Why Matrix Resurrections is the Most Amazing Awful Movie of All Time

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Why Matrix Resurrections is the Most Amazing Awful Movie of All Time. Okay, listen, I will not take any crap from you guys for having a blast during the movie Matrix Resurrections. None. I feel like it’s cool to hate on a retro-movie like Matrix Resurrections for some reason. But I will share with you why exactly Resurrections missed the mark, and where it went awry. But first the small print – I will not be spoiling the Matrix Resurrections until the very end of this post. So if you’d like to read along to find out a bit more about the film before diving in… feel free. I’ll make the spoilers super clear.

Initial Reactions to Matrix Resurrections

Digital vs. Film: First, the feel of the movie: the movie feels nothing like the original Matrix movie. Knowing nothing about the cinematography, the shooting style, really anything about Resurrections, I could tell it was shot entirely differently from Matrix 1. And spending exactly 12 seconds researching, I’ve realized that Resurrections is the first Matrix film that was shot digitally. It was apparently shot with RED Digital Cinema. “The original film was shot with a green filter, a tonal key borrowed from the green code typical of industrial computer monitors of the time. It was also shot, like its two sequels, on film. For The Matrix Resurrections, Wachowski wanted to take advantage of the versatility of digital. “Pausing to reload film reels would just delay the creative efficiency,” said Massaccesi. And yeah, the plastic-ness of the digital shoot made it something else entirely. Not horrible. Just different. It literally put us in an entirely different universe with that one decision.

Film Casting: A few of the casting choices were inspired. I mean, obviously Keanu Reeves, and Carrie Anne Moss were geniusly cast. But yeah. Jessica Henwick as Bugs was the single standout in the new cast… at least for me. But she is well versed in the world of enormously budgeted and sequeled IP work having participated in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and also the Game of Thrones. And Priyanka Chopra Jones (She is also in The Sky is Pink, which I’ve been dying to get my hands on for the better part of a year now.) as the young girl Sati from the previous movies was also inspired. Which brings me to Neil Patrick Harris… I did say that this would be a spoiler free conversation, but let’s leave at this, you will either love Neil Patrick Harris… or you hate him. I personally loved his character. I found it interesting how they used his role, and what they did with him. Again… no spoiling anything here.

Now to the bad – Um. Morpheus? There is one Morpheus. I literally assumed Lawrence Fishburne was dead. But nope. Here’s what he had to say about his exclusion: ‘Fishburne himself has gone on record saying he is not involved with “Resurrections.” The actor revealed to Vulture last summer that he was not invited back to play the character in the new sequel. Fishburne added, “Maybe that will make me write another play. I’m looking for the blessing in that. I wish them well.’

Screenplay: The screenplay had moments of bliss. I personally believe that Matrix 2 and Matrix 3 were not good cinema, but rather, half decent anime. Think through that comment a couple times. M2&3 were passable Japanimation, but not quality Matrix movies. Half the movies were just marines in mechs firing countless shells into the sky and screaming bloody murder. I haven’t read the screenplays for Matrix 2 and 3 but I’m guessing there were pages and pages of the following: “Marine in APU: “AHHHHHGGGGGGGHHHHH… AAGGGGHGHGHHHHHHH!!!!!!” for pages and pages and pages. Don’t believe me? Try this out…

So, while talking about the screenplay, I’m only talking about the original Matrix movie. The original Matrix screenplay is the stuff of legends. Now, The Matrix: Resurrections isn’t, by any stretch, on par with the original Matrix. But compared to Matrix 2 & 3 it’s flipping Hamlet. The script has a clear and tight plot-line, there are characters that we care about, there is a rising and falling storyline, and a cleverly twisted surprise ending. Resurrections also gives us a really enticing love story that was basically implied in the past, but wasn’t explicitly discussed. And in Resurrections, we have a real live/die Neo has to save Trinity sort of plot line.

Action: I will be honest here – the action sequences were pretty poor. Like daytime TV poor. I’m sure a lot of that feeling of mine comes from the fact that it was all shot in digital and it had a really different feeling to the film. But there were a few scenes that I just was like, oh, please. Like when Bugs slid down a sign with light bulbs all the way down it after jumping off a roof… it was just “HI! I’m on harness, nowhere near the sign! I mean, there were a few glimmers… hints of the old self here. But really? If you came to this movie hoping for the glorious, semi flipping, real bullet time glory of old?? Nah. There was really none of that to be found.

The Screenplay’s Philosophy – The reason The Matrix was brilliant wasn’t specifically the action sequences, or the bullet time… tho those things definitely helped, but rather because of the philosophical underpinnings of the story. If you weren’t aware, The Matrix was based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Basically, the Intro to Philosophy version of this story is that Plato postulated that we are all bound in stocks, sitting in a cave, staring at a wall. And what we mistake for reality is just shadows on the wall projected from a fire behind us. We believe we are living our fullest life, and instead, we are enchained and we don’t even know it. The Matrix is our cave… and we are just batteries, we are emitting BTUs that the machines are sucking up for their own use. We need to be awakened. But to be it requires the Philosopher King to awaken from their repose in the cave, in order to realize what is happening. And it requires the Philosopher King to come back and rouse us all from our slumber, to alert us to the fact that we are adrift and we don’t even know it. And similarly, with Resurrections, it too has glorious moments of philosophical underpinnings. Of required re-awakenings and desperate attempts to STAY awake this time instead of being locked in our modals… trapped in our caves… endlessly swallowing the lies that we have been told.

Which brings me to where I really, really enjoyed this movie. The exposition. Normally people say this as a pejorative. THERE WAS SO MUCH EXPOSITION!!! But in Resurrections it was the thing that made me the happiest. Even brought a tear to my eye more than once. The desire for so much more, the yearn for a better world, the hope to escape the cave, to find a love that matters, and to make our lives better?? That was all here in spades. And I heard my heart sing to the glory of many of these lines. But if you think talking movies are stupid? Wow, you will hate this movie.

Why Matrix Resurrections is the Most Amazing Awful Movie of All Time - because there were a few amazing things here worth discussing.

Final Thoughts on The Matrix Resurrections – Spoilers

Nothing will recapture the glory that is the original Matrix movie. The grittiness, the action, the idea, the philosophy, the love story. Personally, I believe there is only one story and it is the story of our connection to something greater than ourselves… our connection, or disconnection to that greater thing. And the Matrix taps into that singular story better than probably any other story I’ve ever seen told. While Matrix 2 & 3 failed at capturing that lightening in the bottle of this story of our disconnection, and subsequent re-connection to our larger story, Matrix 4 did a much better job at this. The only problem? The movie itself is only marginally passable. It was as if a few studio heads at Warner Brothers saw the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars after a 20-year delay, and thought, heck. Why not? We are guaranteed to make money here… so let’s go! And go they did.

I will say that the idea of expanding on the connection between Neo and Trinity was a really solid idea. And the ending really delivered on this cleverness… in that Trinity was the one that saved Neo, not the other way around. This leap off the building, and Neo’s falling was clever. And Trinity’s saving Neo really brought the love story full circle. But almost everything else in this story failed pretty miserably. There was no Morpheus to discuss with Neo the deeper significances in the world of the Matrix. There was no Oracle that would expound on our state of fate/choice/predestination. There wasn’t much in the way of real meaning, save for the fact that Neo and The Analyst was a quasi-interesting idea. And yet, for all of that… I really enjoyed swatches of this movie and just can’t shake some of the themes and discussion points that were made here. I don’t know, what did you think of Matrix Resurrections? I’d love to hear about your thoughts in the comments.

Edited by: CY