‘Matrix Resurrections’ revolution: Inside the franchise’s sprawling influence


In 1999, Keanu Reeves selected the crimson capsule to go down the rabbit gap — and trendy cinema and popular culture would by no means be the similar.

Even in the panorama of that unforgettable year in film, “The Matrix” was an entirely distinctive mix of cyberpunk sci-fi, superhero thriller and mind-bending existential drama.

Director-siblings the Wachowskis went for broke with a dystopian nightmare a few hacker-hero named Neo (Reeves) destined to be a savior with the assist of a band of rebels headed by cyber-warriors Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne).

The formidable storytelling was equalled by lush visuals: dripping inexperienced strains of pc code, a post-apocalyptic subject of battery-humans encased in pods, androgynous protagonists sporting S&M-tinged digital wardrobes and defying the legal guidelines of physics to dodge bullets. 

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss in "The Matrix."
“The Matrix Resurrections” — out Wednesday in theaters and on HBO Max — is the fourth installment of the extremely influential franchise.
NY Post Photo Composite

“The Matrix” additionally had its share of detractors, who scoffed at the stoned-college-freshman notion of actuality as an phantasm. But whether or not you’re keen on or hate it, there’s no denying that, like certainly one of the movie’s menacing mechanical octopuses, the Wachowskis’ creation bought its tentacles into nearly each side of popular culture. It launched countless discussions, memes and a visible vernacular in each movie and vogue that persists greater than 20 years later. Recently, Kim Kardashian sported an outfit a la Matrix for an outing.

The physics-defying stunts in 1999's "The Matrix" led to a slew of copycats and set a new standard for action scenes. Above, Neo (Reeves) battles Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in a famous subway scene from the film.
The physics-defying stunts in 1999’s “The Matrix” led to a slew of copycats and set a brand new normal for motion scenes. Above, Neo (Reeves) battles Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in a well-known subway scene from the movie.
©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett C

The subsequent chapters of the franchise that might observe in 2003, “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” expanded the Wachowskis’ imaginative and prescient, although neither lived as much as the promise of the authentic.

But hope springs everlasting. So forward of the launch of the newest installment, “Resurrections,” in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22, we have a look at the sprawling influence matrix of “The Matrix.” 

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity for the fourth installment of the franchise, "Resurrections."
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity for the fourth installment of the franchise, “Resurrections.”
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C


Bullet time

Visual results supervisor John Gaeta designed a shot that featured Neo bending backward in slow motion to evade bullets. It grew to become a wildly popular style in motion motion pictures after “The Matrix.” The Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer “Sherlock” tailored the method to showcase its hero’s evaluation of a second in time. The method has additionally been parodied in numerous comedies and animated movies, together with “Shrek,” “Deadpool,” “Scary Movie,” “The Simpsons,” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

Unconventional superheroes

With his willowy physique and terse supply, Keanu Reeves was no one’s thought of a typical hero determine at the time. In creating Neo, the Wachowskis opened the door for a style of sleeker, edgier characters — assume Christopher Nolan’s Batman, Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Quentin Tarantino’s Beatrix Kiddo in “Kill Bill,” all of whom additionally occur to be schooled in martial arts. 

Comic guide variations

The Wachowskis have mentioned “The Matrix” was impressed partially by a request for them to create an authentic comedian guide, and the movie’s graphic novel-esque aesthetic might be seen in movies akin to 2010’s “Kick-Ass,” 2008’s “Wanted,” and 2005’s “Sin City” and “V for Vendetta” — the latter of which was tailored by the Wachowskis for director James McTeigue.

Keanu Reeves in "John Wick."
Keanu Reeves in “John Wick.”
Courtesy Everett Collection

Virtual Realities

“The Matrix” spawned a digital actuality bonanza, from Cameron Crowe’s 2001 thriller “Vanilla Sky” with Tom Cruise to Christopher Nolan’s 2010 traditional “Inception” to Steven Spielberg’s 2018 adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel “Ready Player One,” a few near-future by which individuals go away the hellscape of a trash-filled Earth behind in the digital gaming world.

The “John Wick” franchise

Perhaps nowhere is the influence of “The Matrix” so apparent as it’s on this wildly profitable Keanu headliner. The “gun fu” of “John Wick” owes a lot of its model to “The Matrix,” and the franchise nodded to this connection in “John Wick 3,” by which Reeves’ character echoes a line from the authentic “Matrix” in his request for weaponry: “Guns. Lots of guns.”


After the movie’s launch, it spurred vogue tendencies on streets and runways, together with the Christian Dior 1999 assortment. Vogue reported that Dior was “heavily influenced” by the movie, with this season’s assortment that includes sweeping trench coats and leather-based.

In 2017, “The Matrix” was resurrected on the runway with lengthy coats and tight leather-based appears by Balenciaga, Vetements, Balmain and Alexander McQueen.

The resurgence continued the subsequent yr with Alexander Wang and Off-White’s collections that includes “Matrix”-reminiscent shades and skintight black leather-based. 

FRANCE - JULY 15:  Haute Couture fall -winter 1999 -2000 Fashion show In Paris, France On July 15, 1999 - Christian Dior.
Two fashions present “Matrix”-inspired outfits for Christian Dior throughout the label’s 1999 Paris vogue present.
Gamma-Rapho by way of Getty Images
Kim Kardashian in a "Matrix"-inspired ensemble.
Kim Kardashian in a “Matrix”-inspired ensemble.
Kim Kardasian Instagram


Trans visibility

The movie collection’ success elevated the profile of its administrators, the Wachowskis. Both siblings got here out as trans in the years following the preliminary movie’s launch, shining a light-weight on trans individuals. In 2020, Lilly Wachowski mentioned in an interview that “The Matrix” was a metaphor for popping out as transgender. “I love how meaningful those films are to trans people, and the way they come up to me and say, ‘These movies saved my life,’” she mentioned.

Lily and Lana Wachowski.
Lilly and Lana Wachowski
Getty Images

Simulation concept

Online chatter about the concept that our universe is definitely a pc simulation has ramped up in a major means since “The Matrix.” Philosopher Nick Bostrom posited in 2003 that it was extra seemingly than not that our actuality is a simulation. Elon Musk has additionally espoused the concept, saying he thinks “there’s a one in billions chance” people aren’t in a simulation. Scientists have pointed out that there is no such thing as a precise proof to assist this concept. Last yr, the documentary “A Glitch in the Matrix” explored simulation concept, together with profiling a person who killed his household after concluding the matrix was actual.

Keanu Reeves as Neo in "The Matrix."
In the 1999 movie, Neo (Reeves) is introduced with a alternative of both ignorance or awakening, represented by a blue capsule and a crimson capsule. He chooses the crimson capsule and is woke up to his world’s true actuality.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C

The phrase: “A glitch in the matrix”

“The Matrix” is bursting with quotable moments — “I know kung fu,” “There is no spoon” — however, “a glitch in the matrix” has turn into in style shorthand for one thing that appears uncanny or eerily acquainted (simply check out the sprawling Glitch in the Matrix subreddit).

A still from the now iconic film, "The Matrix." The movie's visual vernacular continues to influence film, fashion and culture more than 20 years after its release.
A nonetheless from the now iconic movie, “The Matrix.” The film’s visible vernacular continues to influence movie, vogue and tradition greater than 20 years after its launch.
©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett C

The phrase “Red-pilling”

This “Matrix”-inspired time period for waking as much as actuality was co-opted by alt-right circles to explain the strategy of “realizing” the wrongness of progressive ideas. In 2020, it had a second in the highlight when Elon Musk tweeted “take the red pill,” with out additional rationalization, to which Ivanka Trump replied, “Taken!” Lilly Wachowski subsequently replied, “F–k both of you.”

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