Before The Matrix Resurrections was the 1999 riveting, exciting, and compelling opening of the Matrix series. The “red and blue” pill choice offering freedom or continued blind servitude became part of pop culture vocabulary, akin to the Seinfeld inspired “Yada Yada Yada” or “Festivus for the RestOfUs.” Keanu Reeves as a computer hacker codenamed Neo, through the mysterious mentor Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), discovers that humans psychically inhabit a digitally created computer program. At the same time, their insensate bodies feed artificial intelligence (AI) overseers. He (aka Mr. Anderson) is destined to lead an underground of noble humans fighting back secretly in fear by overcoming powerful computer-generated quasi-federal agent tools and their AI masters.
Perhaps it was a false expectation that historical familiarity and admiration of the 1999 premiere could propel a parallel creation of a sequel replete with mystery, intrigue, romance, and new award-winning attributes. Although the film score was noticeably interesting, new special effects and inconsequential dialogue were inadequate to draw an astute participant into the dreamscape. Individuals continually exited the theater as the film trudged forward.
Minutes into this fourth edition of the Matrix franchise reminded me of the B. B. King’s 60s chestnut The Thrill is Gone. What came was confusion and an indolent bearded Neo, or wait, Mr. Anderson manifestation, or maybe not, inspiring another 60s Led Zeppelin song, Dazed and Confused.
Keanu Reeves has a large fan base and is known for his broad talents, philanthropy, and generosity. While he draws audiences to his work, inadequate excitement ensues when former paramour Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) is discovered in a vegetative state in a slime-filled casket, providing energy to AI masters as her consciousness lives with an ersatz family. Trinity’s plight drives a series of events to free and reunite her with Neo. Just as Neo did, I wondered why he could no longer fly. Fortunately, Trinity can zip around like a butterfly. Laurence Fishburne did not reprise his Morpheus role, so we got a friendly AI substitute machine version and statue.
B.B. King ” The Thrill Is Gone ” Lp : Completely Well (1969) BluesWay Records / ABC Records