When The Matrix first came out, audiences were shocked by how revolutionary the concept of the film was. It was many people’s first real experience with philosophy and the concept of existentialism and it is for that reason why the movie remains emblazoned into so many people’s minds, even today. Technology is always advancing; this is something that we all know. It can be seen in some of the world’s oldest industries and pastimes, with gambling being a great example. It used to be that roulette (invented in the 17th Century) had to be played in person but now, live dealer roulette is available for those looking for a semi-real experience at home. Inn 2022, it’s a wildly popular way to play, but The Matrix series explores what happens when technology goes too far, and in doing so, taps into the fears that many of us may have.
Those who are familiar with the psyche of Hollywood will know that it is obsessed with reboots, remakes, and every other kind of re. The reasoning for this is clear – making films that continue already established brands are very likely to bring in audiences over new films, which always carry a risk of not doing well. The same has happened with The Matrix, and 18 years after the trilogy film was released, another one has dropped into theatres. It has been met with much disappointment by fans and critics alike, but to get an understanding of why this film has been so poorly received, it is important to look back at what made the first film so good.
The Matrix is a cult classic today, and for good reason. It changed the sci-fi genre in a way that hasn’t really been done again, even today. This was because the ideas it introduced at the time were so new, so thought-provoking that audiences couldn’t help but be encapsulated by the film. In addition to this, the action and fight choreography were excellent as this was an action film too. Kids who saw Neo use Kung Fu to fight at the time no doubt replicated the same sequences in their homes long after the film had been released. The special effects were also revolutionary as ‘bullet time’ was never seen before in film.
When this is compared to the newest instalment in the franchise, it is easy to see why audiences were disappointed. While The Matrix Resurrections picks up where the last film left off, it does nothing to add to the story, other than extending it to hide what is obviously a cash grab by the studio. Neo and Trinity, the main characters do not change much and seeing as how their character arcs were completed in the last film, it just makes their inclusion in The Matrix Resurrections unnecessary. The core concept of The Matrix is unchanged, and the film does not introduce any radical new ideas as the first film did. The same can be said for the special effects and action choreography too.
There is a clear issue with Hollywood and re/made/booted movies. This affects the fans the most though as these studios blow the dust off their favourite series only to make it worse. While it is possible to succeed in making these types of movies, there is no doubt that most people want to see new films instead.