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“Matrix Resurrections” Tries To Justify Repeating The Past – Times-Standard

“The Matrix Resurrections” knows there shouldn’t be.

Better said, director and co-writer Lana Wachowski – half the sibling duo behind the hugely influential and mind-boggling 1999 sci-fi action piece ‘The Matrix’, along with its two mind-boggling sequels – seems to be the one. knowing the fourth movie shouldn’t be a thing.

A Warner Bros. Pictures which debuts in theaters and on HBO Max this week, “The Matrix Resurrections” brings back two of the trilogy’s stars, Keannu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, for a fourth adventure that offers little beyond what is. now the standard action -Flick fare and a reasonably fun meta-conscience on the whole affair.

Keannu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss appear in a scene from “The Matrix Resurrections”. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Are you ready to laugh a little about the existence of a fourth “Matrix”? You better be.

To be fair, the first third or so of “Resurrections” is quite intriguing, starting with a hacker named Bugs (Jessica Henwick, “Iron Fist”) and an associate, Sequoia (Toby Onwumere), witnessing a streak that is almost exactly like what happens at the start of “The Matrix”. They – and we – see a policeman telling some well-dressed “officers” that a dangerous woman will soon be pulled from a building. And he thinks, “We can handle a little girl.”

“Lieutenant,” the agent replies, “your men are already dead. “

Bugs and Sequoia are intrigued by this, as are we.

However, the slow but steady denouement of the illusion that the film will have something truly original to offer begins shortly thereafter as Bugs meets a new digital take on Morpheus, the backbone of the “Matrix” trilogy, the iconic character. originally performed by Laurence Fishburne but now inhabited by the young Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

“Resurrections” must now turn to Thomas Anderson, aka Neo, aka “The One”, the character Reeves was born to be. It is now several years after the events of the trilogy, and Thomas is once again living in what he believes to be the real world.

He’s a video game developer responsible for a trilogy of groundbreaking “Matrix” games, which use footage we know to be from the original movie.

Mr. Anderson is informed by his boss, Smith (Jonathan Groff, “Mindhunter”), that their parent company, Warner Bros. is demanding a fourth entry all these years later and that it’s up to them to deliver something pretty special.

See what they’re doing there?

None of this helps Thomas with the unhappiness he feels over thoughts from another life. Apparently having attempted suicide, he sees a therapist we’ll know as The Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris), who tries to comfort him in part by drowning him in a sea of ​​blue pills.

Bugs – who, of course, is the white rabbit in this movie – asks Thomas to follow her, and he then meets the new Morpheus, who naturally offers him a red pill that makes the world spread.

And, yes, we even get a re-enactment of Morpheus and Neo’s martial arts showdown, the invitation Neo can’t quite believe.

We hear you, mate.

Unsurprisingly, “The Matrix Resurrections” gets very convoluted from there, with a story that demands more attention than you might want to give it.

That said, it is wisely emotionally grounded in Neo’s desire to save the Trinity from Moss, which he thought was long dead but which exists in his current imaginary existence as Tiffany, a suburban woman and mother of three. with a weakness for cool motorcycles.

Saving humanity from the machines that control the Matrix can start with saving Trinity.

The screenplay by Wachowski, David Mitchell (Wachowski’s “Cloud Atlas”) and Aleksandar Hemon (the “The Lazarus Project” novel) loses a lot of momentum after burning off most of its meta-heavy fun. The writers, however, keep a funny and twisted idea for the end of the action-heavy case.

Wachowski’s direction is good, but it fails to keep you engaged as bullets fly and characters move up and down walls etc.

Visually, with the help of collaborators including cinematographers Daniele Massaccesi and John Toll and production designers Hugh Bateup and Peter Walpole, his new “Matrix” looks mostly like what you’d expect from a franchise entry plus 20 years after the original fell into popular culture with the force of an atomic bomb. However, one particular effect that has been used over and over again seems oddly cheap.

It also looked impressive during a recent advanced screening in an auditorium equipped with IMAX.

It doesn’t help the movie that Reeves seems to rather not be there for it. He’ll never be mistaken for one of the best actors in the world, but he’s obviously not engaged in this world like he was back then. It’s similar to the vibe it gives off in last year’s “Bill & Ted Face the Music” – another movie trying to regain the glory of a long time ago and which needs it in the frame. of the equation.

Maybe stick to the “John Wick” series, Mr. Reeves.

At the very least, it’s nice to see Moss (“Jessica Jones”) back on the big screen. Whatever problems this movie may have, she’s not one of them.

On the other hand, as talented as Abdul-Mateen (“Candyman”) is, his version of Morpheus is just not convincing – something that is clearly not entirely his fault. The inclusion of the character seems to be the movie’s biggest overdoing.

Note that “The Matrix Resurrections” allows the possibility of a fifth film. And while this one has a little fun and a few thrills to offer, it’s mostly the same. It’s probably time to stop following the rabbits.

Are you interested in blue pills?

“The Matrix Resurrections” is rated R for violence and some language.