Let's Talk About 'The Matrix Resurrections'' Big Missing Part
The Matrix had plenty of tricks up its sleeve that helped make it the action landmark it became – well, that, and copying Dark City (#neverforget). The Wachowskis' movie had bullet-time, wire-fu, its broader inspiration in anime, sci-fi, cyberpunk, John Woo movies, hell, even a friggin' Rage Against The Machine song to cap it all. It also had one production element that was sorely missing from Resurrections: Yuen Woo-ping's fight scene choreography.
You know, the guy who sets up stuff like this.
Yuen Woo-ping is a legendary action choreographer from Hong Kong, whose better-known works for us Westerners are in The Matrix and Kill Bill movies, or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (we don't talk about the Netflix sequel he also directed, though). Yet, for whatever reason, he did not lend his aesthetic-defining talent to Resurrections. Instead, the movie's fight scenes were planned by people from the John Wick movies, who without a doubt have a lot of talent of their own. No disrespect to them here. But the proverbial shoes weren't nearly filled, as the fight scenes of a fourth Matrix should have gone toe to toe with the movies that were influenced by it – at worse looking like the ones from Shang-Chi, or at best like what Yuen Woo-ping himself has been doing lately:
"Art, films, books were all better! Originality mattered! You gave us Face-Zucker-suck and – wait, what, holy crap, that's awesome!" - The Merovingian while watching this.
Maybe he wasn't available, maybe he wasn't asked, maybe there wasn't enough budget for such high action quality, maybe the gang is too old to even pretend to be able to pull off moves like that. More importantly, there is the question of whether Lana Wachowski even wanted to have such awesome action scenes in her movie. This is because Resurrections is something of an anti-sequel making fun of its own corporate-driven existence, hence rather adding to the Matrix canon as a strange sorta zombie-romcom-reboot. In other words, perhaps the movie simply doesn't want to be that kind of bigger-louder sequel.
Indeed, as people have pointed out, Resurrections not only continues transgender-related themes retroactively clear in the first movie, but it also takes back its own (identity-subverting) identity from the Cheeto-dusted clutches of those who made its red pill into a symbol for everything the original did not represent. You know the ones: those whose entire worldview is based on misinterpreting things: The Matrix, Fight Club, Squid Game, hell, even Rage Against the Machine.
So was Yuen Woo-ping sorely missing from Resurrections? Of course. Except maybe the question is not if he was missing from it or not, but whether his inclusion in Resurrections was even necessary in the first place. After all, the Wachowskis already made a 'cool movie' to question deep-rooted structures of power – only to see those more comfortable in them appropriating it. Really, is there anything reactionaries do understand?
Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures