According to recent reports, The Matrix Resurrections may lead to more projects within the Matrix Universe. Warner Brothers CEO Ann Sarnoff explained that the fourth entry released in December 2021 was “originally conceived to reboot the series” in the theater experience. He even claimed if Lana Wachowski, the director of Resurrections, wanted to make another movie, Warner Brothers would support her ambitions completely. The hugely popular franchise initially concluded with 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, and given the scarce details of Matrix 4, there may be more planned for the future already.
It sounds great in theory, but in practical terms, the Matrix franchise has lost a vast amount of steam ever since its two sequels perplexingly tarnished the impeccable position of the 1999 original. A lot of the big picture became obscure instead of thorough, obfuscating the narrative and logic of the characters’ choices. Recall how the topics of determinism and free will once gave the first Matrix film purpose and the potential to expand its branding. However, most of that collapsed in Reloaded as the feature contained excessive action, a loosening grip on the story, and a semi-pretentious meeting with the Architect. And then Revolutions never bothered to do anything aside from indulging in exorbitant CGI and a dull script.
The problem with the Matrix sequels is that they elaborated on the mythologies and philosophies incorporated in the first. What became so unique and compelling about the first was sullied in the follow-ups from the action to story to overthought endings. None of it felt earned. The Wachowskis lost sight of their vision with the follow-ups because Reloaded and Revolution don’t stand appropriately as solo films but rather as convoluted acts two and three bundled together with no rhyme or reason.
Even when re-watching the sequels today in comparison to the 1999 film, they have nothing fascinating about them (aside from a few scenes and other questionable decisions). Revolutions, in particular, contains one-too-many baffling story decisions that made Neo (Keanu Reeves) lose his will and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) fade to a background role. Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is no longer menacing, and Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) dies before the third act. It leaves a sour taste in many folks’ mouths to the point where some of us cast aside the sequels’ existence and focus only on the first.
The Matrix Resurrections debuted a beautiful trailer to kick start the energy again, but can it salvage the damage done nearly two decades ago? Will it save this franchise? Will it give justification for why Revolutions ended the way it did or gloss over it entirely?
All these essential questions will remain on folks’ minds until the 4th installment debuts in December 2021. What is real, in the sense of the Matrix’s direction?
As it seems, Resurrections will be aiming to “resurrect” this series’ once flawless standing.