The Matrix: Resurrections Falls Flat


December 2021 was a month packed with movie releases, including both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Sing 2. However, one of the most unexpected releases of 2021 was the revival sequel to the groundbreaking 1999 movie The Matrix. After 18 years, The Matrix: Resurrections adds onto the popular storyline, probably in the hopes of starting another trilogy of sequels. But how did this new movie hold up to its predecessors?

The Matrix: Resurrections started off slow, but the second and third acts of the movie were well paced and packed with enough content to keep the viewer interested. The plot was well executed despite not being particularly exciting or new, and both the new characters and the old were fresh and likeable. 

The movie did a good job of refining elements that had been used previously in the The Matrix series. The directors certainly used nostalgia to their advantage, throwing in callbacks to all three of the previous movies. However, they still were able to add a fresh feel to the movie. 

Though the movie was fresh, the concepts and ideas within the film were not. Anyone watching the movie without prior knowledge of the series would probably feel left behind or confused upon watching it for the first time. 

Criticism still surrounds the film despite its nostalgia. Though its references to previous movies are welcome at times, it feels as though it relies too heavily on nostalgia at others. The second and third acts were paced well enough, but the exposition to the movie is slow and confusing (though the confusion may be purposeful, as the viewer finds out later). The main antagonist of the movie is vague and not well developed and while the action is well done, for the most part it is dull and lacking tension.

Despite the critics, Resurrections holds up relatively well considering that it is a revival almost 20 years prior to the final movie in the original trilogy. 

Although the movie had average reviews with a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63% audience rating, it still didn’t do as well in the box office as producers may have hoped. The movie has only made a little over $100 Million worldwide within the two weeks it’s been out. This may be due to a number of factors.

For one, revival sequels are typically far less likely to do well in the box office. There has been an 18 year gap between when the last movie came out and now, which isn’t very conducive for activity within the series’ fanbase. Combined with the mixed reviews on the previous two sequels in 2003, there simply wasn’t a huge audience that was excited for the movie. 

Furthermore, the movie was marketed relatively poorly with very few advertisements and commercials. Resurrections was also released free to watch on HBO Max the same day it was released in theaters, leading there to be a much smaller in theater audience. 

Not to mention that the movie released only five days after Spider Man: No Way Home, a movie that has been highly anticipated for months. No other movie could compete with No Way Home in the box office, let alone a mediocre sequel to a movie that came out over 20 years ago. 

All this to say, though The Matrix: Resurrections was an entertaining movie, it’s not strong enough to stand up to other more anticipated and newer movies. It’s characters, both new and old, really shine, however it starts off slow and relies heavily on nostalgia from the first three films. Though it’s worth a watch if you’re a fan of the series, it may be easier to do it from the comfort of your own home rather than sitting in a theater for 148 minutes.