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‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Draws Mixed First Reactions: ‘Self-Aware,’ ‘Convoluted’ and ‘Romantic’

The Warner Bros. film is described by one critic as the boldest Hollywood sequel since ”The Last Jedi“

The first reactions to the Warner Bros. sequel “The Matrix Resurrections” have arrived, and you won’t really find a consensus among them. Lana Wachowski returns to co-write and direct this sequel without her sister Lilly, but with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity from the groundbreaking original “Matrix” trilogy. The story has been firmly under wraps, and judging by the first reactions to the film it’s not necessarily a straight-forward follow-up.

Of the initial wave of critics, many singled out the “meta” nature of “The Matrix 4,” with which Wachowski appears to be commenting on the very nature of reboots and legacy sequels. TheWrap’s own Drew Taylor described it as “like if ‘Gremlins 2’ had a $150 million budget and lots of Kung Fu.” “’The Matrix Resurrections feels like Lana Wachowski was like, ‘I am going to begrudge that this film needs to exists, but if it must, it’s going to be a big damn love story,’” said Collider’s Matt Goldberg. Indiewire’s David Ehrlich, meanwhile, called it “the boldest and most vividly personal Hollywood sequel since ‘The Last Jedi,’” and he wasn’t the only person to reference Rian Johnson’s divisive “Star Wars” sequel.

Slashfilm’s Chris Evangelista called the film a “total blast” and described it as “weird, romantic” and “extremely meta” before comparing it favorably to another meta sequel, “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.” Vox’s Emily VanDerWerff acknowledged that while she loved it, “a lotta people are gonna haaaaaate [it],” and indeed even among the positive praise for the film there’s still some mixed reaction.

Check out a fuller roundup of the initial wave of critical reactions below. “The Matrix Resurrections” will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22.