Film: 'The Matrix Resurrections' (Showing in theatres); Duration: 148 minutes
Director: Lana Wachowski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christina Ricci, Lambert Wilson
IANS Rating: ***
There has been an aura of obsession and nostalgia with the Matrix franchise ever since the first film in 1999. Thence we have had two other Matrix films in quick succession, which were released in 2003.
'The Matrix Resurrections' is the fourth film of its franchise and is the sequel to its last release, 'The Matrix Revolutions,' which hit theatres nearly 18 years ago.
This film caters to its fan base, and thus, those who are not initiated into the Matrix universe would find themselves in an alien world, not knowing what is happening on screen.
With events taking place nearly two decades after 'Revolutions', and unlike its trilogy where the future of humanity was being threatened, this film feels more of a love story within its action drama.
At the core of the narrative are the resurrected Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), who are hidden within the code and kept on a short leash. This is done to prevent them from getting together and causing another system collapse.
But when a group of humans from the outside world led by a blue-haired gunslinger named Bugs (Jessica Henwick), discovers that Thomas Anderson, a world-famous video designer working at Deux Machina, is actually the legendary Neo and that he is still alive, they try to break him out of the matrix and seek his help to once again save humanity.
But Neo, after meeting Trinity by happenstance insists that the group's priority must be to rescue Trinity who, is oblivious of her past and now lives with her three children and a husband. Since she can get out of the Matrix through her own free will, Neo has to remind her of who she once was and the love that they shared.
The plot is complex, convoluted, and at times amateurish, with an over-explanation of events from the past. Despite its brisk pacing, subtlety is not a strong point in the film. There is footage from the trilogy that appears often also, at one stage, there is a group of creative directors discussing what the Matrix is all about.
As for the action sequences, the film boasts of chaotic car chases, gunfights, and gravity-defying stunts, but all of them offer nothing extraordinary in terms of experiences. There is an over-abundance and overuse of special effects that, at some point, get irritating.
The fights are poorly mounted, and with the ridiculous number of cuts, the scenes appear absurdly choppy even if you ignore that, the choreography itself seems languid and sluggish.
As for the performances, the chemistry between Reeves and Moss is palpable, but not in the same way that one had witnessed in the previous Matrix films. Here their engagement is soft and endearing.
Priyanka Chopra is confidence personified and striking in a small part, essaying Sati, a role earlier portrayed by Tanveer K. Atwal.
All others in the supporting cast have loads of fun with their characters and have their moments of on-screen glory.
Overall, the film despite being astutely and impressively staged seems to be a bit chaotic and peculiar.