The Matrix redefined sci-fi/action. Lilly and Lana Wachowski came into the world of movies and turned it on its head in a major way that would define an era. The Matrix introduced the world to Neo, who believes that Morpheus is the one who can answer his questions. However, he’s contracted by Trinity, a stranger who has the ability to lead Neo to the answers he’s looking for. Neo is in for the fight of his life, but the young man may soon discover that the truth could cost Neo something more precious. The 1999 feature was a smash hit worldwide, garnering nearly $500 million. From the offset, it seemed that Warner Brothers had another huge franchise on its hands, and based on the returns of The Matrix Reloaded, which made an astonishing figure north of $700 million, that fact appeared to be true.
However, notably, the supposed final film, The Matrix Revolutions, massively underperformed after the second came so close to making a billion dollars worldwide. Why? Well, that’s due to the fact that fans weren’t happy with the quality of the franchise. The problem is that The Matrix set the bar so high that the Wachowskis were unable to pass it following the first feature. What made The Matrix unique was the incredible, slow-motion action, along with the simple, yet complex story, and the fascinating world of The Matrix itself. In the eyes of many fans, the sequel just didn’t live up to the high expectations, with The Matrix Reloaded being considered a good movie by most, but given the level of the first film, good just wasn’t good enough. Sometimes, a movie sets a standard so high that expectations for the sequel must either match or exceed the quality of the first film.
The Godfather is considered one of the greatest films of all time. Like The Matrix, it redefined the genre of gangster films and set the standard on how they should be made from that point forward. Naturally, when a sequel was announced, many didn’t believe that it would equal the quality of the original feature; however, it managed to transcend the franchise to higher levels than before. However, The Godfather Part III couldn’t maintain the high-level precedent in the first two installments. The Hangover surprised audiences across the globe, giving a raunchy story with the level of humor and heart one of the funniest experiences of the summer. The Hangover Part II was a highly anticipated feature. In fact, like The Matrix, audiences came out in drones to see the next misadventures of Stu, Phil, and Alan. However, the sequel turned out to be a massive disappointment in the eyes of both fans and critics, as it was only a rehash of the first film, but this time, it was in Thailand, with a monkey replacing a tiger, Stu having a tattoo instead of a missing tooth, but Doug still being the one that ended up missing.
There are plenty of sequels that fail to live off the hype of its predecessor. With the quality of the previous two films not matching the first entry, it was going to be an uphill battle for Resurrections to gain any heat at the box office. Was it possible that The Matrix Resurrections was going to be better than the first movie? Yes! But the troubled production of the fourth film didn’t necessarily inspire confidence from audiences that it would reach such a feat. There’s no denying the talent of Lana Wachowski, but when you look at the quality of her and Lily’s filmography following The Matrix, there was also a question mark on whether she would be able to handle such a big film. Obviously, she understands the world more than anyone other than her sister, but it would’ve likely been wise if Lana handed the directorial duties to a talented director who understands The Matrix and give the material the respect it deserves. The Matrix holds a huge black cloud over a franchise that’s notable for its lackluster sequels. In the eyes of some, The Matrix Resurrections wasn’t too bad of a film. However, other consider the fourth entry to be the worst of the bunch thus far. Still, the general consensus is that The Matrix Resurrections doesn’t come close to matching the quality of the first movie. Perhaps The Matrix was only meant to be a one movie film? Given how diverse and big the world is, that’s not necessarily the case unlike The Hangover. At the end of the day, The Matrix ultimately killed The Matrix Resurrections. Since the latest entry couldn’t surpass the quality of the first movie, then fans just simply had no interest in being disappointed all over again.