The Matrix trilogy began in 1999 and ended in 2003. The series revolutionized special effects in film and became a cultural phenomenon. Now, after more than a decade, the extremely popular film series is returning with The Matrix: Resurrections. Where the series already reached a natural ending and hasn’t been revisited in so long, it does raise the question of whether or not this sequel is necessary. That being said, The Matrix originally took advantage of the special effects technology in the late 90s and early 2000s, so it’ll be especially exciting to see what they’ll be able to pull off in the 2020s. Let’s take a peek at the trailer to see how the latest installment looks.
The opening shot of the trailer is of a seemingly CGI San Francisco, which might be the point if they are in the computerized world of The Matrix. It could intentionally look “off” to indicate the world we are seeing isn’t real.
We see that Neo is in a therapy session with Neil Patrick Harris playing his therapist. However, he refers to Neo as “Thomas,” which he seemed to stop going by when he embraced his path as “The One.” The last time we saw Neo was when he was dying, but he’s back somehow. That’s obviously where the “Resurrections” in the title comes in.
We do then see that he doesn’t have memory of his past life or anything that happened during the previous movies. He has dreams of his memories, but doesn’t quite recognize them. He thinks he’s just ordinary Thomas living in a regular world, but has “dreams” of the truth.
Keanu Reeves now has a beard and longer hair than he did twenty years ago. People have been saying he looks more like John Wick here, so it’s questionable if they realize the actor plays both characters. Thomas Anderson may be “the One,” but he is a person. His hair is allowed to grow.
Neo may not remember his past, but he does bathe with a rubber duck on his head… so there’s that.
Neo meets and shakes hands with Trinity in a coffee shop like they’re meeting each other for the first time. This is quite intriguing since we’ve seen her die as well after being impaled in The Matrix Revolutions. Hopefully there’s an explanation as to how she’s alive here. It’s not the first time she has been resurrected, so it’s not too far-fetched I suppose. Trinity asks him if they’ve met before, so perhaps she’s also having dreams of her past life.
Neo is seen taking blue pills from a prescription bottle. If you’re familiar with the previous movies, then you’ll know that taking the blue pill makes you forget that you’re in the Matrix and believe your surroundings are reality. It seems that he’s been taking a lot of these blue pills, so we have a reason for his lost memory, but who is providing him with them and why?
The shot of Neo in the elevator with a crowd of people staring at their smart devices is brilliant. It shows that everyone is content living in their digital world while he is beginning to question it. A still frame of the scene is enough to tell us what is happening and what he is feeling.
He dumps his bottle of blue pills into the sink. They don’t fit into the drain, so it’s probably not going to have the outcome he wants. Him dumping the blue pills is great imagery to showcase that he wishes to reject the blue pills’ effects and embrace reality.
During what is likely to be his investigation into what is truly happening around him, he comes across someone reading Alice in Wonderland. This is a neat callback to Morpheus’ line about chasing the white rabbit down the rabbit hole and serves as an interesting way to convey the ideas and themes of reality and other worlds they are going for.
While looking into a mirror, Neo sees himself as an older man. Could this be him seeing what he actually looks like in the real world now? If so, that’s a bit strange since we see how Keanu Reeves actually aged.
Morpheus offers Neo the red pill once again. This time, however, he is not played by Laurence Fishburne. He is instead played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Apparently Fishburne was not approached to reprise his role at all, which is extremely strange. Perhaps this version of him in the Matrix is meant to look like his younger self, so they chose a younger actor. This is another detail that we will hopefully get an explanation for when the film releases.
“From Director Lana Wachowski” is also rather interesting. The original trilogy was written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, but only Lana has returned to The Matrix franchise. This is because Lilly has stated she does not want to move backwards in her career, which is understandable. Lilly does wish Lana luck, though. This is the first film that they have not co-directed together.
A new blue-haired character is introduced, and she’s got a white rabbit tattoo. It looks like Neo will literally follow a white rabbit. This character also refers to him as Neo instead of Thomas for the first time in the trailer. We thankfully don’t need to call him “Thomas” for a whole movie.
She brings Neo through what looks eerily similar to the door Ramona Flowers brings Scott Pilgrim through, and they step into the Matrix through a mirror. Of course, their clothes change into a darker and edgier attire.
There’s an interesting line given by Morpheus as a voice over. “The only thing that matters to you is still here. I know it’s why you’re still fighting and why you’ll never give up.” What is important to him, and is it also stuck in the Matrix? Could it be Trinity? How does he know this important thing is here if he has no memory? In true Matrix fashion, many questions are being raised.
Neo and Morpheus recreate their dojo fight from the original movie. Neo says Morpheus doesn’t know him, but we all know that he does. It appears that Morpheus has his memory intact. This could be because he survived the events of The Matrix Revolutions.
The next shot reveals that the Machines are still keeping people in pods to keep their minds trapped in the Matrix. So much for the three movies of story progression. Was anything truly accomplished?
There’s a fight on rooftops that looks absolutely thrilling. The blue-haired character from earlier pulls off some incredible martial arts moves and defies gravity to avoid gunfire. This is also reminiscent of some iconic scenes from the previous films.
A group of police officers in the Matrix transform into Agents. Agent Smith isn’t here, but it’s likely safe to assume they will prove to be a threat to the movie’s heroes. They don’t look too happy, either.
Someone points a gun at Neo’s face as he’s on his knees, like he’s being slaughtered. Their face is obscured by the rain, but it looks like it could be himself as has appeared from the original trilogy. That’s just a stretch of a theory, but it would be a fun, mind-bending idea that The Matrix is known for. If this is the case, it does make one wonder why it would be happening.
We don’t find out quite yet, as the trailer jumps into the next scene which features more action and gunplay. However, one of the most bizarre things in the trailer is also happening here. Someone is watching a scene from the first Matrix movie… even though they are in a Matrix movie… What exactly is going on here?
Adding to the high-octane action The Matrix is known for, it looks as though there will be an intense fight scene on a moving train. That should be extremely entertaining to see, especially if they pull off more gravity-defying martial arts and not just guns and explosions.
There are more glimpses into the movie’s action. There’s both hand-to-hand combat and more gunplay. It seems like they will do a great job at changing it up throughout the film so the action always feels fresh.
Trinity is seen in one of the pods with a tube plugged into the base of her skull. It seems the Machines have kept her alive this whole time, but why? During a fight against countless foes, she screams and we see several images of herself superimposed on top of each other. Is this just cool imagery, or does it have more of a meaning than that? It doesn’t seem like she’s cloning herself like Agent Smith, at least.
Morpheus seems confused as to how he is able to put his finger through a wall like it’s liquid. I’m not sure why he’d be confused since he knows they have the ability to manipulate the Matrix around them.
The next several shots of the trailer are of more action sequences. There’s more shooting, more hand-to-hand martial arts combat, more defying gravity, wall running, and cool midair flips. These are all expected in a Matrix movie, so it’s all welcome here.
Neo is shown to have relearned many of the same abilities as he did before. He’s able to stop bullets in midair and even redirects a missile at a helicopter. It seems that one of the central plots of the film will be Neo rediscovering his true self and relearning his skills so that he may further help humanity in future sequels.
The trailer ends with Neo sitting in another one on one meeting, but it’s with someone else instead of Neil Patrick Harris the therapist. This looks to be more of a business meeting. The gentleman he’s meeting with mentions going back to the Matrix where it all started. How would this guy know what the Matrix is? This scene might not mean much, and is likely a glimpse into Thomas Anderson’s ordinary office life. Perhaps “the Matrix” in this instance is just the name of something his office is working on.
This is a fun trailer and the movie looks fantastic. It’s a little concerning that it seems like some things might feel copied and pasted from the previous installments, but this is sure to be an action-packed, mind-bending special effects extravaganza.
The Matrix: Resurrections hits theaters December 22nd, 2021.