How is the new Lana Wachowski movie, The Matrix Resurrections? Why does he make metanarrative his workhorse? Some impressions and reflections on the work.
I was quite undecided about whether to see or not The Matrix Resurrections: I was curious, but I was afraid that he would make me leave the room with a bad taste in my mouth. So I waited to see some first impressions from others who had seen it, and came the negative reviews from critics. My hopes dropped even more. But here and there I felt some shy positive opinion and, in general, I saw conflicting reactions: The Matrix Resurrections either he liked it, or he didn't like it, in short.
So I decided to go get my idea.
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Without spoilers, I can say to leaving the theater in a good mood and with a good impression of the film. The Matrix Resurrections it plays a lot on the metanarrative and it is a very honest film: it clearly tells us what it is and why it is being done.
On the other hand, it is also a very flawed film, with a narrative that squirts around a bit and action below the standards of the past. Nonetheless, for me The Matrix Resurrections it is a film with a soul and a strong affection towards the previous chapters, which it also looks at critically.
So, for what it's worth, me The Matrix Resurrections liked. I do not consider mine to be an objective or universal opinion: it is also legitimate that some people do not like it, because maybe the film is not in their hearts.
But let's see what, in my opinion, works and doesn't work in this film.
ATTENTION: From here on, the article contains SPOILERS on The Matrix Resurrection
CONTENT WARNING: This article mentions the topic of suicide. IN ITALY THERE IS THE SPECIALIZED STAFF OF TELEPHONE FRIEND ITALY: YOU CAN CALL EVERY DAY FROM 10.00 TO 24.00 ON THE PHONE NUMBER 02 2327 2328, OR FREE OF CHARGE VIA THE WEB AT THE ADDRESS WWW.TELEFONOAMICO.NET.
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Problematic aspects of The Matrix Resurrections
Let's first look at the negative aspects of The Matrix Resurrection, so as to get rid of the problem immediately.
A narrative full of explanations
Now The Matrix Resurrection it's a movie complex. It makes the world evolve a lot and you see the consequences of the previous films. There is a lot of meat on the fire and the time available is short.
Therefore, in my opinion it is not a bad thing that there are several explanations in the film, because there is a need for them.
The problem with the film, however, is that most of these explanations do not occur in the first part of the film, that is the introductory one, in which the explanations normally fit well because they help us to put the world in perspective. In reverse, the explanations are placed above all in the second part, that is the one in which the plot should take place.
This is due to the fact that the first part of The Matrix Resurrections is designed to create the mystery of what happened to Neo. Instead, it is the second part that gives us the answers (the third obviously is always the resolution of the conflict and part with the rescue of Trinity). However, putting the explanations in the second part and also making the middle point of the film (the first unequal clash between Neo and the Analyst) an explanation unfortunately makes the narration very, very heavy.
Action scenes below expectations
The second problematic point of The Matrix Resurrections are the action scenes. Unfortunately, in fact, in most cases the action is not done very well. Sure, we have always very interesting photography and several beautiful shots that are a pleasure to behold, but in general the action has the following problems.
The first is the confusion. In fact, the action scenes are often a lot crowded (we are therefore talking about about ten people fighting all together, at least), and unfortunately assembled in a way that makes them difficult to follow and to understand what is happening. For example, in the last fight we see a horde of bots lashing out at the protagonists (and supporting secondary characters), represented as a swarm of individuals fighting over the focus of the camera and thus making the scene extremely confusing.
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Which brings us to the second problem, namely the role of secondary characters in action scenes. As I will say in the positive part of the film, to me of The Matrix Resurrections really like the cast, including supporting characters. So, I was sad to see the latter irrelevant in the action scenes, where they could have given a lot.
But the worst thing, in my opinion, is that these secondary characters are always present in the action scenes anyway. This means that the secondary characters take away time and attention from the action scenes, but without having either visually beautiful scenes, much less a significant role. And this is very serious in a film, because it distracts the viewer, it takes away precious time from the rest and adds nothing.
Finally, I personally found the action scenes mounted not very well. The shot changes very often and we never have single fight scenes that last long, without cuts in between and possibly with a wide view that shows us the scene with a certain breath. This unfortunately drops the quality of the action.
Which is a shame, because by now I've gotten used to associating the very presence of Keanu Reeves with quality action, John Wick. And no, unfortunately there isn't.
Mental health, suicide and therapy: has it been discussed in a conscious way?
As I will also say below, in my opinion the character ofAnalyst is well written and excellently performed by Neil Patrick Harris. In short, I liked it a lot and I think it was a great addition to the film.
Having said that, however, I must say that I don't really know how I feel after seeing a psychiatrist used as the antagonist of the film, in a narrative in which drugs which he prescribes are literally something negative, a tool to manipulate the patient.
Now, I don't think Lana Wachowski with the Analyst wanted to demonize psychologists / psychiatrists or the use of psychotropic drugs in therapy. However, we must also take into account that, unfortunately, going to the psychologist / psychiatrist and, above all, taking psychiatric drugs are still two activities that suffer a strong social stigma.
So, see these activities still painted in a negative light in The Matrix Resurrections put on me a certain discomfort.
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Secondly, in the film there is a strong presence of the theme of suicide, especially suicide by jumping off buildings. Which is something that, unfortunately, affects me very personally, as I have also written in this article on suicide in Tear off along the edges.
I don't know if the subject of suicide was somehow treated lightly. Personally, I don't think so, but I don't think I would really be able to judge.
But given the strong presence of this theme, I would have appreciated very much if The Matrix Resurrections had had an initial disclaimer. Without spoilers, of course, but at least one “in this work it deals with the subject of suicide, if you suffer from suicidal tendencies call the toll-free number X”. In this way, at least, I could have prepared myself better psychologically.
Also because, having reached the final fight, with the rain of bots that "committed suicide" by launching themselves from the buildings, the thing was starting to get heavy.
Positive aspects of The Matrix Resurrections
The cast is gorgeous
Now, the trilogy of The Matrix has never stood out for a stellar cast. Despite the good performances of the first film, in the second and third the writing of the characters has framed all the actors in substantially petrified roles.
So no, I'm not going to say that in The Matrix Resurrections there are Oscar performances.
However, in my opinion the whole cast performed very well and did their job well.
Keanu Reeves it was wonderful to see. I don't even know if he was playing Neo or himself, and I honestly don't care. Give me 100 Keanu Reeves who watches people with his big sad eyes, and I'll be a happy woman.
Carrie Anne Moss it's wonderful to review and I wish I could have seen more, with a greater range of character activity. I am very happy with that The Matrix Resurrections gave Trinity proper importance and took the time to ask some important questions about society's expectations of women.
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Jessica henwick (Bugs) was also very good and immediately inspired me sympathy. Yahya Abdul Mateen II (Morpheus / Agent Smith) is a lot of stuff and yes, I would have liked to see more of him too. I think in general I would like to see new stories about the Bugs and Morpheus characters, because they are very interesting and intelligently reinvent the roles of the original Trinity and Morpheus.
Neil Patrick Harris (the Analyst) was excellent in his role as antagonist. I find the Analyst to be a very good opponent and that his innovation of the Matrix is terrifying. I also really appreciate that Agent Smith (J) is back, but not in the role of the final antagonist.
In short, in my opinion the cast was well chosen and all the actors and actresses did a great job.
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Including the cars among the "good guys" was great
Often working with computer scientists, neural networks and other similar amenities, I was very happy with that The Matrix Resurrection there is no longer a clear division between humans and machines. Indeed, sorry, not machines, but symptoms (Synthents in English).
Although we had seen programs that rebelled against the system in the original trilogy (such as the Oracle and the Merovingian), I really enjoyed seeing synthesis agents that actively live among humans and are an integral part of their society. I never believed in the intrinsic human VS machine dichotomy and I was very happy to see that Lana Wachowski also wanted to take a step forward.
In that sense, I believe the current world painted by The Matrix Resurrections is extremely interesting. I would very much like to see other stories that explore ego life and the relationships between humans and synthosenzients.
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I loved the metanarrative of the film
La metanarration is the strongest aspect of The Matrix Resurrections.
The film's metanarrative serves primarily to relate the state of the fictional world to the existence of this fourth, unexpected film. So why do you have to do a Matrix 4? Why should a story that is already over need to be continued?
But of course, we're explicitly told in the movie, because otherwise at Warner Bros. (yes, explicitly named) he'll give the project to someone else, and he'll do it anyway. Just as the Matrix puts humans on a loop or, in the new version, in a state of balance between hope and despair, with no way to grow and evolve, even the film industry encloses us in a loop of eternally seen stories.
In addition, the metanarrative of The Matrix Resurrections It also tells us how those in power can make even the most revolutionary stories and movements harmless: by making money on them. The Analyst rendered Neo harmless by turning the events of the trilogy into a video game: he controlled, in this way, the narration of those events, removing their revolutionary force and, essentially, brandising them.
You will understand that this is not very different from what multinationals do when marketing on social struggles. We have already talked about it, for example, regarding the rainbow washing.
Some conclusive words
In short, ultimately, The Matrix Resurrections it's a movie that I enjoyed. I think there are several problems in the structure of the narrative, in the action scenes and in some of the themes it deals with. Nonetheless, I really loved his metanarrative, the overcoming of the human / machine binary, and the great cast.
I recognize that The Matrix Resurrections it's not a real action movie. Surely, those expecting an action movie will have been disappointed.
For my part, however, the critical but affectionate approach that this film has towards the original trilogy struck me a lot, and I hope other reboots / sequels decide to approach their original works with a similar perspective.
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