Thursday, January 6, 2022


I had high hopes for this one. THE MATRIX is on my top ten list of best science-fiction films of all time. The second and third film, for what they are, were not bad. But this fourth entry, released two decades later (and with a story that takes place 60 years following the events of the third film) is justifiably on the fence with viewers -- myself included.

The first act of the movie was a rehash of the original movie, along with a lengthy introduction that seemed to drag with a mystery but no clues. Confusing the viewer should be taboo -- intriguing them with clues is much more fun. There was nothing in this installment that made me ask, "What on earth is going on?" I somehow got the impression that the producers and script writers had an idea for a great second half but were stuck with a terrible first half. They knew where they wanted to go but not how to get there. And maybe they had other options for the first half of the movie and eventually settled on recycling much of the story again as their best option.

To be fair, the second half of the movie was much better and almost like the live action Dumbo, night and day. But the flaw with this fourth entry is not elevating the story and instead rehashing what we already know about the red pill versus the blue pill, and other trademarks. It is not until the second half of the movie that we are introduced to computer "upgrades" and while that adds to the fun, even the computer effects are outdated in what becomes a cartoon with little to no emotion. The scenes involving people being unplugged from the cyber world was nightmarish in the first film but this entry features animated CGI with little to no menace. This is the kind of movie that should have taken an extra year to develop and refine to make it above average instead of rehashing the same. This series has (or had) so much potential and the producers decided instead to eliminate the Kung Fu fortune-cookie quotes, the mind-warping intrigue and awe that made the first film a cinematic treat.

Rarely am I on the fence with a film, but it seems this movie split the critics with the opinion that you will either love it or hate it. I agree with them. My bigger question is, beyond a suspected cash cow for those who loved the initial offerings (hey, I myself bought a movie ticket), why bother?