Why The Matrix Resurrections took its own blue pill?
The Matrix from its very first conception made us wonder about the nature of reality. This is foremost a philosophical enquire, but as the saying goes, you can’t make a silk purse of a sow’s ear.
It was great to have a hint reference to Jean Baudrillard book Simulacra and Simulation when in the first Matrix Neo handed over the cyber goodies at the door of his flat. That was as far as philosophy went.
Baudrillard’s book was to the Matrix what a cooking book is to a really hungry smart robotic pig who all of the sudden feels too human and intellectually stimulated. To understand Baudrillard’s Simulation first we would have to forget about the “machine world” of the movie and get really into the machinist technological nature of the human mind. The Matrix couldn’t go that far and that was ok. I was seriously please with its philosophical tinkering including the whole sequel trilogy.
What happened then with The Matrix Resurrections? I went to the movie with very little expectations although, to be honest, I was a little bit more ready to take the blue pill. Unfortunately, even the blue pill had some glitches and I find it hard to digest. Literally, my brain was suffering from the same neurological concoction as Thomas Anderson and neither the blue pill nor the red pill was having the right effect on me.
The Matrix Resurrections does not bring any additional value to any philosophical enquiry, and even when love was the wildcard to play, were anything to go wrong, in Resurrections the least thing that got resurrected was love. It felt almost like an India’s style funeral in which instead of mourning the dead you actually celebrate it. In the movie, however, celebration didn’t take place without an extremely obese sense of melancholy.
To put it in other words, imagine that the film, The Matrix, were to receive a Life Achievement Oscar but instead of receiving it, Lana Wakowski rejected it and decided to give to her self and her film crew a self congratulatory Oscar by just making another Matrix movie. Yes, a movie as a self congratulatory Oscar instead of the Oscar itself.
Obviously, Warner Bros was no happy with the idea and accepted Resurrections on condition that Lana gives us more of Marvel and Zombie type animatronic. Lana, most certainly, delivered and boy, did she enjoy! The Matrix Resurrections was the best therapy for her after the recent loss of her parents. Lily Wachowski, however, decided that she did not want to “go backwards” in her career.
We still have some questions unanswered. Why The Matrix Resurrections became a personal saga of the directors and the celebration of a film funeral? Didn’t the trilogy already immortalized the film for all eternity?
It is well known that when in philosophical water or in any issues related to depths for that matter the best way to get deeper out of an all too exhausted depth is to go full-on “Meta”. Yet, to go Meta in a film that already has its layers of Meta (and I thought that Nolan with Inception was the king of it), would require to use other cinematic distracting tricks. Well, we have seen it before. Alien, anyone? We just have to append the reboot and the sequel elements and voilà, the Meta element resurrect as a novelty again, or did it?
Unfortunately, there was not any Meta depth to this film, quite the contrary, all former depth was aggressively trivialized, flatten and even emotionalized. The new “Architect”, the Analyst said that playing with human emotions and harnessing the existing love between Neo and Trinity gave more battery power to the machines, but what was really happening was that the film plays with its audience emotions harnessing the film success on the existing love the audience is unconditionally trapped in.
If what Lana Wachowski wanted was a cinematic moaning harakiri and blame Warner Bros for it, she did accomplish it. This film is a piece of luxury cinematic feast of consumerism with a mea culpa that is not even believable by any stretch of our critical imagination.
In fact, the entire resurrection spirit was a sanitation of any attempt at being taken seriously and yet, queerly, this film is not a comedy and not even an attempt at it but it did embodied one of those moments in which when you mess up everything you believe that self irony might hide the mess. No, it didn’t and the zany Analyst made it worse.
The original Matrix was all about guessing the plot or rather putting yourself the plot together by yourself without spoon feeding it to the audience.
The constant expositional dialogues of the Analyst and of all the characters was not only spoon feeding the audience but bending the spoon of the plot to allowed to bend the mind of the audience whichever way Lana wanted.
The Matrix Resurrections is a film whose harakiri does not even take place in slow motion. It is a constant bullet time of diminishing returns while it does so with a snarky criticism of Warner Bros diminishing returns.
In the previous Matrix most characters had a serious weight to them. In Resurrection, humor seems to be compulsive and almost a must at every turn. If there is one thing we could be certain about this film is that almost all characters suffer from what I would coin as dysphoria character identity.
With the constant herky-jerky plot and story developments most characters are pastiche of a previous one and the way they embody their new identity is like their previous ones are the puppeteers of their new ones.
And that is just for the characters. The Matrix Resurrections as a whole suffers from what I would coin as the Mozart giggle syndrome. Mozart at least did naturally his childish giggling vulgarities even when having composed highly refined and serious music. The Matrix Resurrections tried so hard to be giggling humorous that it left Mozart antics in the shadows but with any of his genius.
This film shouldn’t have been directed by Lana Wachowski. She should have followed Lily Wachowski footsteps and let Warner Bros does their own version without them.