It's been over 20 years since The Matrix first hit the big screen and, in the decades since, this groundbreaking film (and its sequels) have inspired endless pop culture references, many copycat films, and notoriety for launching Keanu Reeves into a whole new level of stardom.
And now that the franchises' latest installment, The Matrix Resurrections, is finally here (it opens tomorrow, December 22!!), it's time to talk about how truly wild and fun this new chapter is and why I think you should see it. Check it out...
First of all, you should know that The Matrix Resurrections is not a reboot and ties back to all three films from the trilogy. Although, mostly, the first film. So, yeah, if you haven't seen all three Matrix films before you should probably do that before walking into this new one.
To set it up, the events of Resurrections actually take place more than 60 years after the third film, The Matrix Revolutions.
If you recall, Neo and Trinity died at the end of Revolutions. And if you've seen the trailers for Resurrections, then it's no secret that they are very much alive in this new movie (hence, the title). So, you're probably saying to yourself, "the film's got a lot of explaining to do."
Anyway, from the get-go, the opening scene of Resurrections caught me by surprise and literally made me sit up in my seat. I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say we revisit an iconic situation from the first film and I was NOT expecting to see that play out the way it did.
Speaking of callbacks, the film is chock-full of them. Like, for real, there's no way you'd catch everything in just one viewing. From white rabbits to cool sunglasses, Thomas Anderson's name, certain lines of dialogue, and even a deep cut to window washers (yes, WINDOW WASHERS)...there's SO much it's borderline overwhelming (but still really fun).
In this new ~world~ Neo finds himself seemingly stuck, once again, inside The Matrix, except this time he's living as a game designer who works at a company called Deus Machina — which, of course, is a reference to the "central interface" of Machine City from Revolutions (and also the phrase deus ex machina).
The scenes at the game design company are quite brilliant, BTW. There's a ton of self-referential humor that isn't just funny, but also SUPER meta.
Neo has also been experiencing a lot of strangely nostalgic moments in his current existence, and I think it's safe to say this is all a larger form of déjà vu for Neo. And you know what that means...
Of course, Neo is fairly convinced he isn't actually stuck in the Matrix, but instead having "another" mental breakdown that just makes him THINK he is. Hence, he's seeing a therapist, known as The Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris) with his not-so-subtle BLUE glasses.
Meanwhile, Trinity is also running around this new world (albeit with a different name, that I guarantee will make you chuckle) and, of course, she and Neo are once again very drawn to each other, though they can't quite pinpoint why....yet.
We're also introduced to a new band of free humans led by a character named Bugs — played by the WONDERFUL Jessica Henwick — who's something of a Neo fangirl (I mean, aren't we all). Bugs and her crew have basically made it their self-mission to find and rescue Neo from his new and confused existence.
And, in case you're wondering who else might be reprising roles, expect to see some cameos from past characters like Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Merovingian (Lambert Wilson).
Although the film dabbles a lot in the past — with all those callbacks and Easter eggs — there's also plenty of new updates to keep your brain racing. For example, there's no longer a need for using phone lines to go in and out of the Matrix (the world has progressed to using portals, mainly via mirrors) and there are also beings called "synthians," which are very hard to explain, but, basically, they can exist between the worlds of the Matrix and real life.
While Resurrections is packed to the brim with amazing action and visually stunning sequences, it is at its heart a romantic story — the love story between Neo and Trinity. So, ya know, you should also be prepared to be hit in the feels several times while watching.
Keanu and Carrie-Anne slip back into their roles as Neo and Trinity like it was yesterday, and seeing them back together again on the big screen for this film was an absolute blast. And if you love The Matrix, I think you're going to love being back in that world with Resurrections. 10/10 would recommend.
P.S. — In case you're wondering, YES, there is a post-credits scene. And I recommend sticking around to see it. It's a hoot.
The Matrix Resurrections opens in theaters on Dec. 22, 2021 and will also be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release. And you can watch the most recent trailer here: