Movie Review| The Matrix Resurrections
Updated: Dec 29, 2021
"What is The Matrix about?"
The fourth installment to the Matrix - groundbreaking, game-changing, genre defining series - had a lot to live up to when it was announced. I was warily eager, given that substandard reboots and sequels have flooded the market, but I decided to trust Lana Wachowski to tell the story.
Let's talk about what it is not. The Matrix: Resurrections is not a movie for light-hearted enjoyment. It is not a science fiction epic. It is not a high-tension action flick. It is not a philosophical dissertation on what is real and what isn't, or what constitutes the real, or how reality and non-reality is determined by chemicals and electricity interacting our brains. If you expected any of that, you are going to be disappointed.
What it is in my eyes, is a story about Love. Wachowski makes it very clear that the Matrix, from the very first movie, has been about Love. Not merely a love story, but a story that examines Love, its various permutations, and what it can accomplish.
The first three movies two decades ago showed us Thomas Anderson accepting himself - Love for his Self - as Neo, and Trinity accepting that she loves Neo. We had Mouse, who loved the construct of the Woman in the Red Dress, fully aware that his feelings would never be reciprocated; we had Cipher who loved Trinity, but whose feelings were not reciprocated; we had the Oracle, who loved humanity as a mother should; we had Morpheus, who loved the concept of Neo as a savior and grew to love Neo as a friend. On the converse side, we had Agent Smith, who was devoid of love; he loathed everything that felt or had feelings, and the strongest emotion is Love.
What is Love, in the world of the Matrix? It is acceptance. It is purpose. It is community. It is growth. And, in The Matrix: Resurrections, Love is both memory of the past and anticipation of the future. It is as much a reaching out to who you were as it is a determination to build a world that is better.
I left the movie theater in tears. So much of what the Wachowskis wrote for The Matrix has been stolen by hate groups. I can't imagine what the Wachowskis must have felt seeing their ode to Love, wrapped in sci-fi elements and delivered with action movie gusto, corrupted and twisted to deliver messages of exclusion and hatred and violence. Lana Wachowski took this opportunity to deliver her definitive statement on what the Matrix is and has always been. The movie is earnest in its characterization, purposeful in its callbacks, acerbic in its criticism of the Hollywood film industry, and deliberate in its skewering of all the discourse on the Matrix over the past twenty years.
It is hopeful for a better future. It is painful in its examination of grief and loss. And, at the heart of the movie, it is unwavering in its faith in Love. It wants us to take a leap of faith and trust in Love. It tells us that Love will set us free. That, with Love, it is time to fly.