The Matrix Resurrections is exhausting.
There are many worlds within worlds within worlds that Keanu Reeves and friends move through at a dizzying pace. They change appearances and locales along the way until it all becomes quite confusing.
Fans of the original trilogy will likely enjoy it, but folks not as familiar with the concepts may find it a hard pill to swallow, either red or blue. And if you don’t understand the red or blue pill joke there, this movie is not for you.
The movie opens in theaters and HBO Max on Wednesday, Dec. 22, to capitalize on the Christmas rush.
It picks up 20 years after the last Matrix film, Matrix: Revolutions, that was released in 2003. Stars Reeves (Neo/Thomas Anderson) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity/Tiffany) died at the end of that film but are cleverly resurrected in this movie.
The first film in the series, The Matrix,was a brilliant concept; we are all actually unknowing participants in a giant computer program. The next two movies stretched the concept. The newest stretches it beyond the snapping point.
The film was co-written and directed by Lana Wachowski, who was Larry Wachowski when she first made the first film before transitioning around 2008. Her sibling, Andy, now Lilly, Wachowski, who also created the trilogy, declined involvement in the latest film.
Resurrection boasts incredible mind-bending special effects as Reeves and his rag-tag band of rebels fight for their world, though it’s sometimes hard to figure out what they are fighting for since the world keeps changing around them.
Reeves is perfect, particularly when portraying the conflicted and confused main character. Likewise, Moss is equally good as his once and future paramour.
Neil Patrick Harris is especiallt effective as the calculating Analyst, who tries to convince Reeves and friends that they are better off following his path.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays the enigmatic Morpheus in the sequel, inheriting the role from the great Laurence Fishburn. Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Sati,) Christina Ricci (Gwyn de Vere) and Toby Onwumere (Sequoia) and a host of others round out the cast as they jump from world to world (or is it simulation to simulation?) in an effort to stop the machines from taking over completely. Or something like that.
The complications are so profound that the writers themselves took a jab at the film. In one sequence, when they are talking about the latest adaptation of the Matrix video game, a character questions if Warner Brothers knows what it’s doing by releasing the new version.
Resurrections is basically a collection of fancy, slow-motion fight sequences that seem to go on forever and yet (thankfully) are surprisingly bloodless.
It’s a video game on steroids, 148 minutes of mayhem with pretty special effects made for fans of the trilogy who demanded more.
By the way, about the red and blue pills are from the first trilogy: the red pill opens people’s minds to life-changing reality while the blue pill allows them to remain ignorant and live in a fantasy world.
In the case of this movie, take the blue pill.