With the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, the franchise's first new entry for almost 20 years, due today, fans are seriously excited about taking the red pill and entering the Matrix once again. But for some, the announcement has reminded them of one of the worst design crimes in movie history.
Released in 2003, The Matrix Revolutions wasn't exactly the most critically acclaimed Matrix film. But even worse than the confusing and convoluted plot is the confusing and convoluted DVD cover. Because why pick one cover when you can pick four? Like all the best design fails, this one hurts the eyes as much today as it did when it first emerged.
I will defend a lot of things about the #Matrix trilogy, but I cannot defend the DVD box-art for Revolutions, or, "Why you should pick one poster, and not all of them" pic.twitter.com/XrbAciGHWwSeptember 8, 2021
The cover inexplicably features four different images, arranged in a square grid. Sure, it allows us to see various characters including Neo, Morpheus and Trinity, but did the designers really not have time to edit them together in a slightly more seamless fashion? The whole thing has a decidedly Microsoft Paint vibe that's only getting worse with age.
Almost 20 years later I’m still amazed at how terrible the DVD cover for Matrix Revolutions is. It’s just four shots from the movie. The first two had striking, iconic covers. This looks like one of those “tell me you’re a 90’s kid without downloading any new pictures” thing pic.twitter.com/rRLVHA4IHnSeptember 8, 2021
Of course, getting all het up about a DVD cover might sound frivolous, but when you consider the amount of brilliant film posters design out there, from the stunning new Dune poster to that beautifully minimal Spencer design, something this hilariously cut-and-paste can't help but stand out.
Fortunately, the new poster for The Matrix Resurrections is a much more minimal affair. With a plain white background framing the franchise's famous coloured pills, the strikingly simple design suggests the designers have learned a thing or two in the intervening two decades.
Time will tell what the Matrix Resurrections DVD cover ends up looking like (that's if DVDs are still a thing in 2022), but one thing's for sure – pretty much anything is going to look better than this 2003 effort. If you need to cleanse your palette with some genuinely brilliant designs, check out the best print ads of all time.