It is sort of nice to get the old band together, perhaps for the last time. Ana Wachowski wrote, directed, and produced this fourth in the “Matrix” series. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith return to their old roles. With the same cast, the same writer, and the same director we have every right to expect the same old magic.
Maybe it has just been too long for me to remember the details of the complex storyline, it has been nearly two decades since the last iteration of the franchise. Or maybe the filmmakers mixed up confusion with interesting complexity. It is hard to remember which reality we are dealing with in too many places in the movie. When the audience has to puzzle out if we are in a dream reality, standard reality, or the secret reality behind the real reality, it just gets to be too much.
None of that is the fault of the players or the fault of the martial arts masters who choreographed the many fight scenes. Nor was it the fault of the special effects people who created the colorful and frightening scenes. All that was up to the highest standards.
Neil Patrick Harris (of “Doogie Howser M.D.” fame) plays a prominent role. Christina Ricci has a cameo, so watch for her.
In spite of the confusing plot line, we do get a fully satisfying romance. Neo (Reeves) and Trinity (Moss) have not seen each other for 60 years. She has been trapped in a pod, giving her energy to the machines all that time and living in an induced faux reality. If and how they overcome their forced separation makes the tension in the film.
“The Matrix: Resurrections” runs for a very long 2 hours and 28 minutes. This is an R-rated film because of violence, vile language, and almost nudity. When you see a film with an R rating, leave the kids at home. This three saw blade film will not reignite the franchise. I expect that Warner Brothers will have a hard time earning a profit on the $175 million investment.
One high point of the film for me was to once again hear Grace Slick booming out “White Rabbit” in the soundtrack.
Business note: This will be the last time that Warner Brothers releases a film simultaneously by streaming the film and as a theatrical release. The theaters of America will like this decision.