Matrix Resurrections: can we make our eighth film as if it were the first?

Matrix 4
Warner Bros.

Back on this fourth part of Matrix, directed solo by Lana Wachowski, on the occasion of its release on DVD and blu-ray.

Released in cinemas at the end of 2021, Matrix Resurrection arrives this week on VOD, DVD and blu-ray. A good reason to take stock, to come back to its mixed reception from the public, divided between viewers and critics who loved its meta aspect and those who were lost, even felt insulted by this concept. Hence this second review of the film by Lana Wachowskipublished in number 526 of First (February 2022 with The Batman on the cover), after having had time to digest this very rich work, filled with levels of reflection. Before continuing, we advise you to first read our initial review of the film, published just after discovering it on the big screen, because this one “respond” by analyzing more deeply its themes.

Watch Matrix Resurrections on VOD on Première Max

The saga was closed, the fans satisfied, the confusion “Reloaded” almost forgotten. Tease, Lana Wachowski takes the bet to make everyone angry with this surly, messy and shaken fourth part. The killing of a franchise like no other.

Doesn’t the cinema of the Wachowskis deserve more warmth? In any case, it would be a question of retaining the lesson. After twenty-five years of career, apart from a few more or less hallucinated oracles, the whole world has been systematically misled about their work. Bound, amazing thriller, total exercise in style and perfect first film was an exception: the critics, the public and the Wachos were perfectly on the same wavelength. Since Matrix on the other hand, only misunderstandings. There have been the films that were loved when they were released, for all the wrong reasons. There were also those who were hated, for even worse reasons. Time has obviously taken care of remodeling things, ratifying certain summits, causing a few hills to climb, and demonstrating that this corpus did not live up to praise or tomatoes. On the contrary, he seemed to demand everything that is systematically refused: nuance, patience and a little distance. This is obviously all that we did not see at the time of the release of Matrix Resurrectionswhich was initially an obsession of the critics ” Who thinks “ before turning into a hashtag that brings in likes and visibility. Seasoned with sauce “ultra-contemporary masterpiece” then snacked way « crap-meta-irregardable » new Matrix suffered the usual outrages of world cinema, with all the more force that it landed during the season of the tops of the end of the year. And meanwhile, the general public preferred to look away…

Excluded – Lana Wachowski: “There was no question of returning to the Matrix to go back”

DUALITY. At the house of First, you will understand, we have learned the lesson well. We know you have to give it time, especially when it comes to the Matrix movies. We therefore award three stars to Resurrections, “not bad but not great” if anyone needs a quote for a DVD cover, and we talk about it in the pages Classics ten years from now, thank you for your attention. However, let’s add this: Matrix Resurrections is not quite a Wachowski film, but a film signed by Lana alone, that is to say the showrunner of Sense8season 2. In fact, if Resurrections is indeed an object to be deciphered according to a grid ” author “, it is also its exact opposite, that is to say a first film, necessarily carrying with it a bit of innocence and trial and error. It’s the kind of poetic aporia that the Wachowski sisters have been particularly fond of since their beginnings: can you make your eighth film as if it were your first? Unless it’s the other way round… Since Bound, the filmography of the Wachowskis is entirely focused on the idea of ​​duality (lover or femme fatale? Blue pill or red pill? Brother or competitor?), which lacks neither charm nor evidence for artists from the same sibling. Evoking from their beginnings a certain taste for Taoist philosophies, the sisters naturally found themselves building, hand in hand, a work based entirely on the concept of yin and yang. At 56, Lana has nevertheless chosen to extend it alone, Lilly having preferred to take the path of early retirement. In principle, Matrix Resurrections is therefore a film out of tune, an object that opposes (to Hollywood, to fans, to the trilogy Matrix) but that nothing ever really completes. A yin that seeks its yang.

Duality again: the matrix was turning round because the Architect’s equations were marvelously well balanced. As long as Neo is equal to Smith, humans could continue to sleep very nicely in their cocoon. The narrative challenge of the trilogy: a perpetual quest for imbalance between the Chosen One and his antagonist in a suit. In Resurrections it is the Neo-Trinity relationship that will serve as fuel for the story. This once-whispered (a bit over-whispered) love story is told here as a screaming romance. The film will illustrate this time the search for completeness, which makes the project both legitimate and a bit touching. The surprise, which is obviously no longer one, is that to get there, you must first go through a first chapter that puts love at a distance and harmony in a box. A yin that interferes with the yang.

How Lana Wachowski settles accounts thanks to Matrix Resurrections (with Hollywood, her public, herself…)

META-FILM. First the Pirandello effect, the fourth wall pulverized, the scenes replayed from another angle, the fingers raised to the members of the board of Warner and the hand that comes to bite the fans. We believe in Gremlins 2, minus the virtuosity. After that, reunions, mad love, digital chromos, “another chance” and the walk in the air and in the arms as a grand finale. Nice, if we are willing to admit that the idea counts more than its execution. Touching, provided you have forgotten EVERYTHING that came before. Scoop: Lana Wachowski is not the Architect, and balancing equations is obviously not one of her hobbies. No question of making the game of massacre and the melodrama coexist, the distancing and the belief, the sneer and the little tear that runs. The trilogy Matrix brought together action and introspection, Hong Kong and Hollywood, cyberpunk and Joel Silver, Resurrections refuses for his part any idea of ​​reconciliation. It is his subject, his temperament, but also his weakness. We can like the meta-film of a great angry demiurge (the already famous: “for those who love to eat shit” slipped at the beginning), we can taste the little scruffy SF poem (and especially the serene genius of Carrie-Anne Moss), but we will never see one dialogue with the other. Will time eventually bring them closer? Will the miracle symbiosis between eighth and first films finally take place? For the time being, something resists, two too distinct currents cross Matrix Resurrections. A hot shot. A cold blow. Never lukewarm.

Romain Thoral

Warner Bros. releases the thrilling first 10 minutes of Matrix Resurrections

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