REVIEW / FILM REVIEW – Lana Wachowski is now directing Neo and Trinity alone for “Matrix Resurrections”, the fourth opus in the legendary saga that began more than twenty years ago. A surprising sequel that breaks codes and expectations.
Matrix Resurrections : the same team, or almost
With Matrix (1999), Matrix Reloaded (2003) and Matrix Revolutions (2003), the Wachowski have created a work that continues to fascinate twenty after. A complex work, affordable from different angles. But basically, what do the filmmakers tell us about it? What does this story of a virtual world created by machines to control humans really mean? For some, it isa critique of modern capitalism. For others,a trans metaphor. Unless it’s justa cyberpunk action movie with bullet time in shambles. Without forgetting all the religious and philosophical references. Basically, it’s a bit of all that. And Lana Wachowski humorously reminds us of it in Matrix Resurrections, while leaving to each their interpretation.
In twenty years, the world has changed a lot. Mentalities have evolved, as has the film industry (not necessarily for the good). And remember that in the meantime the Wachowskis have made their gender transition. Which led to questioning again Matrix a posteriori – but also their first film, the excellent lesbian thriller Bound (1996). It is therefore impossible to relaunch the saga Matrix as if nothing had happened, with the same tone and the same questions. So for this Matrix 4, which opens almost like the first film, Lana Wachowski does a perfect counterbalance based on self-mockery on his own heritage and on the industry. It offers a hybrid object between the remake, the revival, the sequel, and a new work, while mocking the fan service.
Did you want to find Neo? Here he is, depressed, creator of a revolutionary video game, Matrix, about to crack when its Warner producers decide to make a new game. A quite enjoyable meta proposition which obviously hides something else … Regarding the rest of the original team, Trinity is now a mother, Morpheus has rejuvenated and is much more eccentric than his predecessor, while Agent Smith has the face of the perfect son-in-law. Daring and very smart from Lana.
Matrix in our time
By bringing back with malice and humor all these characters, the director deconstructs her work and breaks the expected codes. She suggests that we look at what has been done differently, to remodel everything in its image and install it in its time. Moreover, this is perhaps the big difference (damaging but inevitable) between the trilogy and Matrix Resurrections. If the first films were innovative and avant-garde, both visually and in their themes, this fourth opus is him. totally in tune with the times. Which makes it less original, but more personal to Lana Wachowski who literally stages her own psychoanalysis. The absence of Lily Wachowski is indeed felt. As if, together, the duo had a balance preventing the personality of one from gaining the upper hand over the other. Matrix 4 then loses in subtlety, but the message remains nonetheless fascinating.
Exit all interpretations made on Matrix. From now on, it is above all abouta powerful love story between Neo and Trinity. Lana Wachowski draws from this duo a touching warmth (also obtained by a notable work on the light) which was not so present in the previous films. You only have to watch them discuss false banalities over coffee to understand that something different is playing out here. Let us begin to witness a role reversal. Indeed, this time, it’s up to Neo to awaken Trinity, and her to take matters into her own hands.
It is not insignificant if the Chosen One uses here less of his force to attack his adversaries than as a tool of defense. The director thus reduces the power of the masculine to elevate the feminine. Again, the move is relevant and successful most of the time, but turns out to be a bit too crass in the final moments of the film. After a final scene which always insists more on feminism, the end credits give a layer by repeating the song Wake up by Rage Against the Machine, but this time interpreted by the Brass Against collective and singer Sophia Urista.
Less memorable, but a smart big show
Sure, Matrix Resurrections remains faithful to the saga by offering us as many complex dialogues as varied and controlled action scenes. These are effective, but unfortunately less memorable than previously. Neo is still remembered today avoiding …