When I saw The Matrix in 1999 my mind was blown because it managed to innovate visually (in terms of special effects) and intrigue in terms of story.
People fighting and shooting each other in some combination of black leather/latex? Seen it before in Blade just a year earlier yet somehow The Matrix managed to make it look new, which oddly enough didn’t work quite as well for X-Men just a year later (and really wore out its welcome by the time Underworld (2003) came around).
CGI-assisted fights? Once again, not unusual but ‘bullet-time‘ managed to change the game.
Combine that with a plot that was clever but not too clever (a bit of advice The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – both released in 2003 – could have used) it was a movie that was firing on all cylinders: red-blooded American V8 cylinders (by way of Australia).
To return to that world strongly implied that whomever did so had not only to innovate in terms of special effects, but bring a story that was complex and philosophical, but not-too-philosophical to become pedantic (a trait that burdened both sequels).
And The Matrix Resurrections failed on all counts.
Though it also crashed and burned at the box office, earning almost $157 million on a $190 million dollar budget, which is interesting because despite being so expensive it also manages to look cheap, which is a feat of sorts?
The story, while not over-philosophising like Reloaded and Revolutions, doesn’t seem to have much to say.
Though there’s more…