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‘The Matrix Resurrections’ First Reactions Range From ‘Awe-Inducing’ to ‘Meta to a Fault’

By Ellise Shafer

Original Article Appears on Variety

The first reactions to “The Matrix Resurrections” are in — and it’s a mixed bag, ranging from “terrific” to “bogged down in exposition.”

As the film’s social media embargo lifted on Thursday night, film critics and journalists took to Twitter to share their opinions about the franchise’s latest installment.

Film critic Courtney Howard called it “a terrific, awe-inducing, meta mind-bender completely in line with the franchise’s legacy.” Howard also praised the movie for finding “an innovative, high-concept way to frame the new story.”

On the other hand, Cheat Sheet critic Jeff Nelson was less enthused with “The Matrix’s” latest outing, calling it “an almost 2.5-hour exposition dump with choppy action scenes reminiscent of the Bourne movies. It reuses far too much footage from previous installments and is meta to a fault.”

Although People news editor Nigel Smith wrote that the movie is “bogged down in exposition like the previous two,” he said that it’s “more fun than I remember the sequels ever being.”

Kirsten Acuna also enjoyed the film more than the franchise’s last two sequels, comparing it to Star Wars’ “The Force Awakens.”

But Mashable writer Alison Foreman wrote that in the film “nothing matters, and not in a cool nihilistic way.”

Forbes’ Scott Mendelson agreed, saying that it is a “comedy” with disappointing action and thin characters. However, he complimented the film’s “metatextual commentary.”

IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich had a much better impression, wring that the film “despite (and because of) its infinite goofiness, is the boldest & most vividly personal Hollywood sequel since ‘The Last Jedi.’ A silky/sincere galaxy brain take on reboot culture that makes peace with how modern blockbusters are now only about themselves.”

The fourth installment of the sci-fi franchise sees Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, but they don’t remember each other — or their pasts. Along with Reeves and Moss, the cast includes Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson and Daniel Bernhardt reprising roles from the original trilogy, as well as Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christina Ricci and Jonathan Groff.

Lana Wachowski directed the film from a script she co-wrote with David Mitchell and Aleksander Hemon. Sisters Lana and Lilly Wachowski created “The Matrix” franchise and wrote and directed the first three installments, which were huge box office hits and have grossed more than $1 billion globally.

“The Matrix Resurrections” hits theaters and HBO Max on Dec. 22.

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