Put simply, there are a lot of movies to watch. It’s not uncommon for people to latch onto a specific fandom and make its movies and other media a priority when choosing which new releases to view each year. Unfortunately, when you attach yourself to a series of films, there’s a tendency to create your own ideas of what a film should and shouldn’t include. The Matrix star Keanu Reeves knows this from personal experience both as an actor and as a member of a film audience.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Reeves looked back on his time in The Matrix movies leading up to the release of Resurrections this week. The original film’s two sequels, Reloaded and Revolutions, weren’t well-received when they were released in the early 2000s. A very similar thing happened when Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and its sequels were released between 1999 and 2005.
A similar pattern continued with the release of The Last Jedi after The Force Awakens, and again with The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. Reeves is convinced that moviegoers simply have a bad habit of locking in their own personal expectations for a film, leading to destructive disappointment when those exact expectations aren’t met.
“I went in [to Return of the Jedi], like, ‘Wow, I wonder, are they gonna do this, and will they do that…?,” he said, referring to his experience seeing the conclusion to the original trilogy of Star Wars films in 1983. “And then I was, like, ‘Oh no. Oh no.’ Um, so I totally get it.”
The actor also stated that he has a very specific way of reacting to films whether they meet certain expectations or not, saying: “I just try to let films be, y’know? I try to think about what the creators were going for. It’s their work of art, man. I try to come to their art and meet it wherever it is.”
The Matrix Resurrections arrives in theaters December 24.