One of the biggest disappointments of 2021? The new Matrix Resurrections movie

The Matrix franchise has proven to be such an enduring and popular sci-fi brand over the years that Warner Bros. reportedly at one point considered making a fourth installment without director and franchise co-creator Lana Wachowski. Based on reviews and public reaction to Matrix resurrections, the sequel to the original trilogy that just came out, maybe they should have.

When I opened my HBO Max app last week – where this fourth Matrix movie is temporarily showing, while it’s also in theaters – I have to admit. I was super motivated to revisit this world of hackers, machines, the eternally cool “bullet time” slow motion stunts our heroes perform, and much more. Unfortunately, what greeted me was a bit of a puzzle. The one who seemed more concerned with making as many callbacks to the original film as possible than answering all the new questions quickly. Matrix resurrections present. And I was especially nervous, at first, when the movie seemed about to suggest that it all could have been a video game.

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Now that the film has been out for several days, its reception and performance are now the center of attention. And at this point, it definitely looks like a mixed bag.

At Rotten Tomatoes, for example? The critics score stands at a mediocre 65%, based on 228 reviews. And the audience score is actually a bit worse. This is currently 63%, based on over 1,000 verified user reviews. “Matrix resurrections is a dumping ground for recycling murky effects, indifferent actions and a crazily cluttered and relentlessly repetitive story ”, laments one of these critics, for The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s groundhog day in cyberpunk.”

Visually, I guess, there is little wrong with the film. Having now had a few days after release to sit down with, however, it’s hard not to be disappointed on the story front. As if there just isn’t a compelling narrative reason for this one to exist. At least not in this form. In fact, I’m still not sure I can explain the new story here enough to someone.

What didn’t go well?

Which is certainly a shame. Like so many fans, I entered this new version with high hopes. Especially after seeing all the footage people were capturing of stuntmen and various actors filming scenes for the new movie in San Francisco – in the weeks leading up to the start of the coronavirus pandemic – that got so many people excited.

Indeed, the people of San Francisco who watched every movie shoot at the time shared details about everything from the sight of sinister helicopters hovering low to the ground to explosions that toppled and destroyed cars. As well as the heat of these explosions which melted the lampposts nearby.

All of this suggested, at least to me, that we were going to have a show that lived up to the above. What I didn’t count on, however, was… how little I would worry about watching this one. How the first half of the movie spent too much time rehashing the original. Until replaying certain famous scenes and lines. The question of why Morpehus looked so different this time around also went unanswered for much longer than I would have liked. And the response we got was not particularly satisfactory. It sounded like an afterthought, in other words, to justify the absence of Laurence Fishburne’s presence.

Nevertheless, Matrix resurrections opened with nearly $ 70 million at the global box office. So who knows – maybe it’ll guarantee an even more convoluted fifth installment than this one.

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