Matrix Resurrections: can you make your eighth film as if it were your first?

Matrix Resurrections: can you make your eighth film as if it were your first?

A look back at this fourth part of Matrix, produced solo by Lana Wachowski, on the occasion of its first free-to-air broadcast on television.

Released in cinemas at the end of 2021, Matrix Resurrection arrives this week on TV, unencrypted. Precisely this Friday evening on TMC. A good reason to take stock, come back to its mixed reception from the publicdivided between spectators and critics who loved its meta aspect and those who were lost, or even felt insulted by this concept.

Hence this second review of the film Lana Wachowskipublished in number 526 of First (February 2022 with The Batman on the cover), after having had time to fully digest this very rich work, filled with many levels of reflection. Before continuing, we advise you to read first our initial review of the filmpublished just after discovering it on the big screen, because it “answers” by analyzing its themes more deeply.

Excluded – Lana Wachowski: “There was no question of returning to the Matrix to go back”

The saga was closed, the fans were satisfied, confusion “Reloaded” almost forgotten. Teasingly, Lana Wachowski takes the gamble of annoying everyone with this angry, messy and shaken fourth part. The killing of a franchise like no other.

Doesn’t the Wachowskis’ cinema deserve more lukewarmness? In any case, it would be a question of learning the lesson. After twenty-five years of career, apart from a few more or less hallucinatory oracles, the whole world has been systematically misled about their work. Boundan astonishing thriller, a total exercise in style and a perfect first film, was an exception: the critics, the public and the Wachos were perfectly on the same wavelength.

From Matrix on the other hand, only misunderstandings. There were films that were loved at the time of their release, for the wrong reasons. There were also those who were hated, for even worse reasons. Time has obviously taken care of reshaping things, smoothing out certain peaks, making a few hills climb, and demonstrating that this body of work does not tolerate praise or tomatoes. On the contrary, he seemed to demand everything that he is systematically denied: nuance, patience and a little distance.

This is obviously everything we didn’t see at the time of the release of Matrix Resurrectionswhich was initially a critical obsession ” Who thinks “ before transforming into a hashtag that brings likes and visibility. Seasoned with sauce “ultra-contemporary masterpiece” then snacked like “unwatchable-meta-stupid” new Matrix suffered the usual outrages of world cinephiles, with all the more force as it arrived during the end-of-year top season. And meanwhile, the general public preferred to look away…

DUALITY. At the house of First, you will have understood, we have learned our lesson well. We know we have to give time, especially when it comes to films. Matrix. We therefore award three stars to Resurrections, “not bad but not great” if anyone needs a quote for a DVD cover, and we’ll talk about it in the pages Classics ten years from now, thank you for your attention. However, let us add this: Matrix Resurrections is not quite a Wachowski film, but a film signed by Lana alone, that is to say the showrunner of Sense8season 2.

In fact, if Resurrections is indeed an object to be deciphered according to a grid ” author “, it is also its exact opposite, that is to say a first film, necessarily carrying with it a little innocence and trial and error. This is the kind of poetic aporia that the Wachowski sisters have been particularly fond of since their beginnings: can you make your eighth film as if it were your first? Unless it’s the other way around…

From Bound, the Wachowskis’ filmography is entirely focused on the idea of ​​duality (lover or femme fatale? Blue pill or red pill? Brother or competitor?), which lacks neither charm nor obviousness for artists from the same siblings. Evoking from their beginnings a certain taste for Taoist philosophies, the sisters naturally found themselves building, hand in hand, a work based entirely on the concept of yin and yang. At 56, Lana nevertheless chose to continue her career alone, Lilly having preferred to take the path of early retirement. As a matter of principle, Matrix Resurrections is therefore a film out of tune, an object which is opposed (to Hollywood, to the fans, to the trilogy Matrix) but that nothing ever really completes. A yin looking for its yang.

Duality again: the matrix was running smoothly because the Architect’s equations were wonderfully well balanced. As long as Neo was equal to Smith, humans could continue to sleep nicely in their cocoon. The narrative challenge of the trilogy: a perpetual quest for imbalance between the Chosen One and his antagonist in a suit. In Resurrections it is the Neo-Trinity relationship which will serve as fuel for the story. This once whispered love story (a little too whispered) is told here like a garish romance. This time the film will illustrate the search for completeness, which makes the project both legitimate and a little touching. The surprise, which is obviously no longer one, is that to get there, you must first go through a first chapter which puts love at a distance and harmony in a box. A yin that parasitizes the yang.

META-FILM. First the Pirandello effect, the fourth wall shattered, the scenes replayed from another angle, the fingers raised at the members of the Warner board and the hand that comes to bite the fans. It feels like we’re in Gremlins 2, minus the virtuosity. After that, the reunion, the mad love, the digital chromos, “another chance” and the walk in the air and in the arms as a final bouquet. Nice, if we admit that the idea counts more than its execution. Touching, provided you have forgotten EVERYTHING that came before.

Scoop: Lana Wachowski is not the Architect, and balancing equations is clearly not one of her hobbies. There is no question of bringing together the game of massacre and melodrama, distancing and belief, sneering and the little tear that flows. The trilogy Matrix brought together action and introspection, Hong Kong and Hollywood, cyberpunk and Joel Silver, Resurrections For his part, he refuses any idea of ​​reconciliation. It is his subject, his temperament, but also his weakness.

We can like the meta-film of the great angry demiurge (the already famous: “for those who love to eat shit” slipped at the beginning), we can taste the little scruffy SF poem (and especially the serene genius of Carrie-Anne Moss), but we will never see one in dialogue with the other. Will time eventually bring them closer together? Will the miracle symbiosis between the eighth and first films finally take place? For now, something is resisting, two too distinct currents are crossing Matrix Resurrections. A hot shot. A cold snap. Never lukewarm.

Romain Thoral

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