Understanding the Matrix
Everything You Need To KnowWritten by Sabera Surovy
18 years… Almost two decades has past! A lot of time, huh? But finally, our dream is coming true. The fourth installment of The Matrix movie series will be released this year, and I am very sure we are all very excited about it. Now, let’s look back at the previous movies, the trailer, and the important information that you need to know to be prepared for the upcoming movie.
The Official Trailer for the Upcoming Fourth film, Resurrections, Is Out!
The first official trailer of Matrix Resurrections was released on September 8, 2021, on the official YouTube channel of Warner Bros. Pictures. Two other official YouTube channels also uploaded the trailer— KinoCheck International, and KinoCheck. Just within a week, the trailer has more than 35 million views in total and it is increasing every passing second. We can really see how hyped the fans are.
Release Date and Production
The release date of The Matrix Resurrections is on 22 December 2021 (12.22.21, it’s a magical number!), just before Christmas. The first announcement of the movie was out in 2019. Before everything was normal, the approximate release date was May 20, 2021. But the production got delayed when COVID hit the world. And because of the uncertainty, the release date got pushed back into April of 2022. This movie was shot in Berlin, Germany, and San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Recap of the Previous Movies
Since the last Matrix movie was released 18 years ago, I thought why don’t we do a little recap of the previous films? In this segment, we will summarize the previous three movies, explain the plot and bring out the important details in case you have watched the movies and forgotten about them.
Spoiler Alert! Don’t complain I didn’t warn you. If you haven’t watched The Matrix movies yet, I don’t know what you are still doing here are reading this article. Go! And watch the movies! Now!
The Matrix (1999)
The story of the first Matrix movie is pretty basic. It all started when humankind created AI: Artificial Intelligence. (By the way, there is a very underrated movie named A.I. Artificial Intelligence, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Jude Law and Haley Joel Osment. If you have time, go watch that movie too.)
Sorry, I just can’t help myself from giving away recommendations. So, as I was saying. It all started with the invention of AI. The moment Robots and Artificial Intelligence started to do the thinking for humans, the humans lost the grasp of control. At a certain period, AI became so advanced that it started to create its own machines. Soon it turned into a Human vs. Robot war. Since the primary source of energy for these robots was the sun, humans enveloped the sky with smog to cut off that source of energy. But a human body can produce 120-volt electricity and over 25,000 BTUs of body heat. The machines captured all the humans, imprisoned them, and used them as batteries. (Though it is very disgusting, I find this part really intriguing.)
All the humans are now stuck inside an arrangement called The Matrix. A Matrix is a machine or program that shows these battery humans illusions of real-life (virtual reality) while they are connected to machines producing energy. Humans are no longer born, they are grown, and the dead bodies are liquefied and fed to the living dreaming ones intravenously.
Thomas A. Anderson, who goes by his hacker alias Neo, is a man stuck in the matrix. Thanks to a mysterious guy named Morpheus and a femme fatale named Trinity, he gets out of the matrix and faces the horrible dystopia. Morpheus believes Neo is The One. According to a woman in the matrix named the Oracle, there was a man, the first man in history who released other humans from the matrix. The reincarnation of that man will be the One and he will end this war.
Morpheus takes Neo to the Oracle (who by the way lives inside the matrix) just to be sure. The Oracle denies Neo being the one, and while they were on their way to go back to the real world, they get attacked by Agent Smith. Agent Smith is a type of program inside the matrix that supervises over people, can possess the body of any person, to eliminate those who rebel against the matrix to find a way out.
In the moment of crisis, Neo shows some extraordinary abilities, which the Oracle said the One would have. And thus it was proved that Neo, in fact, was The One and Oracle lied to him because that is what he needed to hear to become the One.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
As I said, the story of the first movie was pretty basic. The plot of The Matrix Reloaded has more depth (In my opinion, of course. You don’t have to agree with me). The second movie gives us some idea about the history of the matrix.
The name Zion was first mentioned in The Matrix (1999). In The Matrix Reloaded (2003), it starts with Zion being in grave danger. The location of Zion is deep inside the earth, closer to the core where it’s warm. The sentinels (you can say, the machine version of Agent Smiths in the real world), are digging their way in to get to Zion and the citizens of Zion have only a few hours left before the attack. Commander Lock, the leader of Zion, is preparing all the ships to fight back the machines. Morpheus on the other hand is on his way to contact the Oracle for her guidance to Neo to save the people of Zion. When Neo meets the Oracle for the second time she says that they must find the key maker who is held prisoner by a dangerous program named The Merovingian. The key maker will tell Neo the way to the source of the Matrix and thus the people and Zion will be saved.
Now, a little personal note. When I was watching the first movie, I was wondering, why is The Oracle still stuck inside the matrix? Why isn’t she unplugged and brought to the real world? Because the only reason the freed people are visiting the matrix is to contact her. The Oracle is actually a program that is in exile. A program that has served its purpose must either go back to the mainframe of the machine or be deleted. You can say that the Oracle is a rogue program in exile hiding from the deletion.
The trio (Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity) face some difficulty while rescuing the Key maker. But the wife of The Merovingian, Persephone (played by Monica Bellucci) helps them in exchange for a kiss from Neo. On the way to running away with the key maker, there is a long elaborate fight scene. Action lovers will love it. Morpheus and Trinity were almost pushed into the corner, but captain Niobe (Played by Jada Pinkett Smith. Boy, oh, boy, she looked so beautiful in this movie. Will Smith is one lucky man.) enters the scene, who is sent by the Zion Counselors to help them to complete their mission.
With the help of the key maker, Neo finally enters the source and there he meets the Architect, the creator of the Matrix. Bear with me, this is the most interesting part of the movie. The architect is a humanoid robot that was created by the machines, to create the matrix. Through the conversation between Neo and The Architect, we get to know that—
1. The current matrix is actually the sixth one. And Neo isn’t the first The One. There have been 5 The Ones before him. All of the five have failed to accomplish the mission. It also means that there were five Zions in the past. And the matrix has destroyed all of them every time.
2. The architect considered the first matrix to be a masterpiece, as it showed the absolute utopia to humans. But it also failed horribly because the human mind cannot process the notion of a utopia, where their choices are being rectified, making them choosing only that will not create entropy. (Bruh, that's just humans being humans. Peace was never an option. Google universe 25 experiment and see that a utopia is actually never possible.)
3. To understand the human minds better, the Oracle was created. That is why she is considered to be the mother of the matrix. Almost 99% of the people stuck in the matrix will decide to stay in the matrix if given a choice, simply because they are not ready to face the harsh reality. The other 1% are the people that get themselves free, like Morpheus, Trinity, and many more.
Now, if you think about it, doesn’t this whole thing seem like a video game? (Which is also by the way is a program). That is why Oracle could predict so accurately because everything is predetermined. The One is set free, following the Oracle he goes to the architect, (fighting agent Smiths as villains), then fails the mission, Zion gets destroyed. And then the game starts from the beginning all over again, with a new version of Matrix and a new The One as the main player. (It’s just my way of explaining, nothing official.)
But fret not my friends. The sixth The One is played by Keanu Reeves, and you know what they say— the sixth time's the charm. Neo does not attempt to destroy the source at all. Because suddenly a situation arises, where Trinity is in danger and he has to choose between the two. Neo chooses Trinity, saves her, and comes back to the real world. And it looks the sentinels have destroyed the Zion army that was sent to fight and there are only a few survivors. Now, Neo knows the One can’t possibly save the world but they have to do something within 24 hours otherwise the machines will wipe out the whole Zion from the face of the earth.
The Matrix Revolution (2003)
The Matrix Revolution came out in the same year of The Matrix Reloaded. The story continues from just where the previous movie closed its curtain.
The Architect told Neo that by midnight that day, Zion will be destroyed again. After another session with the Oracle, Neo becomes completely clear about what he has to do now. He is not sure if it’s going to save Zion or not. But, hey, a man’s gotta do what he gotta do.
The Oracle gives Neo some idea about how dangerous Agent Smith has become. Remember in the first movie, Neo fought Smith? Yeah, he somehow became free from the system and became an independent program. For this, he lost his purpose. A program cannot lose its purpose. (Seriously, they can’t just eat junk food and watch movies all day, as I do.). So Smith makes it his purpose to destroy Neo.
Well, at some point, I thought he was just acting like a teenage girl obsessed with her high school crush. I mean, it’s hard not to have a crush on Keanu Reeves.
Neo takes captain Niobe’s ship and Trinity with him to the Machine City. It is the place where the physical form of the matrix is located and all other big machines are. At some point, the ship crashes and Trinity dies. Despite being extremely heartbroken, Neo continues his mission and finds the leader of the machines. There he makes a negotiation. Agent Smith was getting really powerful and there was a possibility that soon he would become something that even the machines would not be able to handle. So he offers the machine leader to destroy Smith and in exchange, they will leave Zion Alone. Neo fights Smith, wins the battle, and in the end collapses on the ground. Whether he is dead or alive is not clear.
So, in the end, Zion lives, but the people stuck in the matrix, still remain in the matrix. Though in the last few minutes of the movie, from the conversation between the Oracle and the Architecture, it is clear that the people who want out from the matrix will be freed. The machines probably won’t interfere with it anymore. There was also a hint that this peace won’t probably last for very long.
Who Is in The Matrix Resurrections and Who Isn’t?
Only Lana Wachowski will be directing this movie. In an interview, Lily Wachowski stated that it has been a lot on her plate to work with especially after her transition in 2016. It’s physically exhausting, so she is simply just taking some time off. This movie is also somewhat special for Lana because this is her first The Matrix movie directing as Lana, not Larry.
Laurence Fishburne will not be appearing as Morpheus in the fourth movie. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will be taking his place. In an interview, Laurence said to the reporter that ‘He simply wasn’t invited to the movie.’
The other stars of this movie are Carrie-Anne Moss (as Trinity), Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith (as Niobe), and many more. Many famous Television stars will be making appearances in the film.
The plot of The Matrix Resurrections: What Does the Trailer Tell Us?
The plot is still unknown. What we can give you are some predictions from the trailer.
Multiple scenes from the trailer suggest that Neo is back where it all started, stuck in the illusion of the Matrix. In the very first scene, the therapist (played by Neil Patrick Harris) addresses Neo as Mr. Anderson, which sounds really fishy. At some point, Morpheus comes into the scene and offers Neo a red pill, then a girl with a rabbit tattoo tells Neo to follow her. Yup, it all sounds like a Deja Vu to me.
Also, Trinity is shown well and alive in the trailer but she seems to have no memory of Neo. I think the fans are the most excited about this part.
In my opinion, if there are no sequels coming, the ultimate end of humankind vs. machines will be shown in this film, with the destruction of the matrix freeing every person of the world.
I am just crossing my fingers for a satisfying ending, that’s all.
Some Interesting Facts about The Matrix Franchise
- Sean Connery was offered the role of the Architect. But he refused the offer because he did not understand the character. Instead, he accepted the role of Allan Quatermain in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. That movie was a flop in the box office and the experience of directing it was so exhausting that director Stephen Norrington never directed another movie in his life.
- The expense of visual effect in The Matrix Reloaded was alone 100 million dollars. It is also the most successful movie in the trilogy.
- There is an animated spin-off series called The Animatrix. Yes, it is considered canon. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should.
- The Matrix (1999) was nominated for four Oscars and won them all.
- Johnny Depp was The Wachowski Sisters’ (then brothers’) first choice as Neo. By the way, Neo is an anagram of one (The One).
About The Author
Khulna University of Engineering and Technology
Bachelor of Engineering (BEng),
Industrial Engineering 2017-2021
"Psycho-trillers and paradoxes are my jam. I spend my free time watching true crime documentaries."
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