Neo and Trinity are back! Well, almost. Eighteen years after the end of the original Matrix trilogy, The Matrix Resurrections is set to hit theaters and HBO Max on December 22. And despite the leading duo both dying in 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss have reprised their characters for what is sure to be a lot more mind-twisting action. The question is, is the franchise worth revisiting nearly two decades later? The Matrix Resurrections has screened, and we’ve got the audience’s first reactions.
The fourth installment of The Matrix series is set 20 years after the events of the third. Neo and Trinity are alive and back in the Matrix, living ordinary lives as Thomas Anderson and Tiffany, respectfully. An alternate version of Morpheus (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) gets things going again when he whips out his red pills, and a battle with a new enemy ensues.
In addition to Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix Resurrections returns Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe and Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian. Lana Wachowski is back as writer and director, introducing some big names into the franchise, including Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra and Christina Ricci. So what did the critics think of the film? Let’s start with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, who came away “extremely mixed,” but declared it the best sequel in the franchise, for whatever that’s worth.
I walked away from #TheMatrix Resurrections with positive feelings, but my opinion is definitely of the "extremely mixed" variety. I LOVE the first act; the second act is a slog; the third act is solid enough to make the whole thing work. Low bar, but it's the best Matrix sequel. pic.twitter.com/GxHTiRyJ7aDecember 17, 2021
Aaron Neuwirth of We Live Entertainment applauded the movie’s creativity, calling it “big” and “ambitious,” which I definitely think fans are hoping for in the new sequel. But it’s promising to hear that it introduces ideas to start important conversations.
I found so much to enjoy in #TheMatrixResurrections. It's a big, ambitious, weird Wachowski movie that does so much more than deliver the same ol' thing. Lucky to have this level of creativity at this budget level. Still, many will hate it, just like the sequels. C'est la vie. pic.twitter.com/vcGpKtUzDKDecember 17, 2021
Emily VanDerWerff of Vox seemed to have an unabashed love for newest installment in the series, making bold claims about its place in the history of cinema. Whether or not moviegoers enjoyed The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions might play into how well audiences receive The Matrix Resurrections.
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!!December 17, 2021
Kevin Polowy of Yahoo! echoed the sentiments of many of the critics, who said The Matrix Resurrections will lauded by some and reviled by others. I think we can count Polowy in the latter category.
If you loved The Matrix 2 & 3 then maybe you'll love The Matrix 4 too but that shit was definitely not for me.December 17, 2021
Perri Nemiroff of Collider, however, said the movie was a worthy addition to the series, and succeeded in finding way of progressing the story while evolving the franchise.
#TheMatrixResurrections is a solid addition to the franchise! Had a feeling the concept would lend itself to another installment and sure enough, they found loads of clever ways to continue the story while also evolving the whole concept of The Matrix. pic.twitter.com/Wt66GwPvqDDecember 17, 2021
Courtney Howard of Variety agreed the new sequel slides right in with the franchise and said Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss still bring the chemistry to the big screen nearly two decades later.
#TheMatrixResurrections is a terrific, awe-inducing, meta mind-bender completely in line with the franchise's legacy. Finds an innovative, high-concept way to frame the new story. Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss’ chemistry burns. Jessica Henwick is a revelation! @TheMatrixMovie pic.twitter.com/xRawqiOcuuDecember 17, 2021
Germain Lussier of io9 had a glowing reaction to the screening and the way the movie reinvented the franchise without diminishing the previous three movies — in fact, it had the opposite effect, he said. The Matrix Resurrections is worth repeated viewings, and said he can’t stop thinking about it, which is not hard to believe with this reality-skewing series.
I can't stop thinking about The Matrix Resurrections.It brilliantly reinvents the franchise while increasing the importance of the first 3 films all while being touching, exciting and gorgeous. It's very trippy and complex, but I loved it. Can't wait to see it again and again. pic.twitter.com/SsPhli7KWyDecember 17, 2021
The initial reactions to The Matrix Resurrections seem to be mostly positive, especially if you were a fan of the original trilogy, as more than one critic proclaimed this film to be better than the previous two sequels. Full reviews will be released next week ahead of its December 22 premiere in theaters and on HBO Max, so stay tuned! And if you need a refresher, all three movies in the original trilogy are available for streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab). Be sure to sneak a peek into what’s coming in the new year with our 2022 Movie Release Schedule.
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Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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