Warning: The following contains spoilers regarding Matrix Ressurections
“They turned him into a JC Penney Model.”
That’s what I was saying when I watched Matrix: Resurrections earlier this week, as the revived franchise essentially ruined one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
If you happened to walk into this blog post, and don’t really have any plans on seeing the movie, they essentially “reskinned” Agent Smith from Hugo Weaving suit-clad, nemesis of Neo to someone who looks like he should be a contestant on the next season of the Bachelor.
Agent Smith was one of the best parts of the original mythology. He was positioned as this sterile, undefeated, inevitability, that our heroes were literally instructed to run from. When Neo finally decided to stand his ground in the final sequence of the first film, it was a legendary moment of modern cinema that caused audiences everywhere to cheer.
Even in the second two films, when the plot lost it’s way and Smith was given his Superman-Borg powers, he still provoked a response the audience and he had a gravitas delivering his lines that ensured we still had fun.
In Ressurections, you have to be constantly reminded that it’s him. Even the transformation of other agents with the eyeballs flashing instead of a full change is shortchanging us from something we were looking forward to.
It’s funny. The best Agent Smith scene in the franchise is when he firsts meets Thomas Anderson. The delivery of dialog, and the cocky yet procedural way it’s all done. When Neo flicks him off, his reaction is great.
And then there are the optics of that subway fight. Just amazing.
Unfortunately, for the time being, that’s all gone.
That’s too bad. I guess we can always rewatch that first film.
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