The Matrix caused a ripple of change across how films overlapped with reality after it was released in 1999, making waves as in the genre of science fiction and how personal filmmaking can become. Its glossy, sleek cyber-punk framework muddled together with the complexities of science fiction resulted in a fan phenomenon riddled with deep symbolism. Perhaps it should have stayed as a singular film.
It isn't that the themes presented in The Matrix Resurrections have fallen out of relevancy nor have they lost their importance; it's that they struggle under the weight of expectation to match the same groundbreaking effect that they presented through the first film. Thomas "Neo" Anderson (Keanu Reeves) faces off with the haunting of his trauma, coping with reality, and tightly grasps his ongoing love for Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). Reeves fails to lose momentum, as The Matrix Resurrections looks to him to carry the film. To the film's misfortune, it falls apart due to thoughtless mediocrity.
The Matrix Ressurections' screenplay feels completely out of touch with reality for the most part and it is most grounded when focusing on the effects of mental illness. The script itself feels as if it were shelved for a decade prior to the fourth film of The Matrix saga, as most references are outdated, or immature. The caricatures of those with who Anderson comes in contact through his everyday life are too satirical to be taken seriously, with the exception of Trinity. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus and Johnathan Groff as Agent Smith are allowed to give their characters a sense of being aware. While these recast roles know that they are variations of their originals, they remain to be underwritten.
Considering the resources that Warner Bros. has, the computer generation in The Matrix Resurrections is insulting to the high-tech concepts that the franchise founds itself on. Much like the screenwriting, the special effects have an outdated, underdeveloped, look to them that directly distracts away from what the film sets out to fully accomplish. Ideas of grief, love, loss, and healing are washed away by the unnecessary abundance of scenes staggered out in slow motion. The Matrix Resurrections dismisses the including a key action scene that stands out as a prime moment in the film. There's plenty of action, just not to the extent where it will be remembered.
The Matrix Resurrections can be merited for its attempt to honor its predecessors, even if it becomes distracted by trying to please its parent studio. The film, which could have redeemed itself at any moment, ends up catching itself in a tired and uninspired loop of unoriginality. Through an exhausting fourth addition to the series, it's quickly realized that The Matrix shouldn't have been resurrected. 4/10.