½*/**** Image A+ Sound A Extras A-
starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris
screenplay by Lana Wachowski & David Mitchell & Aleksandar Hemon
directed by Lana Wachowski
by Walter Chaw I guess I wouldn't mind that The Matrix: Resurrections (hereafter Matrix 4) is so stupid if it didn't spend so much of its bloat trying to explain itself. Just let it go. If you're riding with the same plot as Space Jam: A New Legacy, own it--run with it, for fuck's sake. Exposition is always a delicate if necessary evil, but here it's particularly undignified. It's Glen from Raising Arizona explaining his Polack jokes. The plot of Matrix 4 is essentially that conversation with the guy who's way too stoned who has this great idea for a Matrix sequel. "Okay, okay, see, Neo is--haha--NEO is Mr. Anderson again and--haha, check it--he's like this programmer dude, real boring piece of shit, and he made a game back in 1999 called 'The Matrix', and yo, yo, yo, wait, wait... What if Trinity was The One, too?" You've heard of the concept of "raising all boats"? Well, an hour of deadening exposition devoted to explaining a plot this contrived, this smug and half-cocked, this simultaneously convoluted and simplistic, sinks the boat--sinks all fucking boats. Good poker players have confidence and chill; not only does Lana Wachowski have a real bad tell, she gives speeches about what she's holding. "Hi, I'm Lana, creator of The Matrix, and I'm drawing on an inside straight." Small wonder Lilly refused to participate in this boondoggle, leaving Lana to recruit their Cloud Atlas partner-in-crime David Mitchell as one of her co-writers. That either of these people kept their names on this is evidence of an almost majestic, feline confidence.