaks: The Return, subverting expectations with some bonkers new thing that sidelines its raven-haired handsome to do something interesting and new. This is all the already-on-the-nose Alice in Wonderland crap and everything else from the original, now somehow reanimated as something even more stupidly explicit. Sure, play Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” as Neo hits young Morpheus so hard that their training dojo frickin’ EXPLODES. Oh, and there’s literally a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Subtle.
The Matrix was, if nothing else, incredibly, admirably timely. “Bullet time” was cool in 1999! But its reprise in 2021 feels, at best, as misguided as the parallel revival of low-rise flared jeans. At worst, it’s a bizarre, tone-deaf indictment of both mental healthcare and medication in a time that needs those things desperately.
Yes, Neo, wash your pills down the sink (which you really shouldn’t do anyway). Your visions of a screensaver of a false reality are real. Doogie Howser, M.D. is another doctor lying to you. Trust what you read on Matrix Facebook.
What a weirdly irresponsible take.
Anyway, if you wish to—as Jonathan Groff laughably suggests here—”go back to The Matrix,” you may do so in theaters or HBO Max December 22.
Otherwise, keep hoping for a sequel to the true Wachowski classic: Speed Racer.