Initial Impressions of Matrix 4
Matrix 4 premiered this week to movie theaters and HBOMax. It’s been 22 years since the release of the first Matrix. Critics have been all over the board in the reviews thus far.
Note that the following *does not* contain plot spoilers.
Although this was a highly anticipated sequel, there were concerns. There’s been an 18-year gap since the last Matrix film. Laurence Fishburne was not invited to reprise his role of Morpheus (although an explanation is given in the film). Hugo Weaving was also not invited to reprise his role of Agent Smith. Lana Wachowski directed it alone this time.
Without giving away spoilers, here is what I felt this fourth installment was trying to do:
- Provide better closure to the entire Matrix series. I remember watching the end of the 3rd movie and feeling both betrayed and confused because I didn’t understand the ending, nor agree with it. This 4th movie provides enough closure.
- Put female characters in the forefront. As many fans know, the Wachowski brothers have transitioned from male to female since the original Matrix series. In general, this has nothing to do with anything, and yet, it does. It was clear to me that a woman’s touch was provided all throughout this 4th film in a very palpable way. This film is an homage to women. I believe my experience of the film was different than my husband’s, and I was pleased. Without giving away too much, Lana empowered the female characters in this film and provided what I’ll call more “gender balance”, in a manner that didn’t exist in the previous Matrix films.
The action sequences were good and improved. The plot was messy and confusing. The intentional throwbacks to the original series were interesting. It was very meta. This will not be heralded as the best Matrix film, and I think the cult following will most likely shun this one.
However, as a huge Matrix fan and a woman, I enjoyed this film. I appreciate what Lana was trying to do. While this was not my favorite movie in the series and I hope this is the final conclusion, I feel like it was a better sendoff than Matrix 3.
What did you think of Matrix 4?
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