Friday, December 24, 2021

the reviews are coming in:
"The Matrix Resurrections" is a big, fat turd

Here's a review whose take is pretty typical (no spoilers):

I have a feeling I'm going to be skipping out on this, just as I'm skipping out on a lot of other aspects of pop culture such as "The Book of Boba Fett," the third season of "The Mandalorian," and pretty much anything else that's been infected by woke ideology.

For me, the big hint that something was massively wrong was Keanu Reeves's decision (I assume it was his decision) to play Neo while looking like John Wick. Lazy. Genre-confusing. And kind of sad. From what I'm hearing, the new film poses no new deep, philosophical questions and does nothing new in terms of special effects and fight choreography. There's nothing revolutionary here. Words and phrases like "too meta" and "crawling up its own ass" keep popping up in these reviews, and the overall effect is that I'd rather just retreat to the first film of the first trilogy (although I have said before that I like the second movie in that trilogy enough to think the series should have ended right there, given how the second movie rather cleverly subverts everything we think we know from the first movie). 

It's a shame, too, because I've heard the new film is, along with being a self-aware critique of the film industry, a love story focusing on Neo and Trinity (with Trinity proving to have the powers of the One this time). I wouldn't mind exploring that love story at all, especially through the rich language of myth, but it seems Lana Wachowski wanted to continue down the postmodernist rabbit hole instead, which is why critics are responding so unfavorably to the film. Postmodernism, as a philosophy informing an artistic message, can actually work in the realm of art: look at Tarantino's films, which are almost all thoroughly postmodern. But PoMo can also lead to meaningless pretentiousness—philosophical fluff of no importance: sound and fury signifying nothing.

So I think I'll pass. Maybe I'll see it when it's out on home video, but it probably won't merit more than a one-paragraph review. The sense of fun that animated 1999's "The Matrix" left the building with its sequels and never came back. A nearly two-decade hiatus hasn't changed that fact. As one critic said, if you're going to replace some of the previous actors with new ones, why not just reboot the entire franchise, populating it with all-new characters?

1 comment:

Charles said...

That's disappointing to hear. I'll still probably go see it at some point. Then that will be too disappointed reviews I will have to write.