I really like the thought of crafting a vastly influential media franchise and letting it linger in whole dormancy for practically 20 years earlier than returning to the scene with an ax to grind. There are spoilers forward, so if in case you have not but seen The Matrix Resurrections, then I strongly urge you to make higher use of the vacations. I think about that you’ll fall in love with this film at exactly the identical time I did: the 20 minute mark, when it is revealed that Neo has been reinserted again into the unreality of Mega Metropolis as a videogame designer who’s answerable for a trilogy of Matrix videogames that simply so occur to recount the occasions of the unique movies.
So many revivals creak beneath the burden of the established canon, enjoying it protected to appease the rancorous stans in our midst, decreasing what was as soon as particular and daring into grey, feelgood pablum like The Rise of Skywalker. Thank god Lana Watchowski was keen to go completely buckwild. Resurrections subverts expectations with an adversarial fervor, and it consists of the only most withering critique of the gaming group I’ve witnessed since Hideo Kojima caught it to us with Metallic Gear Strong 2.
The Matrix On-line, Enter The Matrix, and The Matrix: Path of Neo—the one recreation discs to ever bear the universe’s model—aren’t excellent, however all types of different videogames have borrowed the aptitude of the trilogy’s motion scenes whereas casting away its tender questions on identification, humanity, and destiny. Mirror’s Edge, Max Payne, and FEAR are simply a number of the culprits. Few cultural artifacts have been extra totally plundered than The Matrix. With doofus Trump scions and ghoulish oligarchs claiming dominion over the “Pink Capsule,” the fourth Matrix film had no selection however to be in dialog with the mountains of meta sophistry that piled up within the years after the trilogy ended. In a stroke of genius, Lana Watchowski expresses her irritation by injecting Neo into the video games business, maybe ground zero of America’s fractured political order.
There isn’t any higher illustration of The Matrix’s cultural therapy than a quiet, confused, elementally displaced Neo holding court docket with some incurious Hawaiian-shirt bozo who occurs to work in his studio. Neo reaches out to him beneath excessive duress, proper as actuality begins to soften away—his colleague, with pitch-perfect 4Chan patois, responds with a cringey homophobic retort. Sure, that is the kind of man who’s answerable for dreaming up the way forward for The Matrix, as a result of the Watchowkis spent many years watching reactionary dunces precisely like him take up all of the mistaken classes from their masterwork. This level is underscored by a hilarious montage the place a room stuffed with builders shoot the breeze on what the trilogy means. Is The Matrix about crypto fascism? Trans politics? Capitalist exploitation? No person appears to know, however our doofus is satisfied that their creative true north should be “bullet time”—the phrase that emerged wholecloth after the primary film to explain the slow-motion stunts that turned the collection’ calling card.
The Watchowskis themselves have confirmed that The Matrix is a metaphor for queer self-actualization, however after all, this slimy dude is retaining his grip tight on the canon, completely satisfied that the gunplay is the one factor value preserving. Neo’s sixth sense flares that one thing on this world is amiss, however this time round, the stench is emanating from the Steam charts and YouTube feedback.
No auteur retains whole authority over their creation. The Matrix was going to be abused by all kinds of various factions as quickly because it was absolutely digested by our tradition. If “Born within the USA” concurrently exists as a Reaganite anthem and an incensed anti-war tune—if Rush Limbaugh steadily spun Rage In opposition to The Machine on his radio present—then clearly there isn’t any hope for anybody who desires to seal off the interlopers. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless superior to observe Lana Watchowski say her piece after so a few years.
She and her sister are huge nerds—that a lot needs to be clear from the frequent anime references and the Velocity Racer adaptation—and collectively they supplied the group a few of its core touchstones. Within the first Matrix movie, Neo transcends a staid company job to realize the next state of being. Now he is overcoming a stifling videogame studio populated by the regressive forces bobbing within the wake of that movie, one which I hope turns into shorthand for the numerous poisonous, dysfunctional workplaces that dot the true video games business.
However principally, I hope that the individuals who created this universe can relaxation straightforward understanding that they’ve lastly consecrated the attitude of The Matrix. Resurrections is a elegant rebuke to all of the Pink Capsule chuds—eventually, a cheerful ending.