I really like the thought of crafting a massively influential media franchise and letting it linger in complete dormancy for almost 20 years earlier than returning to the scene with an ax to grind. There are spoilers forward, so when you have not but seen The Matrix Resurrections, then I strongly urge you to make higher use of the vacations. I think about that you’ll fall in love with this film at exactly the identical time I did: the 20 minute mark, when it is revealed that Neo has been reinserted again into the unreality of Mega Metropolis as a videogame designer who’s accountable for a trilogy of Matrix videogames that simply so occur to recount the occasions of the unique movies.
So many revivals creak beneath the burden of the established canon, taking part in it protected to appease the rancorous stans in our midst, decreasing what was as soon as particular and daring into grey, feelgood pablum like The Rise of Skywalker. Thank god Lana Watchowski was keen to go completely buckwild. Resurrections subverts expectations with an adversarial fervor, and it contains the one most withering critique of the gaming group I’ve witnessed since Hideo Kojima caught it to us with Steel Gear Stable 2.
The Matrix On-line, Enter The Matrix, and The Matrix: Path of Neo—the one sport discs to ever bear the universe’s model—aren’t superb, however all types of different videogames have borrowed the aptitude of the trilogy’s motion scenes whereas casting away its tender questions on id, humanity, and destiny. Mirror’s Edge, Max Payne, and FEAR are simply a few of the culprits. Few cultural artifacts have been extra completely plundered than The Matrix. With doofus Trump scions and ghoulish oligarchs claiming dominion over the “Purple Capsule,” the fourth Matrix film had no selection however to be in dialog with the mountains of meta sophistry that piled up within the years after the trilogy ended. In a stroke of genius, Lana Watchowski expresses her irritation by injecting Neo into the video games trade, maybe ground zero of America’s fractured political order.
There is no such thing as a higher illustration of The Matrix’s cultural therapy than a quiet, confused, elementally displaced Neo holding court docket with some incurious Hawaiian-shirt bozo who occurs to work in his studio. Neo reaches out to him beneath excessive duress, proper as actuality begins to soften away—his colleague, with pitch-perfect 4Chan patois, responds with a cringey homophobic retort. Sure, that is the kind of man who’s accountable for dreaming up the way forward for The Matrix, as a result of the Watchowkis spent a long time watching reactionary dunces precisely like him take in all of the unsuitable classes from their masterwork. This level is underscored by a hilarious montage the place a room filled with builders shoot the breeze on what the trilogy means. Is The Matrix about crypto fascism? Trans politics? Capitalist exploitation? No one appears to know, however our doofus is satisfied that their creative true north should be “bullet time”—the phrase that emerged wholecloth after the primary film to explain the slow-motion stunts that turned the collection’ calling card.
The Watchowskis themselves have confirmed that The Matrix is a metaphor for queer self-actualization, however after all, this slimy dude is conserving his grip tight on the canon, completely satisfied that the gunplay is the one factor price preserving. Neo’s sixth sense flares that one thing on this world is amiss, however this time round, the stench is emanating from the Steam charts and YouTube feedback.
No auteur retains complete authority over their creation. The Matrix was going to be abused by all kinds of various factions as quickly because it was absolutely digested by our tradition. If “Born within the USA” concurrently exists as a Reaganite anthem and an incensed anti-war music—if Rush Limbaugh steadily spun Rage Towards The Machine on his radio present—then clearly there isn’t a hope for anybody who needs to seal off the interlopers. But it surely’s nonetheless superior to observe Lana Watchowski say her piece after so a few years.
She and her sister are monumental nerds—that a lot must be clear from the frequent anime references and the Velocity Racer adaptation—and collectively they provided the group a few of its core touchstones. Within the first Matrix movie, Neo transcends a staid company job to realize a better state of being. Now he is overcoming a stifling videogame studio populated by the regressive forces bobbing within the wake of that movie, one which I hope turns into shorthand for the numerous poisonous, dysfunctional workplaces that dot the true video games trade.
However principally, I hope that the individuals who created this universe can relaxation straightforward understanding that they’ve lastly consecrated the angle of The Matrix. Resurrections is a chic rebuke to all of the Purple Capsule chuds—eventually, a cheerful ending.