Some 20 years after the first Matrix trilogy film shattered the collective psyche with its conundrum between the red pill and the blue pill, we see Keanu Reeves reprise the role of Thomas Anderson / Neo once again. This time around, Thomas is back in the “real world” and living his life as a famous video game maker. However, the facade of this happy reality is about to be shattered.
the Matrix resurrections starts off with an opening act that is very self-deprecating and breaks the fourth wall. It works great as an opening to a much-loved trilogy, after such a long pause between releases. Once the film passes that point, the nostalgia wanes and the plot gets bogged down in the exhibition a bit.
Trans Allegory woven into its fabric
Visually, the original trilogy and this new opus could not be more contrasted. The first trio of films were dark, cold, and lit only by artificial blue light, while Matrix resurrections is bright, colorful, warm and strewn with rays of natural light. It all seems to play into the trans allegory that Lana Wachowski has woven into the fabric of these films. Considering that Lana only made the transition after the original trilogy, this latest entry feels like a celebration of her search for peace with her real self.
As a straight man, maybe the trans allegory was lost on me, as I watched the original trilogy as a teenager. However, looking at Matrix resurrections with that theory in mind and analyzing the film through this lens, the subtle nuances are all there, especially using light and color. But they don’t stop there.
Across all four films, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are the mainstays of the story, only together are they able to achieve greatness. While Matrix resurrections, we see the power dynamic between these two characters shift from male Neo to female Trinity, perhaps another reference to Lana Wachowski’s own transition.
Globally, Matrix resurrections feels like a fresh and pleasant point of return to the world of The matrix. The film contains all of the action-packed fight sequences, riddled with hearty bullet moments, visually stunning cinematography, and a punchy soundtrack. But perhaps most of all, this movie feels like it brings more depth, nuance, and meaning to a franchise that now spans two decades.
the Matrix resurrections easily takes second place in the ranking of The matrix franchise, after the first of course.