THE MATRICAL RESURRECTIONS (15, 148 min) Science-Fiction / Action / Adventure / Romance. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris. Director: Lana Wachowski.
WHEN Lana and Lilly Wachowski wired movie audiences on The Matrix in 1999, the rush of blood at the head of “bullet time” was intoxicating. They supercharged a hyperkinetic style of directing that has been relentlessly plundered by pop culture.
The franchise suffered cardiac arrest with the winding second chapter, The Matrix Reloaded, then stalled a few months later in 2003 with the torturous conclusion The Matrix Revolutions.
Unlike its promising title, The Matrix Resurrections turns off Life Support and unplugges from the mains, bringing together core cast members Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss for an absurd and nostalgic exercise in stunning self-glorification.
A blitzkrieg of old images nods and nods to artistic, life-like vanity that invites one character to verbally refer to “our beloved parent company Warner Bros” and another to limp out of the fray with the signature “This is not over. I’ll see you in a franchise spin-off.”
If box office receipts are high, I’m afraid their threat is prophetic rather than pathetic.
Directed only by Lana, the fourth picture has a dongle stuck so high in its USB port that he doesn’t realize the only people laughing at jokes are on the screen.
The action sequences are breathtakingly choreographed, recycling key motifs, including bullet casings tumbling down in slow motion, but a nighttime car chase fails its TC and looks surprisingly like the zombified car carnage in the horror sequel. South Korean Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula.
If seeing is believing, Thomas Anderson (Reeves) is now an award-winning designer of the Matrix video game trilogy. Based in San Francisco at the company he co-owns with his business partner Smith (Jonathan Groff), Thomas regularly visits a benevolent therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) after a failed suicide attempt and gleefully swallows the pills. blue prescribed to calm the voices in his directing.
“Don’t do that Keanu movie,” they say. Not listened to.
When a renegade agent called Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and a new version of Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) persuade Thomas to take a red pill, the savior of mankind takes another fall into the rabbit hole with an enthusiast motorcycle called Tiffany (Moss).
The Matrix Resurrections is too meta to exceed the curiosity value of Reeves and Moss, both in their fabulous 50s, again defying gravity in puffy sunglasses and trench coats.
Sadly, they share insufficient screen time to rekindle the chemistry of the molten screen while Abdul-Mateen II is a lackluster substitute for Laurence Fishburne’s theatrics. Henwick is such a terribly endorsed courageous addition.
At the end of The Matrix Revolutions, the exiled program Sati asked the Oracle if they would ever see Messianic Neo again after his sacrifice in Machine City.
“I suspect it, one day,” intoned the sage. For once, I wish she was wrong.