Hollywood is often criticized for an apparent lack of inspiration, manifest in its preference for spinoffs, sequels and remakes of established classic productions. In other words, in the absence of new ideas, studios keep returning to the movies they already know are profitable. Why fix something if it ain’t broke, and all that.
This is one case where a sequel is both unexpected and welcome. The Matrix 4, officially titled The Matrix: Resurrections drops on HBO Max in December this year, and we finally have the first, full official trailer. If you’re into seeing stuff being blown up (who isn’t?), logic-defying fight sequences and action scenes, and a narrative that’s swerves between opposing realities at a dizzying pace, this is it.
Resurrections brings back Keanu Reeves as Thomas / Neo, this very modern Alice in a Wonderland he would rather not exist. The first trailer is packed with references that Matrix fans will undoubtedly recognize and love, from the high quantity of blue pills ingested per take to slo-mo fight scenes in dojos, and the way Thomas uncovers his true identity and learns how to fight the evil system. If Alice is to go down the rabbit hole, you bet it’s going to get messy.
And the trailer proves it. Cars and trains are blown up or shot at, as are helicopters, police cruisers and the occasional motorcycle. There’s an intense fight scene inside a fast-moving train car, bullets are being stopped with the power of thought, and everything seems to happen on fast-forward. Jefferson Airplane’s iconic and trippy White Rabbit (1967) is a very fitting choice for the mayhem unleashed.
The Matrix: Resurrections is directed by Lana Wachowski and also stars newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick-Harris, Priyanka Chopra and no Laurence Fishburne, in what fans say is the most blasphemous move for the sequel. Even with this blaring omission, it still looks amazing. What a lovely Christmas present for fans, though probably not for this modern interpretation of Alice.