The Matrix Resurrections Movie Review: Wild horses couldn’t drag me to see another Matrix film—not after it was duly dead and buried 17 years ago—but our very own Priyanka Chopra Jonas(now purely Priyanka) could. So there I was on a shivery winter evening risking the uncommon Covid and the common cold(not in any particular order) to see Keanu Reeves playing a game maker in this game changer of a franchise which redefined the video-game based genre when the first Matrix film released 22 years in 1999.
Times have changed. The movie experience has transformed beyond recognition. The Matrix franchise remains frozen in time. The script this time is even more dense and tense than Matrix Revolutions in 2003. The characters spill all over the plot like brimming coffee from a hot plastic cup, relentlessly questioning the mirror-image mirage that separates reality from illusion.
The one theme in Matrix Resurrections that breaks through the claustrophobic cordon of cryptography is that of the illusory quality of life. Are we living an imaginary existence ? This thought runs through our hero Thomas Anderson, a.k.a Neo’s mind, more so when his therapist(Neil Patrick Harris) is playing mindgames of his own with Neo, rendering the tremulous relationship between reality and fantasy even more precariously undependable.
There are some bouts of feverish combat and one onboard a speeding train in Japan is a marvel of choreography. But such rare episodes in an excursion to the border of disingenuousness cannot redeem the slugging slog of a film running into almost three hours.
Most of what we see this time is merely a reiteration of what has already passed.Did we really need another Matrix film? Everyone in the cast seems to be in urgent need of re-energization. While Jessica Henwick’s spunky splash of a performance, blue hair and all, does provide the urgent dose of vitality in an otherwise-dead gamer, the rest of the cast seems to be in it just for the heck of it, none more so than Priyanka Chopra who comes on after more than half the film is over, to deliver some hallucinatory oracular lines before merging into the meltdown that defines all the characters , new and old, in their vain attempt to generate spark to a reunion that has no significance beyond some bland curiosity.
As for Keanu Reeves he looks confounded , almost like a trapped rabbit, from the first frame to the last. Whether the actor shares his character’s ongoing conflicts, is not certain.Nothing is.Everyone seems to be on drugs.
At one point in the rambling raga of time-unbound ruminations, Keanu Reeves is heard discussing the imminent arrival of another film in the Matrix series.“Warner Brothers will go ahead with it , no matter what,” Keanu is informed while he looks even more confused.
“This is not happening,” he says on more than one occasion.I too found myself thinking the same.