There Was a Way to Save The Matrix 4 From The Resurrections Disaster
Instead of the disastrous The Matrix Resurrections, we could have had a great prequel that fully chronicled the war with the machines.
- For all their flaws, the second and third Matrix movies turned the story into a nice trilogy with a decent conclusion
- The fourth film, released many years later, was an utter embarrassment and effectively buried the franchise, destroying its legacy
- If the creators wanted to make another Matrix movie so badly, they should have taken notes from The Animatrix
The Wachowskis' The Matrix, released in 1999, was a truly groundbreaking creation that captured the minds of countless viewers around the world and left a lasting impact on the world.
Although similar themes had been explored in various projects before, such as the Megazone 23 anime and Dark City, which coincidentally was released only a year earlier in 1998, it was the Keanu Reeves-starrer that brought them all together in a perfect form and changed popular culture forever.
Even its own sequels, which only expanded the scope of the story, never managed to top the greatness of the original, although they were still perfectly entertaining movies and provided a nice overarching story and a decent conclusion to the trilogy, with Neo giving his life to save humanity.
It Was Clear From The Beginning That Matrix 4 Would Be A Flop
So when it was announced that the fourth movie was in the works, and that it wouldn't be a prequel or a spin-off, fans were extremely cautious, fearing that it would completely ruin what the trilogy had built up over its course.
Unfortunately, their fears proved to be true, as upon its release in 2021, The Matrix Resurrections was completely destroyed by critics and fans alike, and became a massive box office flop.
The saddest part was that the movie still had traces of enormous potential for a great story, but those initial hints and ideas were completely wasted.
The filmmakers could have gone literally any other way, from bringing back the discarded concept of the "real world" being just another layer of The Matrix, to making the protagonist a digital construct of Neo's consciousness struggling with his artificial nature.
But in the end, the movie was turned into an underwhelming action flick where the characters were literally brought back from the dead, and even the meta commentary about milking the franchise couldn't save Resurrections from failure.
At the same time, the best idea for another Matrix movie that didn't require rewriting the ending of the third film has been hiding in plain sight all along, and was even briefly used for the animated installment of the franchise.
Instead Of Continuing Neo's Story, Creators Should Have Gone Back to Roots
Released in 2003, The Animatrix was an anthology of stories set in the world of The Matrix, each with a different animation style.
One of the stories, titled The Second Renaissance, was split into two parts and gave fans crucial information about how the war between humans and machines began.
It seemed that after the robots had become sentient, they tried to live in peace separately from humans, eventually forming their own nation, Zero One, but they were so successful that they damaged the economies of other countries.
This led to a nuclear attack on Zero One, which turned into a huge war that the stupid humans eventually lost, becoming the living batteries for the machines as the skies were darkened to cut off solar power for the machines.
Adapting this story to live action seems like a much better idea than what was actually used for the fourth Matrix movie, as not everyone has seen The Animatrix, and The Second Renaissance showed the events quite briefly.
There are certain complications with this, like the fact that the animated movie was great in part because of its gorgeous art style, and the story itself is incredibly dark and depressing, which may not be to everyone's taste, but it remains miles ahead of Resurrections.
Either way, the disastrous flop of the movie practically buried the entire franchise, so it's safe to say that we won't be seeing any more stories set in the Matrix universe anytime soon.