The original Matrix picture was a cultural landmark, exposing audiences to outstanding special effects as well as a fresh perspective on living in the internet age. It was a call to self-improvement in wakefulness, as opposed to the present wokeness epidemic. With inventive graphics, beautiful action, and distinctive fashion, it was a stunning work of cinema.
I am sorry to report that “The Matrix Resurrections” is a rehash of poor and underwhelming VFX, unsteady, indifferent action, and a wildly cluttered, ceaselessly repetitious plot. In a nutshell, it’s a cyberpunk take on “Groundhog Day” and no where near as entertaining. It was about what I’ve come to expect from rehashed reboot revival movies.
Since its release on the big screen and online on December 22, the HBO Max mashup has barely scraped past $120 million worldwide, which isn’t ideal considering the sci-fi actioner’s budget was reported to be around $190 million. Throw in additional expenditures of marketing, advertising, and distribution, which are estimated to add another fifty-million to the budget, and the financial picture gets even worse.
According to World of Reel, Resurrections could end up losing at least $100 million by the time the dust settles, which explains why neither director Lana Wachowski nor star Keanu Reeves have shown a desire for more sequels. Will this also quench Hollywood’s insatiable thirst for pointless reboots and sequels? In the contraction of the industry in the wake of last year’s pandemic, perhaps the studios will begin to understand this.
According to Forbes, Wachowski returning along with Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss was mostly a matter of not wanting anyone else to mess with their franchise, so returning to The Matrix was inevitable no matter who was at the wheel. And after Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned over $2 billion globally, studios are convinced that legacy sequels are more profitable than remakes and reboots. I can’t say either way, except to submit that Star Wars was an exception to the rule, both regarding budget and audience demand, until Rian Johnson fucked things up.
So returning to the Matrix was a done deal with or without a Wachowski brother, or sister, and even without Moss or Reeves, in spite of it being a sequel no one was asking for to a film franchise that peaked in 1999. The director and the stars have no interest in returning anymore. The film looks like its going to cost the studio about $100 million dollars. The moviegoing public was underwhelmed.
All this adds a bit of irony to the meta post credits scene that calls back to the Catrix, where we revisit the game coders introduced earlier in the film. The clip begins with one of them discussing how “movies are dead,” “games are dead” and “narrative is dead.”
I submit that the Matrix is now dead. Hopefully badly done legacy sequels are dead as well. Thanks, Warner Bros.