Matrix Resurrections | Review: The Matrix Laughs At Herself In Brilliant Queer Comeback Sparking Fake News | Cinema in the SER | Present

Matrix it was a milestone in science fiction, connecting with several generations and transforming entertainment cinema. Of her, especially of the first installment, many readings were made and, as usually happens with all phenomena, she had her imitators. We could say, therefore, that there was a before and after the premiere of the first installment in 1999 that later ended the second and third parts. In that ending, the Wachowsky sisters killed their protagonists or so it seemed. Thus ended the saga of white, black and intense green, of the soundtrack with Rage Against the Machine o Marilyn Manson.

Therefore, Lana Wachowski had before her hands an almost impossible task, to resurrect a franchise that was closed and also to resurrect its two protagonists, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, two emblems of science fiction cinema that return twenty years later. The question that arose among all the fans of the saga was how the hell they were going to manage to bring Neo and Trinity back to life and how they were going to justify a new installment. Lana Wachowsky is fully aware of the task, and it is precisely in this justification that the new film, The Matrix Resurrections –which opens this Wednesday, December 22-, shines as a self-conscious exercise.

The responsibility falls completely this time on Lana Wachowsky, director and screenwriter, now alone, since her sister Lily has preferred to stay on the sidelines. Build a blockbuster who is psychoanalyzing all the time. Neo is twenty years older, with long hair and a tremendous depression. He is a man of tormented success, like all modern superheroes. He is wealthy and famous for having created a video game called The Matrix that has millions of fans around the world. Now his company, Warner Bros, asks him for a new installment, the fourth. She also appears, Carrie-Anne Moss, bringing back one of the first female characters to empower viewers at the beginning of this century, Trinity.

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And so far we can read from the script, without being lynched for spoiling, which reflects the cinematographic metalanguage and where the creator unleashes her obsessions and interests through a Neo who becomes her alter ego. There is the success, the relationship with the fans, the re-readings of the film … and everything is told with incisive humor. It is up to his gender transition and his questioning of the gender binary in which patriarchal society lives immersed. A nod to the queer aspect of a director who has been giving visibility to the LGTBIQ collective in her private life in recent years and also in one of her latest creations, the series Sense 8. In short, it has been a hilarious, intelligent, vibrant and very eloquent and defining film of the current moment in which we live.

The Matrix Resurrections go back to the same old philosophical diatribes, to Plato’s cave, to the Alicia from Carroll, to fiction and reality, to manipulation, focusing above all on the latter aspect. Are we free in today’s capitalist society? Is it freedom to choose the iPhone case? Is the security of the citizens your worst enemy to know the truth? Questions that somehow were in the previous installments, but that the transformation of the world has made them make almost more sense in this fourth film. Now the bots are added, which lynch the enemies indicated by the system, political manipulation, disinformation and fake news.

Despite twenty years having passed since its release in theaters, the reflection of The Matrix is ​​still alive in society. The anodyne life of thousands of workers who go from home to work and from work to home, who do not consider anything else. And then there are the ones who do, the ones who find out that The Matrix manipulates us and does not let us be free, no matter how many beers we can drink in terraces and bars.

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The cultural impact of the original was enormous. Not only because of the connection of a disenchanted generation with the main characters, who were looking for something more, who were hypnotic and who told the average viewer something they wanted to hear. That they were not mediocre, that they were also part of those chosen ones who could discover the truth of the world. But also, Matrix brought an aesthetic marked by a completely new cybernetic style, with black and white, with sunglasses with small lenses, with leather, with shades of incandescent green numbers. And with the action scenes, the slow-motion bullets, the kung fu, coordinated by a perfect soundtrack.

In reality the script was based on emulating the narrative structure of the classic tale, whose tools Propp described. The sender, Morpheus, tasks the hero, Neo, with a task. In this case, it is discovering what reality is. In that adventure he has collaborators, like Trinity with whom he falls in love, and enemies, like Agent Smith. The fourth installment replicates the structure, although it adds more plots and characters, which makes it more complex. Basically, as in a good thriller, the positions of the new characters are not marked at the beginning, but are revealed in a game of betrayals. There is a psychologist -one of the great findings of the script, which means that Neo is a paranoid who sees things-, who intervenes in the action, a new Morpheus who does not lose charisma, and a newly created character, a fan, who actress Jessica Henwick plays. A diverse cast, also a sign of the director’s activism, which works and does not clash, in a delivery that has basically turned towards romance.

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The original aesthetic is maintained only in the flashbacks to the first tape. Those of the current era go to saturated colors, with a vintage halo, in a New York of modern cafes and skyscrapers. The visual effects, the original won the Oscar in this category in addition to four other statuettes such as montage and sound, they no longer surprise so much, but they are still spectacular, like the scene where Keanu Reeves does kung fu again, or one of the scenes end where the mystery is solved. The Wachowsky has done it again: rhythm, substance and form reconnect in a delivery that had it really difficult and that raises an amendment to the entire saga itself, with a final twist worthy of our time.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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