This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Loafers’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This is specifically a 9/10, and the original Matrix is specifically a 10/10, but the high points here are such a revelation that this is actually the best Matrix movie.
Basically. The first act of this where Neo is back in the Matrix, with all the meta shit? I feel currently that this is some of the best shit I've ever seen in a movie theatre. "Can they say that?" is a sentiment that gets derided a lot nowadays, but I was fucking STUNNED when they namedropped Warner Bros in the way that they did. And changing the Matrix colours from a low-saturation green tint to higher saturation all around was a fucking genius move - the new Matrix for the 2020s feels like an Instagram feed rather than an old, boxy computer. All those location shots look like travel blogs, deliberately cultivated genericity.
And, like, after that, the bits in Zion 2 are relatively baggy. But it's good! It's trying to execute on the ideas from Reloaded and Revolutions and actually landing it! In retrospect, Reloaded and Revolutions were written as if it was a TV show - introducing a sprawling cast of characters, giving a bunch of them their own arc. And the result was data overload - I'm sure there are interesting defences to be made of many of their ideas, but I really struggled to remember everything about all the different people. Here, you're once again introduced to a whole gang, but it works much better because, like in the first Matrix, you're not also given a jumble of character arcs along with them. They're just entertaining and believable people who are part of the gang. Niobe in particular is a revelation.
In the first movie, I wasn't sold on Neo and Trinity as a romance. It's the one aspect Reloaded and Revelations did much better, even if I object to some, uh, plot choices, refrigeratorwise. This time around - I mean, it's hard to know what to say except I was on the verge of tears multiple times.
I may as well end this by saying the most obvious thing. This movie has achieved the goal it sets itself explicitly within the text: it's true to the original Matrix by, in its turn, being new and original.