Warner Brothers has sent me back to The Matrix with a copy of their 4K version of The Matrix Resurrections, which is available today in wonderful physical media form of blu-ray and 4K disc.
Like everything after the first film, released back in 1999, this installment is as divisive as Reloaded and Revolutions, but for different reasons. And much like the original trilogy films, there is a lot to be taken away from these films as opposed to those who simply chart them up as sci-fi actioners.
Where the first trio of films were about change, and an allegory for being trans, as well as defining love is love, this new film seems to be about connection, loss, and mental health (I really got a lot of that in the first half of the film).
What Lana Wachowski does with this film, sister Lily wasn’t involved, is not what most people would have expected or even hoped for, but she takes the series in a fresh new direction, while being faithful to all that has gone before it.
It’s all meta on a number of very enjoyable levels, as it seems both Thomas Anderson aka Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) have found themselves plugged back into The Matrix, where Anderson continues to work as a programmer, In fact, his biggest success wasa trio of video games known as The Matrix (whose footage looks a lot like the first three films).
But part of him has found a way to code a back door in case someone comes looking for him, in case someone can find him. Enter Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and a digital entity that seems to be a combination of Morpheus and Agent Smith (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and Anderson is once again faced with that choice, and what it may mean for him.
Red pill of blue pill?
With visual nods, callbacks, cues, and more, the story tells its own story, in a way only a Wachowski could have created. And like the first pair of sequels, not everyone will love it, but of all the sequels (as much as I enjoy them) this one resonated the most with me.
I really enjoyed the way the series took a left turn that no one really expected (while taking playful shots at the series’ fans and distributor), and the addition of some new cast members like Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas make this new iteration of The Matrix something to see.
It doesn’t have the green-tinted, comic book feel, look and sound of the previous films, and the fight sequences, while fluid and outrageous, don’t seem as over-the-top as they did in the previous films. They feel grittier, playing against the beautiful locations, set pieces, and back drops.
It’s also interesting, watching the bevy of extras loaded onto the blu-ray disc, how much was done practically, how the shooting progressed, and how Lana Wachowski has grown as a filmmaker since the first film.
The film’s transfer is nothing short of jaw dropping. Shot digitally (the previous three were shot on film), the image pops off the screen with vibrant colors and imagery. Everything looks gorgeous, and the location work, and computer images combine, almost seamlessly, to bring Wachowski’s vision to life.
Equally up to the 4K task is the sound, which rumbles wonderfully through your home theatre system, and makes every moment of the film an experience.
And finally, if you’re like me, you want a slew of extras. For the most part, the extras deliver. There’s a very enjoyable recap of the first three film, a half hour look at the production of the film, a look at how the Neo and Trinity relationship has grown, a look at one of the stunning stunts of the film done by Moss and Reeves, the new cast and their characters, as well as returning faces, and a breakdown of scenes, and the production’s involvement in them. A good bunch of extras paired with a solid entry in the series.
This one is a no-brainer for me – I had to have it.
The Matrix Resurrections is available today on 4K and blu-ray from Warner Brothers Canada today!