Thursday, December 23, 2021

Fairly Short and Hopefully Spoiler-Free Review -- The Matrix: Resurrections

OK, I made it out this afternoon for the first of what I expect to be several big-screen viewings of The Matrix: Resurrections. The fact that I intend to see it several times on the big screen is an obvious indicator of my likely opinion.

TL;DR: If you are a fan of the Matrix franchise (and I am), I don't see any way you don't love this movie.  Even if you are disappointed with plot elements, etc., it's just great to be back in that universe.

The longer version, starting with context and a theater incident:

When I say I'm a fan of the Matrix franchise, let me put it this way: You know those people who say "yeah, I've seen [insert film here] a hundred times," and it really means they saw it once at the theater, got the DVD and watched it two or three times the first week, then have watched it every year or two since?

I've seen The Matrix more than a hundred times, and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I saw it the day it came out on the big screen. And the next day. When the DVD came out, I watched it every day for a couple of weeks. When the other two films came out, I saw the first one on the big screen again. I've watched it at least five times a year for the last 20+ years. If I feel like watching a movie and nothing sounds good, I watch The Matrix. I've only see the other two on the big screen once each, and have seen each of those perhaps ten times. I like them, but they don't do as much for me as the original. Of course, I've also watched Animatrix a number of times. And the only reason I didn't play the MMORPG when it came out was that I knew I'd get hooked (I did buy Enter The Matrix for the Nintendo GameCube -- meh, but I did spend several hours playing it).

So I hope we can all stipulate that I'm a freaking fan.

This movie is also well-targeted at the demographic one might expect to be franchise fans. That is, people who were around and watching movies 20+ years ago and got into it at the beginning. Or, to put it a different way, the middle-age crowd. Like me. The main characters are older; time has passed. So it's not like a reboot where Neo is in his twenties again or anything like that. They've aged with us and we can identify with them.

OK, enough context, theater incident time: I was informed by a gentleman sitting behind me that we're about to see some real-life Matrix-y stuff (yes, that's the word he used). It turns out that JFK Jr. is not really dead and will be returning to take down the global conspiracy, along with Kobe Bryant (who faked his own death because Hillary Clinton was about to have him rubbed out), John Lennon, John Denver, et al. Thought you'd want to know.

Yes, I know we're getting beyond fairly short length here. I'll move on with not-spoilerish (you've read about it from me and others already) stuff. Not much, because much would be spoilerish).

It's a story about The Matrix, which in this movie is a trilogy of games written two decades ago by programmer Thomas Anderson and his partner/boss, Mr. Smith. Warner Brothers wants a fourth installment and is going to have one whether Anderson and Smith are involved or not. Meanwhile, Anderson is in therapy because he keeps experiencing the game as memory/dream/hallucination. Is Mr. Anderson whack-a-doodle in the real world, or is Mr. Anderson Neo trapped in a new, improved Matrix? Watch the movie to find out.

Two more brief notes: The ending is kind of schmaltzy, but in a good way IMO. There's an after-credit scene that's just demographically opportunistic, but fun.

OK, I'm off to bed so that I'll be well-rested for at least one viewing (perhaps along with The King's Man before, after, or in between) tomorrow.

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