The Matrix Resurrections is almost here and the first reactions are filtering in.
With the return of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as Neo and Trinity – and the introduction of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jonathan Groff – there's no doubt that writer and director Lana Wachowski is gunning for a fresh take on the franchise.
But which pill are critics swallowing after seeing Resurrections for the first time? Let's find out.
"It feels like The Force Awakens – a nostalgic sequel/reboot to (maybe?) kick off a new franchise," said Insider's Kirsten Acuna.
Critic Robert Daniels wrote: "Keanu Reeves gives one of his best performances... Him and Carrie-Anne Moss still have that magic chemistry, carrying a gorgeous, dynamic film that's rough in patches yet still discovers great additions in Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jessica Henwick."
Slash Film's Jenna Busch also had something to say about Neo and Trinity's chemistry: "[Matrix Resurrections] combined nostalgia, self-awareness of how the franchise framed the entertainment world, & pure fun into a package wrapped with a Keanu Reeves bow.
"He and Carrie-Anne Moss bring back that incredible chemistry that I loved so much from the first films."
"The Matrix Resurrections, despite (and because of) its infinite goofiness, is the boldest & most vividly personal Hollywood sequel since The Last Jedi," he wrote. "A silly/sincere galaxy brain take on reboot culture that makes peace with how modern blockbusters are now only about themselves.
"#TheMatrixResurrections is more fun than I remember the sequels ever being, Nigel Smith of People wrote. "Yes it's bogged down in exposition like the previous two, but there's a knowing wink to it all now."
As is often the case, however, not everyone felt plugged in to the Resurrections buzz. Take a look at some of the more muted reactions below:
#TheMatrixResurrections is a comedy. The action is disappointing and the new characters are thin. But the metatextual commentary is biting. It wrestles with its own legacy in that JURASSIC WORLD/BAD BOYS 3/RP1 fashion. I prefer the first three, but this is a wild swing. pic.twitter.com/7i3n5qUvOq
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) December 17, 2021
I am deeply happy for those who will enjoy #TheMatrixResurrections. I am, regrettably, not among them. It’s leagues better than Reloaded and Revolutions - which let’s be clear are really not good - but has bad stakes. Nothing matters, and not in a cool nihilistic way. pic.twitter.com/RnbQutdkKR
— Alison Foreman (@alfaforeman) December 17, 2021
There was a point in the middle of The Matrix Resurrections where I briefly thought it was the best movie ever made, and, like, I haven’t convinced myself it’s NOT?
I lovvvvvvved it. A lotta people are gonna haaaaaaaate. My favorite kind of movie!!
— Emily VanDerWerff (@emilyvdw) December 17, 2021
So far I have personally spoken with half a dozen friends who’ve seen MATRIX 4 and no two reactions were identical. Excited to see where this takes us.
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) December 17, 2021
The eagerly-awaited fourth movie brings back Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as Neo and Trinity. Since both their characters died in the original trilogy, there's still a mystery about just how they've returned.
We'll have to wait until next week to find out the answer to that, as well as the other mysteries including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's new version of Morpheus.
Earlier this month, Moss teased that the reunion of Neo and Trinity was "something I never imagined, and I was really blown away". Reeves has also been speaking about how emotional their reunion turns out to be.
"It was almost like 'How do we not cry?'. The ambition of the story, the love story, the quest of it… it's big," he recalled. "Neo's getting a second chance at his life, and he's getting a second chance with the person he says, 'The only person I've ever loved'."
It's been 18 years since we last saw Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and co, so if you're not quite sure where we left them, we've got you covered with our recap of the trilogy.
The Matrix Resurrections is released in cinemas on December 22. It will also be available to watch on HBO Max in the US.
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