Enter, The Matrix. I had heard about it. It was being dubbed the new Johnny Mnemonic by the media. I had seen that movie and it was not a compliment. So I had no plans to watch The Matrix until. . .
A friend showed up one night and absolutely insisted a bunch of us go see the movie. Based on his enthusiasm alone, several of us begrudgingly agreed to go. Keep in mind, I have not seen a trailer. All I know at this point is that it had Keanu Reeves, is sci-fi, and David thinks it’s awesome. As soon as Trinity did her signature jump kick, my mind was racing. How did she do that? As she ran up and across the wall, my first thought was, she has to be a mutant. Or at least an enhanced human.
Little did I know.
Walking out of that movie, I was absolutely gob smacked. I felt different. The world has changed. I saw the movie five more times in the theater. It caused me to question reality. To reconsider what is possible despite my current experience. Picasso said, “Everything you can imagine is real.” (A statement backed by quantum physics, if I’m understanding the books I’ve read.) After watching The Matrix, I genuinely felt anything was possible. I still think that. The problem is, I’m too entrenched in reality as I know it to break free.
But I digress.
Matrix 1 had my attention from the start and for days afterward. Reloaded and Revolutions were disappointing for various reasons. There were parts I liked about each, but they could not recapture the wonder and possibilities the original had conjured. I suspect the difference between The Matrix and its sequels is that the first movie came out of a deep place from the Wachowskis, whereas the 2nd and 3rd movies exist because the studio wanted them.
Reloaded had too much telling and not enough showing. While Revolutions is a run of the mill sci-fi action movie. Nothing wrong with that, it simply did not have the same impact as the original.
Now we have the Matrix Resurrections.
The disappointment of the prequel trilogy taught to keep my enthusiasm in check, but I had hoped that this new iteration of the Matrix would be as impactful as the original. As a precaution, I didn’t watch any trailers after the first one. I wanted to see the movie with as little information as possible, just like the first time.
Twenty minutes in, I was bored. Nothing grabbed me. Not Neo’s mental distress or who these new people were in the opening scene. The explanations for how he and Trinity were alive or why the Matrix was rebuilt the way it was were not unique or interesting. The insane amount of mirroring to the original did not feel like a fresh take or reinterpretation. Honestly, I wanted the movie to succeed. I hoped the new movie would make me see the original in a new light, but it didn’t. In the end, it just felt like another studio money grab. Which is okay if you keep me entertained (looking at you Jurassic World) but it added nothing to the first movie and that is a bummer.
Both the original Matrix and Jurassic Park movies were so good and unique I didn’t need any sequels. All the sequels in both franchises diminish their awesomeness. Is Matrix Resurrections a terrible movie? It’s not great. But I know I love some really awful movies, so that is not enough to dismiss it. In the end the movie exists and if anyone likes it, that’s cool but for me, I’ll be watching The Matrix, trying to figure out how to free my mind.