By John Saavedra

The Matrix Resurrections is a nostalgia-filled legacy sequel unlike any other.

The Matrix Resurrections is not only the unexpected continuation of Neo and Trinity’s story after the events of Revolutions, but a meta examination of the franchise’s legacy.

From the very first scene, The Matrix Resurrections nods to the year 1999, going as far as recreating whole moments from the original movie.

But this is from visionary director Lana Wachowski, who isn’t as interested in dealing out easter eggs and winking at the audience as she is commenting on our obsession with nostalgia.

The Matrix Resurrections may be the most self-aware nostalgia play ever made, and the first hour is largely devoted to reckoning with the franchise’s past in very direct ways.

But the film asks questions like “what does The Matrix mean to people in 2021?” and “what should The Matrix actually become going forward?”

Most importantly, it asks a big question about this current era of Hollywood: just because you can bring old stories back from the past, should you?

To be sure, this is one of the most intelligent Matrix movies to date, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a ton of fun – and yes, a very satisfying nostalgia trip.

Four installments in, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are still digging up new sides of Neo and Trinity. Unsurprisingly, they have endless chemistry on screen.

It’s through them that Wachowski explores some very personal material about time lost and second chances, all leading to a very cathartic and action-packed third act.

There’s loads of action, from slow-motion bullet hells jam-packed with gravity defying stunts, to chaotic car chases, to a stunning leap of faith off a giant skyscraper.

Jessica Henwick and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, starring as the acrobatic Bugs and a surprisingly funny new take on Morpheus, are also major highlights that set up the future of the franchise.

Whether or not we get to see that future will likely depend on the success of Resurrections, which is out now in theaters and on HBO Max.