Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. – From IMDB
I will forever now dub 2021 the year of sequels no one asked for. Racoon City, Halloween Kills, Ghostbusters, Venom 2, Don’t Breathe 2 there have been a LOT of sequels this year, and very few of them lived up to the hype that their predecessor did. The Matrix (the original one) is one of my Top 10 favourite sci-fi films, and with the less than enthusiastic reception that the second 2 films received, it surprised me that they decided to go ahead with a fourth. I was hoping they would use this opportunity to fix some of the things that were so hated about Reloaded and Revolutions. Unfortunately, it didn’t hit the mark for me.
In the year where we have just received a film that delivered some of the best fan service I have ever seen (Spiderverse anyone?), it was so disappointing to me that the elements of this film that were meant to be fan service just fell so flat. The inclusion of both Smith and Morpheus in this film were superfluous, and the film would have been exactly the same, had they not been there at all. The opening sequence being identical to the original was jarring and eye rollingly unnecessary. The training montage was cool, but again, because it was a rehash of the original, nothing was any different than before. Because they relied too heavily on those old references, some parts of the film just felt boring and lazy.
The plot is ridiculously over complicated to say the least. And tries to cram too much into its final act while the first act is achingly slow to get started. And the amount of meta-jokes, especially in that first act were so ridiculous and they weren’t funny. Seriously, no one in my screening even chuckled.
Seeing and hearing about the after effects of Neo’s actions at the end of the original trilogy was interesting. Seeing how far the human and machine races had come in the 60 years or so since then was great. They didn’t gloss over the hard parts either, showing how things didn’t magically get better after Revolutions, they had to work for it. But did we really need the farming/strawberry scene to emphasise it? No, not really.
Jessica Henwick was a real stand out star here, her sassiness, her confidence and all round great performance really was the one thing I took away from this film. We really need to start seeing her in more stuff.
A definite let down for me, I hope this time around they don’t try and drum up another round of unnecessary sequels.