As a metatextual exercise, The Matrix Resurrections is full of interesting thoughts. Is The Matrix the simulated reality we knew it was from the previous three films in the franchise or is it just a video game created by Thomas Anderson, otherwise known as Neo?
Did Neo imagine Trinity and is her real name Tiffany? And does Deja Vu actually refer to a black cat? The idea extends to the use of song White Rabbitsung by counterculture icon Grace Slick and made famous by the band Jefferson Airplane, whose founder once owned a club called The Matrix.
The films sprang from the fertile imagination of siblings Lana and Lilly Wachowski. Retro-cool aesthetics, cutting-edge visual effects, and skillful mapping of ancient philosophical concepts to concerns about a tech-dominated dystopian future put the Matrix series ahead of its time.
Lana Wachowski did the last trip down the rabbit hole solo. Although set two decades after the events of Matrix Revolutions (2003), barebones production values and gritty visual effects seem to predate the original 1999 Matrix film.
Neo (Keanu Reeves) is both a famous video game designer and a troubled therapy researcher. Trinity is Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss), who has a husband and children and no longer recognizes Neo.
A group of neophytes rescue the messiah from his prison and set out to fight a new enemy. Neo meets an upgraded version of Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne in the previous films and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in The matrix Resurrections.
Jada Pinkett Smith returns as an older version of her Commander Niobe. Priyanka Chopra’s character Jonas provides a link to another film in the franchise. The cast includes Jessica Henwick as one of the Neophytes, Jonathon Groff as Neo’s business partner, and Neil Patrick Harris as Neo’s therapist.
Key moments of The matrix which are projected onto the background and sequences that mimic the first film seek to create a conversation about the franchise’s legacy and reboot culture. The fan service extends to the Neo-Trinity romance saga, which results in scenes that are both touching and sappy. The unearned 149-minute runtime and frequent callbacks suggest a film that’s caught in its own time-loop trap.