In the year 1999, a film was released that would change the world. Perhaps one of the most iconic movies of all time, The Matrix captivated audiences with its rich storytelling with what was then considered the peak of digital effects. The following two movies succeeding would be relatively okay, but that isn’t what’s important. What IS important is that now, nearly 22 years later, the next installment in The Matrix franchise, The Matrix Resurrections is coming to theaters. That’s a long time for a franchise to be rising once again, so we will walk you through what you need to know and what you might expect from this film.
Where Did We Leave Off?
First of all, if you haven’t seen the first Matrix, you need to go ahead and put that on your to-do list immediately. Take in everything it has to offer, then come back and read this game of catch-up. After finding out that Neo, played by none other than Keanu Reeves, is The One – a person who is prophesied to bring about the end of The Matrix, a simulation run by machines created to keep humans docile while turning them into living batteries – he sets about doing what this title entails of him. Aiding him the most consistently are Trinity, who is played by Carrie Ann Moss, Morpheus who is played by Laurence Fishburne, and The Oracle. In the second installment, The Matrix Reloaded, his quest to unravel the Matrix puts him into conflict with characters such as the Merovingian (played by Lambert Wilson) and the Architect (played by Helmut Bakaitis), as well as the Agent he seemingly destroyed in the first film, Agent Smith (played by Hugo Weaving). To add some icing on top of this cake, the aforementioned machines that turned humans into batteries sent an army of Sentinels (warrior machines) to wipe out the last human city called Zion, adding another layer of stakes to Neo’s quest. By the movie’s end, Neo falls into unconsciousness as he uses a newfound power to control machines in the waking world.
In the third movie, The Matrix Revolutions, Neo is trapped in a sort of limbo between The Matrix and the machine world which is known as Mobil Avenue. He is freed by his friends and returns to the waking world with Trinity and Morpheus to interrogate a man called Bane – the only survivor of a catastrophe surrounding the destruction of a fellow ship from Zion in the second film. This person turns out to be the perpetrator of said destruction and is revealed to be Agent Smith possessing a human body. During Neo’s fight with Bane, he is blinded but still manages to defeat Bane/Smith anyway, at least in the waking world.
At this point, our heroes splinter off, Neo goes with Trinity to the Machine City, so he can confront the A.I. behind the machines. Morpheus and Niobe – a human from Zion first introduced in the second film – go back to Zion in order to aid the effort against the machine invasion. On their way to the Machine City, Neo and Trinity are ambushed by a swarm of Sentinels, a chase and crash landing ensues and results in Trinity becoming fatally wounded. Neo presses on and finally comes face to face with the A.I. or the “Deus Ex Machina” and strikes a deal. Neo offers to defeat Agent Smith, who has become too unruly within the Matrix, in exchange for peace with Zion. As Neo goes into the Matrix to fight Agent Smith, the machines halt their onslaught. Following a drawn-out fight with Smith, Neo allows himself to be assimilated by him in order to allow the Deus Ex Machina to put an end to Smith once and for all, sacrificing Neo in the process. The end sees the Matrix rebooted, Zion free of the danger of the Sentinel army, and people given the option to choose whether or not they want to stay in the Matrix.
What Can We Expect?
Wowee. That was a lot of information to absorb. To close out our (hopefully) helpful recap of what happened last let’s brass some tacks. The new trailer has a lot of information embedded within it, much of it probably red herrings and things not appearing as they seem. There are some sure-fire things you should probably keep track of though. For one, Neo is clearly alive somehow, and so is Trinity (both actors reprising their roles from the earlier movies). The “White Rabbit” clue from the first film has also become a character and is played by Jessica Henwick. Morpheus has been recast with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and according to IMDb, Agent Smith has been recast with Jonathan Groff. The only other characters that seem to be reprising their roles are Jada Pinkett Smith who played Niobe from The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, as well as The Merovingian who was played by Adam Lambert.
In terms of the plot, it looks like Neo (like the franchise itself) has been in some way, shape, or form resurrected and is part of the Matrix once more. Trinity seems to have suffered a similar fate. Given all the blue pills Neo appears to be taking, it looks like someone (or something) is either trying to keep him under control or Neo was in some capacity doing this willingly, its really too early to tell though. What we do know is that Morpheus and those that resist the machines are looking to enlist him in their fight once more. But as is usual with The Matrix franchise, things might not appear as they seem. The Matrix Resurrections was released in theaters on December 22nd, 202 and is available to stream on HBO Max.