If you think you can see “The Matrix Resurrections” without doing some homework, better think again.
The franchise’s fourth offering – solid and sometimes bewildering – has a lot of heart while it hearkens back to the original movie with action, more mind-blowing spectacles and, yes, romance when Neo and Trinity reunite.
The story begins with a scene very similar to the start of the original movie at the Heart O’ the City Hotel. But things look different. There’s a new Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) for one.
And now we learn about “The Matrix” as a trilogy of video games designed by Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves.) His business partner (Jonathan Groff) says the game’s distribution company wants a fourth game, not the new game that Anderson has been creating. Anderson doesn’t realize his games are based on his own memories.
Then we see her. Anderson is taken with a woman named Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss.) The two seem to recognize each other when they talk, but she ends up leaving with her husband and children.
Thomas has anxiety, and talks with an analyst (Neil Patrick Harris) about what troubles him after a suicide attempt: He seems to have believed he was Neo from his own video game and tried to fly off a roof.
There are many other characters, many of them “new.”
There’s a reason Anderson/Neo and Tiffany/Trinity have been kept in proximity with each other. They do not know their true identities.
Ideas of peace, binary/non-binary themes, how we define reality and all kinds of references to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” abound. Diehard “Matrix” fans will have a field day finding Easter Eggs throughout.
I don’t pretend to have caught all the details or have all the answer to the meanings of this movie. This is a dense film, full of meaning, symbols and references to the prior “Matrix” trilogy, the filmmakers themselves and even some of the actors involved in this diverse cast.
The film has a wonderfully self-referential extra scene at the end of the credits. What does it mean? I’m not sure, but I can tell you it’s humorous and may be a clue to a fifth movie.
If you have not seen the trilogy, don’t start here – see those movies first. Then “Resurrections” will have you saying “Woah” one more time.
Running time: Two hours and 28 minutes.
Rated; R for violence and foul language.
In theaters and streaming on HBO MAX.
Watch the trailer here.