Which was a vain hope, as it turned out.
Yes, this review will contain spoilers. It's not worth your time, and you should know why.
The movie does open with some amount of promise, which just makes everything else worse. The duplication of the opening scene of the first movie is intriguing. So is finding Neo -- excuse me, Thomas Anderson -- is a game developer and that The Matrix is a video game that he created. These are interesting questions. What does all this mean for the "reality" of the other movies?
As it turns out, nothing. It all just turns out to be the set up for Neo re-taking the red pill so he can get back to the real world again.
Then there's a long-ass fight scene that was so long I got bored.
Which all leads us to the "real" point of the movie (and I think we're more than an hour in, by this time): to get Trinity out of the matrix in the same way she got Neo out in the original movie. The only difference is that we get to watch it from the outside rather than the inside. But it's still just the same story over again. Except with zombies. Which they call the swarm.
Every little piece of the movie that could have been interesting, they avoid dealing with. For instance, Morpheus is somehow now an Agent. He doesn't know it at first but the Agent in question somehow quickly realizes he's really Morpheus. Hmm... well, that's interesting! Do they delve into that at all? No... We just now have an Agent who can leave the matrix in a... nano-metal body? I don't know what to call it. It doesn't really matter. It's just an excuse for some cool special effects.
And there are robots on the side of the humans, but do they give that any kind of focus? No... It's just, "oh, yeah, they joined us after the third movie because of your sacrifice."
There's the whole character of The Analyst and his supposed understanding of humans, which makes him unique among the robots, but, again, it's just something that's stated and they don't explain or delve at all. There are ramifications here, man!
Not mention Agent Smith, who is now played by Jonathan Groff and is also playing both sides of the field, sometimes fighting against Neo and sometimes with him. The only explanation given to that is that The Analyst has had Smith under his control, somewhat like he's had Neo under his control, and he won't go back to that. So, fine. But what the fuck was he doing under The Analyst's control to begin with.
There are all of these things just dropped throughout the movie, like the people bombs in the final fight scene, and not a single one of them are explored. Neo and Trinity look old to other "people" in the matrix. Why? It can't even maintain a cool factor because they move on from it so quickly that it doesn't have any meaning. None of it does.
In the end, that's the downfall of the movie. None of it has any meaning. It's just The Matrix over again with a bit of 2 and 3 rolled into it so that we don't forget that those two movies exist. Even the brief glimmers of self-awareness that the movie has are squashed. Meaningless.
The actors are all fine. Completely adequate. No one stands out. Maybe Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. A little. It felt like he was going to bring some fun to the character of Morpheus, then all of that ended when he left the matrix.
I don't know... the whole movie is kind of... meh. It's not bad; it's just not good. It definitely doesn't rise anywhere near to the level of the first one. It's more watchable than 2 and 3, for sure, but not that much more watchable. Probably not enough for me to ever go back and watch it again. If I had paid money to see it (rather than watching it on HBO), I probably would have been upset. It's just another Warner Bros. failure.