“The Matrix Resurrections” has finally screened for press, industry, and other lucky viewers, and first reactions to the sequel from director Lana Wachowski are pouring in. This is not only the last major movie premiere to round out this year’s winter season, it’s also the first “Matrix” film since 2003’s “The Matrix Revolutions,” and the fourth film in the franchise. Check out a roundup of social media reactions — which are divided, but sway toward the positive — below.
“The Matrix 4” features Keanu Reeves (consummate game stuntman of all time) and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively, as well as Jada Pinkett-Smith as Niobe, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. They’re joined by a wave of high-profile co-stars including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Toby Unwumere, Priyanka Chopra, and more.
As the last trailer revealed, the franchise’s main characters no longer remember each other following the events of the original “Matrix” trilogy. Franchise newcomer Abdul-Mateen II is Morpheus, but he’s not Lawrence Fishburne’s version of the character that fans love.
“I think what the script provided was a new narrative and some new opportunities that did make room within the Matrix universe for a new Morpheus,” Abdul-Mateen II teased to Entertainment Weekly in October. “I play a character who’s definitely aware of the history of the Matrix [and] the history of Morpheus. This character is on a journey of self-discovery. There’s a lot in our story that’s about growth, defining your own path. Morpheus isn’t exempt from that. This is definitely a different iteration of the character.”
The film, written by Wachowski with authors David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, has been in development since 2017. Top-secret filming began February 4, 2020, in San Francisco under the code name “Project Ice Cream,” with filming also taking place in Germany and Chicago. Production was halted on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but then resumed in August. Filming wrapped in November 2021.
The film opens from Warner Bros. in theaters and day-and-date on HBO Max December 22.
The Matrix Resurrections, despite (and because of) its infinite goofiness, is the boldest & most vividly personal Hollywood sequel since The Last Jedi. a silly/sincere galaxy brain take on reboot culture that makes peace with how modern blockbusters are now only about themselves.
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) December 17, 2021
#TheMatrixResurrections is more fun than I remember the sequels ever being. Yes it’s bogged down in exposition like the previous two, but there’s a knowing wink to it all now. Newcomers Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff are key to that. Oh and the climax ROCKS. pic.twitter.com/2aWXYI7YAi
— Nigel Smith (@nigelmfs) December 17, 2021
It’s not perfect. There are some moments that might be complete and utter nonsense. But while THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS broke my heart, #TheMatrixResurrections… did the other thing. And I’m just so happy about that.
— Liz Shannon Miller (@lizlet) December 17, 2021
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS is a grandiose palate cleanser for the era of clinical nostalgia bait and sexless tentpoles: a totally earnest sci-fi romance with some of the most exuberant set pieces this side of Fury Road, empathetic and incisive in equal measure. Astonishing stuff. pic.twitter.com/tXgNubeF8g
— Dimitri Kraus (@simplykraus) December 16, 2021
The first act of #TheMatrixResurrections is STELLAR. Smart, funny, weird, self-referential & unexpected. Add to it wildly inventive action sequences, lofty storytelling decisions & a TON of big ideas that will fuel lots of questions. Trust me, multiple viewings will be required pic.twitter.com/q4jt0KQqft
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) December 17, 2021
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS is a total blast. Weird, romantic, *extremely.* meta, and consistently funny. I kind of loved it. (Also, everyone in this movie is ridiculously hot.) #TheMatrixResurrections
— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) December 17, 2021
So far I have personally spoken with half a dozen friends who’ve seen MATRIX 4 and no two reactions were identical. Excited to see where this takes us.
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) December 17, 2021
You’ll probably see it on the Oscars shortlist for Visual Effects but it might 50/50 for something like sound.
— Clayton Davis (@ByClaytonDavis) December 17, 2021
I’d definitely recommend watching the first three #Matrix movies if you can as the new film references them A LOT. Longtime fans w/ dig this film & the ways it twists the mythology. It also lays groundwork for not just more sequels, but also prequels. WB could go Matrix wild! pic.twitter.com/tk6zgy5hx9
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) December 17, 2021
The Matrix Resurrections — good stuff is unfathomably great, missteps mostly means to a lovely end. Nice movie about getting old. So swooningly romantic I sometimes couldn’t take it.
— Nick Newman (@Nick_Newman) December 17, 2021
lots to discuss in matrix resurrections but also i think there is a shot of keanu taking a shit or at least peeing sitting down
— Esther Zuckerman (@ezwrites) December 17, 2021
The past two weeks I’ve been talking to a ton of people who all, with the exception of one, have been like ‘Matrix Resurrections is going to be so so divisive, but I think I loved it?’
— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) December 17, 2021
There was a point in the middle of The Matrix Resurrections where I briefly thought it was the best movie ever made, and, like, I haven’t convinced myself it’s NOT?
I lovvvvvvved it. A lotta people are gonna haaaaaaaate. My favorite kind of movie!!
— Emily VanDerWerff (@emilyvdw) December 17, 2021
The Matrix Resurrections: best movie of the year? So angry, so joyous, so fun.
— Matt Patches (@misterpatches) December 17, 2021
#TheMatrixResurrections is a terrific, awe-inducing, meta mind-bender completely in line with the franchise’s legacy. Finds an innovative, high-concept way to frame the new story. Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss’ chemistry burns. Jessica Henwick is a revelation! @TheMatrixMovie pic.twitter.com/xRawqiOcuu
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) December 17, 2021
#TheMatrixResurrections is 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.
— Jeff Nelson (@SirJeffNelson) December 17, 2021
I am deeply happy for those who will enjoy #TheMatrixResurrections. I am, regrettably, not among them. It’s leagues better than Reloaded and Revolutions – which let’s be clear are really not good – but has bad stakes. Nothing matters, and not in a cool nihilistic way. pic.twitter.com/RnbQutdkKR
— Alison Foreman (@alfaforeman) December 17, 2021
#TheMatrixResurrections is a comedy. The action is disappointing and the new characters are thin. But the metatextual commentary is biting. It wrestles with its own legacy in that JURASSIC WORLD/BAD BOYS 3/RP1 fashion. I prefer the first three, but this is a wild swing. pic.twitter.com/7i3n5qUvOq
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) December 17, 2021
MATRIX RESURRECTIONS is much more meta than you’re expecting, locking on to the original film like a Sonic & Knuckles cartridge so it can remix and riff to Lana W’s delight. Loved all that, loved the love story, loved gay actors throwing punches. But action is surprisingly blah!
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) December 17, 2021