aklingus’s review published on Letterboxd:
Now that I have watched it and found it to be really good, I can safely say that I was not expecting much out of this coming in, mainly because the other two sequels have never moved me (and I have tried), and I felt like the concept of a fourth Matrix movie was not really necessary. Well, it turns out Lana Wachowski kinda feels the same way! A large portion of this movie is so deeply meta that you can get whiplash, all the interspersed scenes from the other movies and the nods and winks and repeated lines and music cues and even an entire scene lifted from the original, all meant to sort of tweak our noses and say “yeah, I know, I get it”. But once we get past that (actually rather salient) bit of meta-commentary, what we get is something surprisingly warm and sweet, one that understands that the characters and their journeys mean as much to these movies as a dude moving in slo-mo while bullets fly around him, and one that has just as much to say about Our Times In General as it does about the state of the very industry that made it so we got this flick in the first place. I know I’m sort of talking more about the why of this movie than the what, so let me say that the what is also quite well done, as the story takes some very interesting turns and it’s always nice seeing Reeves and Moss together and the final action sequence is right up there with anything from any of the other movies. I very much enjoyed Ricci and Pinkett Smith in their small roles, Jessica Henwick seems like a budding star, and especially Yahya Abdul-Mateen II did great in a nearly impossible role as Morpheus 2.0. If we were gonna get this movie, this is the best possible version of this movie we could have gotten, and (one presumes) we can safely close the book on these films. God, Lana Wachowski must dream of smothering Ben Shapiro to death with a pillow while he sleeps. Shout out to how much I kept thinking Jonathan Groff was actually Glenn Howerton.