The Matrix Resurrections: A worthy installment, or just another loop?

Peter Kaiser, Staff Writer

The Matrix. Whenever its cult-classic title is dropped, an air of nostalgia fills the room.  As a kid, having never seen the Matrix, and hearing only stories from the “cool” third graders whose parents let them watch it, I was left to conjure up chimeras of what this movie, the tip of everyone’s tongue, might really be like.  Having only recently watched the original a couple of weeks ago (uncultured, I know), I can officially say that it held up to my boyish expectations. 

Now there’s a new buster-on-the-block: The Matrix Resurrections. Its very title suggests an allusion to all those fond, green-tinted memories. Seeing the “John Wick” Keanu Reeves living out his old role as Neo in the trailer definitely ignited once again my youthful hopes. But after watching it, I question whether it really earns its place among the other green giants, or if it’s just another repeated pattern in its own matrix.

The movie opens with pretty much just a remastered scene from the first Matrix. Carrie-Anne Moss is at it again with her killer gymnastics in that ramshackle Heart O’ the City Hotel, and one of the Matrix system agents is there to rehearse his famous line, “Your men … are already dead.”

The story will go on to elaborate that this is not a copy-paste scene, but instead a system loop designed to trap human members of the resistance against the Matrix. However, even with these opening shots, a theme is set that is repeated throughout the rest of the movie: this movie is just an echo chamber of the first.

As you continue to watch the film, you’ll start to notice frequent similarities to the original. Thomas Anderson (or Neo, as we all know him), is trapped in yet another matrix, and must be set free by Morpheus and a ragtag group of human survivors from the Matrix’s deception that he leads a monotonous life as a tech geek. He’s given another red pill and is freed from the matrix’s illusion, and is hunted for recapture by the very same Agent Smith and a new (finally, something new) antagonist known as “The Analyst.” Morpheus trains Neo in another dojo scene, and after demonstrating his immense power, Neo embarks in a series of raids on the Matrix to reunite with his old girlfriend Tiffany, excuse me, Trinity. Starting to see double?

Now, don’t get me wrong, the movie has its moments.  The action scenes are amped up, CGI is smoother, and it’s genuinely entertaining to watch Keanu Reeves in action in another mind-boggling matrix. As Jude (undercover sinister system spy) would put it, it’s not a bad thing that “it’s about the guns,” it’s just disappointing to see the Matrix look more like a green recycling bin rather than a green-numbered great.

All in all, I would probably give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. It’s worth seeing if you’re on an airplane, enjoy watching Keanu Reeves fight it out, or want to see another matrix puzzle unfold, but other than that the movie really double-dips out of nostalgia, and is essentially a spiritual reboot of the original. Oh, and they include more of those pointless “cute” creature things that directors love to add for some reason; who even likes those?