The Matrix Resurrections

Whoa.

Well that’s a blast of nostalgia, a bunch of mind-bending meta universe building, some awesome new characters, a few solid action scenes, and overall quite an action movie. I loved it.

It’s been more than 20 years. I have seen the original Matrix more times than I can easily remember and loved both sequels (even if they didn’t shine quite as bright). When they said they were making another one… I had no idea how in the world they were going to make that possibly work. But you know what? I think they pulled it off–in a way only a Matrix movie really could have.

I really do love the first half of the film, where Neo’s back in the Matrix (spoilers, I suppose, but come on), but this time the original trilogy exists in universe, albeit as video games. And they’re talking about Warner Bros requesting a sequel–in the sequel. I can only imagine brainstorming the brainstorming session. It’s so great.

And the second half, once we get into what happened in the ‘real world’–how Neo and Trinity can possibly be alive, what happened to Zion, how the world changed. It’s great as well. I particularly love the idea of multiple very different sorts of beings living together in relative harmony. Men, machines, and programs, co-existing. It’s something that very much needed what they gave it.

I think my only real problem with the movie is the very very ending. Obviously the good guys win (more or less) and save the day, but I felt it happened a bit too quick, especially after the slower and more philosophical base of the rest of the movie. It works… but I wished for more.

On another track, one thing that I think they knocked out of the park was the casting. Seeing Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss back was great–they’ve both aged, but as gracefully as money can by. I think Reeves may very well actually be immortal.

It is a bit sad not seeing either Laurence Fishburne or Hugo Weaving back. They both did a great job. I do like what they did with the ‘new’ Morpheus and it really fits in the universe they’re building. But still. And Hugo Weaving was apparently busy with his theater life–which, good on him. And Jonathan Groff played the updated Smith role superbly. I think the real standout among the new cast though was Bugs:

Bugs: Okay. My name is Bugs. As in “Bunny.” And tech that listens. Do you know this is a Modal?

She does action great, can stand up as a leader, and absolutely rocks the blue hair and those bizarre sunglasses. Also, philosophy.

Bugs: Morpheus. Okay. Okay. Oh, my God! I have to get you out of here. I need to figure out who built this Modal. Okay, come with me. You have to be ready to leave. You have to be really ready. And if you’re not, if you think that this is where you belong…

Morpheus: You call this a choice?

Bugs: Oh, honestly, when somebody offered me these things, I went off on binary conceptions of the world and said there was no way I was swallowing some symbolic reduction of my life. And the woman with the pills laughed ’cause I was missing the point.

Morpheus: What point?

Bugs: The choice is an illusion. You already know what you have to do.

Honorable mention to Neil Patrick Harris as the Analyst. He played the heck out of that role, but as therapist and as … more.

So he never bothered to realize that you don’t give a shit about facts. It’s all about fiction. The only world that matters is the one in here. And you people believe the craziest shit.

It was weird to see a few people I recognized in more minor roles as well. Christina Ricci (Casper among others) as Gwyn de Vere, Brian J. Smith (from Stargate: Universe) as Berg, and Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who) as Astra. Fun to see them again.

I do find it fascinating that of all the people to bring back… they got Niobe and the Marovingian . That was something to see.