'The Matrix Resurrections' takes the red pill, but works more like a sleeping pill

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(CNN)Complicated successful the champion of times, "The Matrix Resurrections" is simply convoluted, a postulation of flashy digits that don't adhd up to overmuch of anything. Although director/co-writer Lana Wachowski slyly comments connected the commercialized quality of the undertaking and it's bully seeing Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reunited, the amended program successful hindsight mightiness person been to wholly reboot the system.

Instead, Wachowski has conjured a movie that falls into its ain benignant of unusual nether realm, mixing nostalgia and self-referential callbacks with what feels similar a redo of cardinal elements, without satisfactorily explaining (despite scads of exposition) however we got from the earlier trilogy to here. Although the erstwhile "Matrix" sequels marked a slumber diminution from the freshness of the original, compared to this film's missteps each is forgiven.

Spoilers are understandably a interest with this benignant of eagerly anticipated genre movie, but the 1 payment of "Resurrections" is that it's not wholly wide what determination is to spoil.

    As the trailer has revealed, immoderate clip has passed, and Neo/Thomas Anderson (Reeves) has moved on, portion Moss' Trinity harbors nary representation of him. Clearly, there's been a glitch successful the program, 1 that volition necessitate drafting him backmost into the erstwhile worlds helium occupied and introducing characters to relation arsenic his guides.

      The main additions are Yahya Abdul-Mateen II arsenic a caller mentation of Morpheus, Jessica Henwick ("Iron Fist"), Jonathan Groff and Neil Patrick Harris, with Groff enjoying possibly the juiciest of those parts and intelligibly relishing it. Wachowski has besides included respective formed members from her Netflix bid "Sense8" successful smaller roles.

      At its halfway "The Matrix" has ever been anchored by its expansive emotion story, with Trinity's religion (assisted by prophecy) having helped Neo clasp his messiah-like destiny. While that remains, the movie is truthful chaotic adjacent their storyline proves uninvolving done nary responsibility of the stars.

      So, what's left? The stylized action, stunt work and look, which felt much distinctive way backmost successful 1999. While determination are a fewer visually striking moments, those sequences are offset by puzzling ones, similar a monolithic close-quarters combat that makes it hard to discern who's doing what to whom, blunting immoderate excitement.

      The movie really conjures its astir memorable elements comparatively early, which includes an amusingly meta notation to the quality of sequels and adjacent to Warner Bros., which is releasing the movie (and similar CNN, a portion of WarnerMedia). That dialog sounds astir apologetic, and it takes connected a antithetic meaning aft absorbing the movie successful its entirety and realizing however uninspired the full workout feels.

      "I'm backmost wherever I started," Neo says, sounding arsenic mystified arsenic helium did erstwhile Morpheus opened his eyes the archetypal time, portion possibly inadvertently summing up 1 of the structural flaws.

        Yes, reboots and revivals are inevitable, and much than most, immoderate "Matrix" sequel was apt to beryllium polarizing. Still, that archetypal unreserved of enthusiasm tin ebb quickly, which is what happens here. Because portion "Resurrections" again offers a prime betwixt the reddish pill and bluish pill, the 1 happening that won't beryllium indispensable -- particularly for those choosing the home-viewing enactment -- is simply a sleeping pill.

        "The Matrix Resurrections" premieres Dec. 22 successful US theaters and connected HBO Max. It's rated R.

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