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First Matrix 4 reactions are in – and the sequel is already proving divisive

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Matrix 4, AKA The Matrix Resurrections, is just days away – and reactions are pouring in.

While the plot of the film is still under wraps, the official synopsis promises: "In a world of two realities – everyday life and what lies behind it – Thomas Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. Choice, while an illusion, is still the only way in or out of the Matrix, which is stronger, more secure, and more dangerous than ever before."

Responses to the movie (both praise and criticism) are focused on the action, love story, and meta elements, and so far are very mixed.  

GamesRadar+'s own Jack Shepherd wrote: "#TheMatrixResurrections has been replaying in my head for days now. It has so much to say (perhaps too much at times) but, at its core, Lana Wachowski uses this franchise to tell a deeply personal love story."

Film critic Courtney Howard said the film "is a terrific, awe-inducing, meta mind-bender completely in line with the franchise's legacy. Finds an innovative, high-concept way to frame the new story. Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss' chemistry burns. Jessica Henwick is a revelation!"

Strange Harbors' Jeff Zhang also had high praise: "#TheMatrixResurrections ROCKS. Ambitious, sci-fi metafiction sure to be divisive, it's Lana Wachowski's meditation on why she didn't want do another Matrix movie…via another Matrix movie. Creator vs. destroyer, revival, and the illusion of choice in a brand new context."

Yahoo Entertainment's Ethan Alter wrote: "Absolutely adored #TheMatrixResurrections, which builds on where the sequels left off in beautiful and unexpected ways, and presents a world that's entirely consistent with what came before and also opens it up to a host of new stories. My synapses have been firing for days."

FilmSpeak's Griffin Schiller said: "#TheMatrixResurrections is an absolute SLAM DUNK! A bold, deeply personal, vibrant, & BITING anti legacy sequel that challenges the complacency of our nostalgia-obsessed world & how the system has evolved to exploit that. THIS is how you "resurrect" a franchise!" 

Fandango's Erik Davis wrote: "The first act of #TheMatrixResurrections is STELLAR. Smart, funny, weird, self-referential & unexpected. Add to it wildly inventive action sequences, lofty storytelling decisions & a TON of big ideas that will fuel lots of questions. Trust me, multiple viewings will be required"

But reactions haven't all been positive. Mashable's Alison Foreman said: "I am deeply happy for those who will enjoy #TheMatrixResurrections. I am, regrettably, not among them. It's leagues better than Reloaded and Revolutions – which let's be clear are really not good – but has bad stakes. Nothing matters, and not in a cool nihilistic way."

Variety's Clayton Davis also had some criticism: "#TheMatrixResurrections is too self aware of its existence. Poking fun at itself a bit too much, it's very heavy on the love story, with not a lot of showstopping action and effects, which is what the people want. Best part is Jonathan Groff but that's just life at this point." 

Cheat Sheet's Jeff Nelson said: "#TheMatrixResurrections is an almost 2.5-hour exposition dump with choppy action scenes reminiscent of the Bourne movies. It reuses far too much footage from previous installments and is meta to a fault." 

Awards Radar's Joey Magidson wrote: "#TheMatrixResurrections is a Matrix sequel, that's for sure. Better than the last two, it still pales in comparison to the original. Some of the ideas bandied about are interesting, and the cast is game to be back, but not enough feels new here. Solid, but a letdown."

The Matrix Resurrections arrives this December 22 in theaters and on HBO Max in the US. In the meantime, check out our ultimate Matrix recap to get up to speed on the entire franchise.

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.