Why The Matrix Resurrections Divided Audiences – The Hollywood Reporter

[This story contains spoilers for The Matrix Resurrections]

“After all these years, to get back to where it all started, go back to The Matrix.” But the reality is, if there is such a simple term in this world, you cannot go back, only forward. The sequel to Lana Wachowski, Matrix Recovery, which follows the events established by her and her sister, Lily’s, defining the genre Matrix trilogy, reviving the franchise after nearly twenty years. But, like so many of Lana Wachowski’s careers, this revival isn’t one that follows the expected trajectory of a “legacy sequel,” even if the film revolves around nostalgia by trying to love inserts scenes from the original trilogy into its story. The 1999 film asks, “What is the Matrix?” and in 2021 Matrix Recovery push that concept further by asking, “What was it about The Matrix that made you like it in the first place?” Wachowski welcomes the split with her latest film, which she’s no stranger to, by successively removing many of the elements that fans associate Matrix to reveal what always lies beneath the surface, the franchise’s origins: a love story between two people who make choices to build a better world together.

Matrix Recovery welcomes the return of familiar faces, Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith), familiar characters with new faces, Sati (Priyanka Chopra), Smith (Jonathan Groff), Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and new characters, Bugs (Jessica Henwick), Sequoia (Toby Onwumere), and The Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris), as it navigates a culture Hollywood cinema is dominated by sequels, remakes, reboots, reruns, and legacy characters. Matrix Recovery will certainly make sense to many, at least those knowledgeable and invested enough to engage in it beyond a superficial level. And, as cleverly arranged by the film’s composite story, in which Triple Matrix is a video game created by Thomas Anderson (Reeves) in The Matrix, none of these claims are wrong. However, the film suggests that there are levels of anti-participation that depend more on what the film is doing aesthetically and literally than on what it is doing emotionally. Years later, some spectators are still trying to bend the spoon, instead of accepting that there is no spoon.

When we meet Thomas Anderson, his past life when Neo was relegated with a dream that he had become a best-selling video game, he is extremely happy. He is pursuing a new creative endeavor, a game called Binary. But Anderson means more than the constraints of a binary world. And just as Neo in his game is semi-autobiographical, so is Anderson acting as a semi-autobiographical avatar for Lana Wachowski, who also dismissed the idea of ​​binary numbers in his life. Her personal life as a transgender artist. Although Anderson is stuck in his usual job, the non-negotiable mandate from his boss, Smith, to create Matrix IV, came as something of a hostage situation. If Anderson didn’t do it, Smith assured him that their parent company, Warner Bros., would simply do it with someone else. Apparently, the subtext is the one here and those who have followed the production history of Matrix 4, knowing that the sequel, once a prequel, would be written and directed without the Wachowskis, the filmmakers decided not to return. Thus, Anderson, like Wachowski, was given the choice to see whether their deeply personal interests were transferred to someone else, or to find a way back to it. It was a choice, as Morpheus later said, an illusion because it really was “no choice at all.”

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Jessica Henwick, Keanu Reeves and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Matrix Recovery
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Anderson has no choice but to return to The Matrix, just as he has no choice but to take the red pill and be awakened in the “desert of truth” again, with Bugs as the His white rabbit leads him down the rabbit hole, and Morpheus, this time a show created by Anderson in his video game and sent to the audience by Bugs, acts as his guide. that. In particular, with this new iteration of Morpheus, Wachowski creates excitement about how reboots and sequels seek to emulate familiar lines using the cliff-note version for audiences to enjoy. recognizable (all of the above variations “with great power, must come, great responsibility,” immediately come to mind). Instead of Laurence Fishburne’s intrigue and intrigue, we get Yahya Abdul Mateen II’s “blah, blah, blah,” both of which poke fun at audiences expecting to see the same scene again and in fact there’s so much to it. Many “red pill or blue pill” speeches from the original film were co-opted by rightists and those who didn’t best understand the meaning of this scene in the context of the larger story. With the internet and the way art has been transformed into political agendas and memes, words that once held such weight have now become a buzz: blah, blah, blah.

There are a lot of viewers who make a lot of money when they look forward to it Matrix sequel, especially when looking at the discourse that still surrounds Reload Matrix (2003) and Matrix Revolution (2003), by people who simply wanted more of what they got in the first film. Many of the staff on Anderson’s development team, especially his colleague Jude (Andrew Lewis Caldwell) are representative of the type of fan who has rejected further considerations of Matrix sequel and primarily interested in Kung-Fu, the gripping gunfight and the first and easiest class of these movies, the war between man and machine can only end with free will ( Or is that fate?) of a person like God the elect. Jude and the development team emphasized that that aspect is what the players/audience want from a Matrix entrance. Instead, what Wachowski gives us is something completely different.

Neo still knows Kung-Fu, but he doesn’t hold a gun throughout the film, perhaps a reaction to Matrix blamed for school shootings while lack of clear laws and regulations is the real culprit. The offensive power Neo displays in previous films is largely defensive, a sort of force shield that, for lack of a better term, prioritizes protection over destruction. The goal of the film and of the characters, both human and machine, is not to destroy the Matrix or the machines, but to change humanity’s relationship with them. In the 60 years that have passed in the real world between the events of Matrix Revolution and Matrix Recovery some humans and some machines came together and learned to coexist, achieving what machines were trying to achieve during what is known as the Second Renaissance and introduced in Animeatrix (2003).

Together they are stronger, and as evidenced by the city of Io, built from what remains of Zion in terms of both physical structure and alphabet. Not only does Io reflect the 1s and 0s that make up the code, but it’s also the reverse of 01, the first Machine City that made humans use nuclear weapons. Io believes that humans and machines are capable of harmony and individualism. This point of harmony is emphasized by Revival ‘ The central element, the love story between Neo and Trinity, ultimately forces the audience to reconsider the mythology surrounding The One.

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Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in Matrix Recovery
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Next Matrix Revolution, Neo and Trinity’s bodies are kept in Machine City and regenerated after it was discovered that together they form a powerful energy source, their electrical charge representing the quality that guides all of them. whole human life, the hope to hold on to what you have and gain more, and the fear of losing it – positive and negative, 1 and 0, I and O, again. That hope and fear is what determines every choice Neo and Trinity make Matrix the trio, with human nature, really doesn’t have a choice. Just as humans cannot grow without the aid of machines, Neo cannot grow without Trinity, and his powers are limited without her presence. So, once awakened back to the real world, Neo can only save himself by saving Trinity, who is trapped in The Matrix as the wife and mother of two named Tiffany. This is an approach to passionate love that we don’t see often in contemporary blockbusters. It is the transcendent power of love that makes Neo who he is, and his power in the Matrix is ​​guided by emotions rather than facts.

The final act, both the real-world rescue of Trinity and Thomas and Tiffany’s motorcycle chase from The Analyst’s Swarm Bots, which is based on escape, plays out very differently from Matrix’Its final act of confrontation, that it is jarring, willfully so. The big fight here is not Neo vs Smith, but Neo and Trinity’s fight to reunite. And in the end, it’s not faith in the One who saved them but faith in the two of them – a binary relationship formed from escaping the parameters of a binary world. As Neo and Trinity jump off the building, free from the bots, Trinity flies and catches Neo. With this act, we realize that Neo was never The One alone, he was for Trinity, who became fully aware of his own power in the Matrix at the end of this movie. The original film ends with Neo flying away, a superhero in the world of the Matrix, whose journey sets out for the battle between good against evil, just before superhero movies become the medium. our most popular entertainment. Last of Matrix Recovery, Neo and Trinity took control of the Matrix from The Analyst and began remaking it. What that means for the minds within it, those willing to be there and those imprisoned, remains to be seen, hopefully in the sequels.

Neo and Trinity don’t decide to become something as universal as superheroes in their fight against good and evil. They set out to remake the world as digital gods, which is exactly the freedom that Lana Wachowski rediscovered with this film itself: choosing to rebuild this franchise in her own image. it, and whether we are well-intentioned or simply imprisoned by our desire for sequels and content, has the promise that whatever is built will be unlike anything else. what we’ve been through before.

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