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Film / The Matrix Resurrections

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Spoilers for all The Matrix works preceding this one will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
"Could be this is the first day of the rest of your life. But if you want it... you gotta fight for it."
"I know you said the story was over for you, but that’s the thing about stories. They never really end, do they? We’re still telling the same stories we’ve always told, just with different names, different faces and I have to say I’m kind of excited. After all these years, to be going back to where it all started... back to the Matrix!"

The Matrix Resurrections is an American Cyberpunk Science Fiction action film directed and co-produced by Lana Wachowskinote , who co-wrote the script with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. The third sequel to The Matrix and the fourth film installment in The Matrix franchise, the film was released on December 22, 2021, both in theaters and on HBO Max (the latter for a one-month duration), over 18 years after The Matrix Revolutions.

Set several years after the end of the Machine War, things have returned to a state of familiarity in the Matrix, though the simulation's technology has progressed to reflect a more advanced society. Neo, once thought to be dead, has returned to his Thomas Anderson persona and lives a fairly normal and humdrum life working as a game designer, having helmed the development of the successful and award-winning Matrix video game trilogy.

While facing pressure to make a fourth installment in the series from higher-ups, he begins to realize that the allegedly fictional events portrayed in his games are actually memories from his past life. When familiar faces and their new allies seek out his assistance, it's time for Neo to take a trip down the rabbit hole once more...

Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett, Lambert Wilson, and Daniel Bernhardt reprise their roles from the previous films, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II takes over the role of Morpheus for Laurence Fishburne. Also among the cast are Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Priyanka Chopra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, Ellen Hollman, and Christina Ricci.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

The Matrix Resurrections contains examples of:

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  • 11th-Hour Superpower: At the climax, Trinity gains the power of flight just in time to escape the villains chasing her and Neo in a helicopter.
  • Alice Allusion: As per Matrix tradition, an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland theme is consistent.
    • The first trailer was set to a remix of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", a song about drug usage ("one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small...") told through Alice's story. The actual film contains a sequence set to the original song.
    • Bugs has a rabbit tattoo, alluding to Alice chasing the white rabbit.
    • When Neo first interacts with who is later revealed to be Sati, she is shown reading a copy of Through the Looking-Glass.
  • Allegorical Character: The Analyst and his iteration of the Matrix seem to represent the modern internet in general, but particularly the worst aspects of social media - Sleek, brightly-coloured, superficially friendly, and capable of effortlessly manipulating the emotions of humans in order to feed off their misery.
  • All for Nothing: Played with and ultimately subverted. When he's first freed from the new Matrix and brought to the new human city Io, Neo initially assumes that his fight was pointless, because the war between humans and machines is still going on, machines are still the dominant force with humans living in a hidden city, and the Matrix still exists. Bugs and Niobe show him that he's wrong: not only is Io much larger and more comfortable than Zion was, its residents enjoy a simulated sky, have learned to recreate real fruits and vegetables, and more. Not to mention some of the Machines switched sides during the civil war preceding Neo's reawakening, and even Programs now have the ability to manifest in the real world by using nanomachines to create a physical avatar of themselves. Neo may not have ended the war for good, but he did make a real impact on the world for the better, and human and machine alike owe a lot to his sacrifice.
    Ellster: Your contact with the Synthient City had a huge impact on their world.
    Bugs: That’s what I meant. What you changed that nobody believed could ever be changed. The meaning of "our side."
  • Ambiguously Bi: It's strongly implied that Niobe is now in a relationship with the scientist Freya. In the previous trilogy Niobe was in a relationship with Locke and had previously dated Morpheus. Her scene with Persephone in the Enter the Matrix game implied that her true love was Morpheus
  • Amnesiac Hero: Neo and Trinity appear to be alive and well (both died in The Matrix Revolutions), but they don't remember each other. Neo also doesn't remember his previous life, and even that he's in the Matrix at all, since he's presented with the Red Pill, Blue Pill choice once again. It's all the work of the Analyst, the new Matrix's Big Bad who replaced the Architect and is tormenting Neo and Trinity with each other — because they generate so much energy that way.
  • And This Is for...: When Neo and Trinity go to confront the Analyst at his home, she kicks him in the face and says, "That was for using children".
  • Anachronism Stew: The first Matrix video game won Game of the Year at The Game Awards in 1999. In real life, The Game Awards held its first ceremony in 2014. However, this may be justified because the film really takes place in 2759 and the simulated Matrix reality may not be a 100%-accurate replica of our world.
  • Artificial Brilliance: A marketing example — both iterations of the "Choose Your Reality" teaser are actually made up of 180,000 potential combinations of footage snippets and orderings, based on what time you watch the teasers and other factors. Most notably, the Analyst and Morpheus read the time that you're watching the trailer as they deliver their monologues.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: From artificial lighting to natural lighting. Lana Wachowski explained at length in the Berlin panel interview that she used to be terrified of using natural lighting because it's difficult to control, so she carefully planned out the use of artificial lighting in the original trilogy. In the intervening two decades, however, she had a big turning point where she worked with cinematographers who showed her just how much more you can do with natural lighting which cannot be replicated artificially. As a result, she self-admittedly became obsessed with using natural lighting on this movie, with both Reeves and Moss frequently remarking on how this was a defining aspect of the camerawork on the new movie. This sort of became a microcosm for Lana's whole approach to the new movie. As Reeves and Moss pointed out, Lana used to heavily storyboard the entire movie like a comic book, every aspect tightly controlled. On this movie, a lot more improv and synergy between the director and the cast and crew was allowed, merging and growing into new things. She'd have the cast wait around for hours until the outdoor lighting was right, then rush to film it, trying to work with the lighting rather than control it.
    • The lighting within the Matrix itself now looks more naturalistic with a full color palette (first briefly seen when Neo's sacrifice rebooted the entire simulation at the very end of the third film). In the original trilogy, scenes set in the Matrix had a greenish tint to them, to contrast with the full color palette in the real world scenes.
    • Also, they explain in the behind the scenes videos that the fight scenes shifted from being hyper-stylized to more gritty and realistic. Combined with the more realistic lighting effects, it looks very different from fight scenes in earlier movies.
    • To contrast all this, the opening fight scene with Bugs in Neo's modal simulation is filmed in the style of the original movies, because it's based on Neo's hidden memories of the old Matrix before the reboot.
    • The second and third films were at times criticized for over-using CGI. In this fourth movie, almost every action shot was done with practical effects and wirework. In the climactic street fight, real cars were exploding while real helicopters were flying low between buildings. Even the "swarm mode" the Bots attack with in the finale wasn't CGI: they had massive crowds of around 70 stuntmen running through the streets (and in the wideshots, crowds of up to 300 extras). For example when Trinity swerves her motorcycle into a group of Bots to send them flying, they were all real stuntmen, using wirework to yank them away as a practical effect. They only sparingly used CGI when it was unavoidable: shots of the Matrix power plant in the real world, hovercraft exteriors, when Bots die and dissolve into code, etc.
  • Arc Words: At several points characters are presented with binary choices (allá the famous red pill-blue-pill scene) and comment, "Not much of a choice at all." Fittingly, Neo and Trinity free themselves by breaking a binary choice set up by the Analyst.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Neo strikes a combat pose as an absolutely massive bot swarm comes for him and Trinity.
  • Audience Surrogate: Bugs grew up being told the legend of Neo and how he saved the world and might even have the power to permanently free all of humanity from the Matrix. She and her crew never stopped believing that he might come back some day, even when everyone else gave up hope...which is sort of a parallel to out-of-universe Matrix fans who have spent 18 years hoping that Neo would come back in a new Matrix filmnote . But like the fans, Bugs and her crew are true believers. Bugs is familiar with the events of the original trilogy and is in awe when we get callbacks, such as in the preview clip where she sees Thomas Anderson's old apartment (which is just a dingy old apartment, but to Neo fans in and out of universe, it's something to marvel over).
  • Back from the Dead: It's right there in the title.
    • Neo and Trinity, both of whom died in The Matrix Revolutions, appear to be alive and well, but also don't know each other somehow. It all turns out to be vital to the Analyst's Evil Plan.
    • Likewise, the original Agent Smith was reintegrated into the Matrix almost in spite of his seeming deletion at the end of Revolutions to serve as Thomas's business partner — something that he takes very poorly once he rediscovers self-awareness, enough to form a very brief Enemy Mine with Neo against the Analyst in the climax.
  • Bar Brawl: The final battle starts off with this.
  • Batman Gambit: It's eventually revealed that Neo subconsciously created his modal and the Morpheus Program as a means of fighting back against the Analyst and getting out of the Matrix again. While Morpheus was meant to become self-aware and seek out and free his creator, however, Neo couldn't actually release his would-be savior from the modal himself or actively guide his development. As Neo was under constant surveillance, he knew doing so would have only attracted the Analyst's attention and tipped his hand. To work around this, Neo's subconscious instead intentionally left the modal in plain sight, its access open, and the simulation running off old Matrix code. Neo's hope was that someone (presumably from Zion) would eventually notice the strange anachronistic code, investigate the modal, and free Morpheus. It works (though it ultimately helps that Bugs had, by chance, encountered Neo before she was unplugged and was already obsessively seeking any sign or clue of the One's apparent resurrection). When the Analyst finally realizes what happened, he begrudgingly concedes Neo's plan was clever.
  • Becoming the Mask: The Analyst miscalculated by pairing an amnesiac Smith and Neo as coworkers, and friends to boot. It turns out that Smith spent enough time under to realize that he and Neo had a common enemy in the Analyst, that humans aren't the virus that he thought they were, and that Neo wasn't his true foe. While he does beat up Neo on regaining his memories, he switches gears when the Analyst holds Trinity hostage.
  • Berserk Button:
    • "Tiffany" expresses deep frustration with being called "Tiff". Her claiming to her family that she hates the name is the first sign that she's back to being Trinity, followed by her kicking copious amounts of ass.
    • As in Reloaded, Smith positively despises not being in control of his own path, leading him to side with Neo of all people to thwart the Analyst's plans after he regains his memories.
    • Social media and reboots are apparently the Merovingian’s.
  • Big Bad: The Analyst, as the power behind the current Matrix and the resurrection of Neo and Trinity.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • The first thirty minutes of the movie are about Thomas Anderson, game designer, being forced by Warner Bros. to make a new Matrix game, resulting in him being made to work with a bunch of people who loved the games in junior high and constantly try to tell him what it's about as well as how to do the sequel. The meta-humor is beyond description.
    • The Merovingian gives a deranged rant about how social media and reboots are what's wrong with the 21st century.
      "You ruined every suck-my-silky-ass thing! We had grace. We had style. We had conversation. Not this… [mimics text message sound] Art, films, books were all better. Originality mattered! You gave us Face-Zucker-suck and Cock-me-climatey-Wiki-piss-and-shit!"
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The primary sign of a bot in the new Matrix being being activated is not physically turning into an Agent, but rather their eyes going black with raining code.
  • Book Ends: The first movie ended with Neo declaring on the phone to the machines that he would show those inside the Matrix "a world where anything is possible". He hangs up, puts his glasses on, and flies away into the green-tinted sky. This film ends in a similar way, but with Trinity flying alongside Neo. Also, she is the one making the threat to the Analyst in-person, but the threat is more about literally changing the Matrix as she and Neo see fit; to that end, they fly into a sky lit by a natural sunrise.
  • Body Horror:
    • Smith's mouth melts itself shut, just like what happened to Thomas Anderson/Neo in the first film. Unlike Neo, Smith doesn't realize it's happening to him.
    • We're shown what the mechanical process of resurrecting Neo and Trinity's physical bodies was like. It's not pretty.
  • Body Surf: As ever, an Agent of the Matrix can appear by possessing the body of a plugged-in human. It turns out to be crucial to Smith's Villainous Rescue near the end, as he can still do it too.
  • Brick Joke: During her talk with Thomas, the amnesiac Trinity complains of wishing that she could shatter the jaw of anyone calling her "Tiff". When she's got her memories back with a healthy dose of Neo's powers, she rips the Analyst's jaw off when he admits that said name was meant as a joke.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • Once he's rescued from the Matrix by Bugs' crew, Neo's essentially back where he started when Morpheus rescued him the first time. He has nothing like the near-Superman powers he did as The One in the previous sequels; he still knows kung fu and all the other martial arts after a session with the new Morpheus, but gets his ass handed to him by the reborn Smith until he rediscovers the One's telekinetic powers on the verge of dying. Even then, they're all he's got, not being able to fly until Trinity discovers that power first near the end of the film.
    • The newly reawakened Smith likewise lacks the cloning abilities of Reloaded, much less the One-level powers of Oracle-Smith in Revolutions - but he's still got Agent-level strength, speed and fighting abilities, as well as their power to Body Surf into random Bluepill humans. The latter is crucial in saving Trinity from the Analyst in the finale.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Discussed. One of the Deus Machina employees comments that explosions and bullet time are what many people remember from the Matrix films — er, games, and that the Trilogy Creep should have a lot of it.
    • Exploited and lampshaded by the Analyst, who mockingly apologizes for using bullet time against Neo. He moves and talks a lot in the seconds after firing a bullet in order to torment him.
  • Bus Crash: Most of the secondary characters died off-screen in the sixty year time skip since the original trilogy, if only due to old age. Even familiar Programs such as the Oracle, the Architect, and Sati's parents were deleted in the Analyst's coup. Only Neo and Trinity are back from the original film, with a reborn Smith played by a new actor. The only exceptions - from the second and third movies - are Niobe, still alive at 90 years old (played by the same actress under heavy age makeup), and a few surviving programs like Sati (now an adult actress, but Neo's friend) and the Merovingian (also same actor). It touches on this trope, but it's played straight, and in fact kind of central to the theme of the movie: Lana Wachowski said she was inspired by the death of both of her parents and a close friend in rapid succession, so in parallel to that, Neo is devastated to learn that his dear mentor Morpheus died years ago, and he's outlived almost everyone he ever knew or cared about.
  • Call-Back:
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus shows that Neo's original body is still blind following the events of The Matrix Revolutions. The scene where the body is revived includes a reconstruction of his eyes.
    • The trailer's lack of the signature green color filter that the Matrix scenes had in the first three movies is also owed to Revolutions, as it went away following the end of the Machine War.
    • Again, the final scene and the credits are to "Wake Up", only it's the Brass Against cover.
    • When Morpheus meets Neo, he greets him with “At last”, just like in the first film. He then lampshades the trope, saying he was unsure about referencing the line directly for fear that it’d be too much.
    • Neo and Smith's fight has numerous references to the one in the original, from Smith Megaton Punching through a concrete pillar to Neo getting hammered by Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs against a wall in an almost identical overhead shot.
  • Came Back Strong: Once Trinity's memories reawaken, the climax shows that she's now able to display powers on par with Neo as the One, even flying before he can.
  • Canon Character All Along: Jonathan Groff plays Thomas Anderson's nameless business partner within the Matrix. Initial trailers made it look like he was a new character. However, throughout the film, he's juxtaposed with images of Hugo Weaving as he's quickly revealed to be the new Agent Smith.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Trinity's husband Chad is played by Chad Stahelski (director of the John Wick series), who was the stunt double for Keanu Reeves on all three original movies — literally a substitute for Neo.
    • In a similar vein, the man who plays Neo's appearance within the Matrix — a "balding nerd", according to Smith — is Steven Roy, Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity)'s husband.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The girl with the Alice in Wonderland book that Thomas meets in the montage of his daily routine is later revealed to be Sati from the original films, revealing herself and her plan to save Trinity late in the film.
    • That unassuming hipster bartender who appears throughout the film makes a perfect vessel for Smith to Body Surf into to get the drop on the Analyst in the climax while he is about to inflict a sadistic Forced to Watch moment on Neo after he reawakens Trinity.
  • Color Motifs:
    • Green features throughout the Matrix as fits its nature, as do its base colors blue and yellow.
    • The red and blue of the pills permeates everything into the Matrix. Most of the people dress primarily in blue. This is especially prominent in Neo's business partner and therapist, who are the primary forces that encourage Neo to believe that all the strange events around him are hallucinations and try to keep him compliant, and are later revealed to be Smith and the Analyst. The game development scenes also have a lot of blue in outfits and scenery, the one exception being a woman later revealed to be Sati.
    • Outside of the Matrix, there's less uniformity, with both ally and enemy machines having reddish "eyes", and the citizens of Io re-engineering strawberries while mentioning that blueberries are also in development.
    • A notable exception to the pattern of blue as deception and red as truth is Bugs, who has blue hair in the Matrix but is undoubtedly a hero and ally of Neo.
  • Company Cameo: Smith informs Tom that their parent corporation, Warner Bros. (who produced the trilogy), wants a fourth installment of Tom's popular Matrix game series.
  • Composite Character: The new Morpheus was part of the modal written by Neo as Thomas Anderson and was originally written as a combination of Morpheus and Smith, reflecting their significant influences on what Neo became, but Bugs is able to help the character assert himself as Morpheus first.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The Architect's version of the Matrix was a fluorescent-lit, steel-and-concrete Crapsack World deliberately designed to be soul-crushing in order to be convincing to the human mind as the real world. The Analyst's version of the Matrix, in contrast, appears to be a more amicable place of shallow material fulfillment, but spiritual banality. The Analyst even brags to Neo how he's achieved a virtually zero-percent redpilling rate by keeping the captive human populace content via meeting their superficial wants and needs.
  • Creator Cameo: John Gaeta, who was the effects supervisor of the original trilogy, is one of the Deus Machina employees.
  • Cue the Sun: During the climactic chase, when Neo and Trinity reach the skyscraper rooftop, the sun rises.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Neo might be able to match him, but the program version of Morpheus gets repeatedly crushed by the revamped Smith when Bugs' crew meets him and his Exile allies.
  • Cute Machines: The Synthients Cybebe, Octocles, and Lumin8. Although their design is similar to the earlier predatory Sentinels, they are much gentler and aligned with the humans (Cybebe even gives Neo a Headbutt of Love and Lumin8 gives Seq a fist bump). There's also Kunjaku, a Synthient who looks like a beautiful manta ray.
  • Die or Fly: At the climax, Neo and Trinity are cornered by the Matrix's forces at the top of a skyscraper, and the only way for them to escape is to fly, even though Neo has had trouble re-accessing that power. They both jump, but Neo fails... and Trinity takes flight instead.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • "Tiffany" expresses discomfort about her name, even though as far as she knows, it's the name that she's had all her life, and notes that even though she's a mother, she's unsure if this is something that she personally wants or if she's just doing what she's expected to. When she awakens to her true identity as Trinity, she no longer makes any secret of how much she hated being called "Tiffany", similar to a trans person despising a deadname; in this regard, her struggles with the idea of motherhood also parallel how a trans person might struggle with social expectations that prescribe what someone of their assigned sex "should" want from life.
    • The finale, where the heroes must evade a massive swarm of bots on the streets of the Matrix is highly reminiscent of a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Neo and Trinity were supposed to be Deader than Dead at the end of the original trilogy, but the machines inadvertently gave them a new chance at life out of greed for the energy that they generated. Once they're found by the resistance, they have to go through hell again to be together. Morpheus even justifies it to Neo to take up the fight again for Trinity's sake.
  • Enemy Civil War: Flashbacks show that the Machines had one of these after the end of the original trilogy, with a new power - the Analyst - rising to continue the war against the humans as a result. The pro-truce Machines on the losing side of the civil war switched over to allying with the humans.
  • Enemy Mine: Smith briefly works with Neo to fight the Analyst, as he also resents the Analyst's rule over the Matrix.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Smith expresses annoyance that the Analyst is breaking his deal to let the humans go free if Trinity chooses Neo, remarking that the world must really be messed up if programs can't be trusted.
  • Everybody Lives: Although some characters have died in the Time Skip since the last film, and there are certainly a lot of Red Shirts for action-movie fodder, none of the named characters die in this one.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Neo has longer hair and a beard, which serves as a little visual cue to show Neo's current stress and doubt of his life. note 
  • Fighting from the Inside: Despite the Analyst's suppression of his memories, Neo subconsciously realized he was back in the Matrix against his will and retaliated. The modal and Morpheus Program was Neo's escape plan — a Program meant to eventually achieve sentience, seek out its creator, and lead him back into the Real World if his suspicions were correct. However, because his subconsciousness knew he was under the Analyst's surveillance, Neo's resistance had to be quiet and passive. He could not take an active role in the Morpheus Program's development, or actually release him from the modal (as Bugs later realizes, Neo had to leave access to the modal open and hope someone would eventually discover and free Morpheus).
  • Flight Is the Final Power: As Neo reawakens his abilities in the Matrix, he regains his martial arts skills and telekinesis, but doesn't take flight again until the climax when he leaps off a skyscraper with Trinity... and promptly plummets. This time she flies and catches him, and the ending shows them soaring into the sky together.

  • Good Thing You Can Heal: At the end of the film, Trinity kicks the face of the Analyst so hard that his jaw breaks off. Then, she slices his head off. Both times, she just snaps her fingers and brings him back to normal.
  • Gravity Screw: Several scenes show characters both opening doors to enter places at strange angles and even jumping off thin air.
  • Happy Ending Override: The Machines and Humans were at peace until an Enemy Civil War caused a new group of machines to rise to power, then destroy Zion, killing Morpheus and many others. Now humanity and machines live together in Io but are still hiding from the machine's New Power.
  • Have We Met?: Trinity basically has this reaction to meeting Neo for the first time since the Matrix was rebooted.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Analyst's design for the seventh Matrix hinges on keeping Neo and Trinity juuuust tantalizingly close enough for their energy to power the simulation, but never close enough to unlock their powers and break free. Between that, the tight leash of observation that he keeps on Neo, and the absence of an Oracle to put the right people in the right places, finding and freeing the One in this cycle should be a near-impossibility. Even Bugs, who caught a glimpse of the real Neo and subsequently freed her mind, needed an extended search and a razor-thin window of opportunity from Neo's own in-Matrix programming experiments to get any sort of tangible lead. But what the Analyst failed to realize is that, by using Trinity's body and her bond with Neo as such a keystone of his digital ecosystem, she also becomes a critical anomaly in the Matrix on par with Neo. Sure enough, when Trinity finally breaks free, she unlocks Neo-like powers within minutes, turning the tables and leaving the Analyst and the Machine City with their own unpredecented, Herculean problem to solve: namely, figuring out how to fend off not one iteration of the One but two namely the sixth and seventh iterations of the One at the same time.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The film keeps the tradition of having the sequel subtitle being a cyclical word starting with "Re" after Reloaded and Revolutions.
  • Insistent Terminology: Cybebe, Octacles, and Lumin8 are Synthients, not machines.
  • Kubrick Stare: Smith demonstrates this after picking up the Desert Eagle and awakening during the Morpheus battle.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The film begins by depicting an in-universe attempt to create a sequel to The Matrix (in this world, a popular trilogy of video games), and characters debate what the significance of the franchise is, referencing many real-life approaches to analyzing it, such as the franchise being an allegory for transgender issues, a critique of capitalism, or just a fantasy of being able to do cool bullet-time stunts. Characters also discuss how studios want the sequel to avoid They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and It's the Same, Now It Sucks! at the same time.
    • Keanu Reeves being older than he looks is acknowledged, as characters point out how he looks pretty much the same while other returning figures such as Niobe have aged significantly. It's because he was resurrected by the machines.
  • Lighter and Softer: The trilogy was steeped in dark themes and a lot of grim ruminations on the nature of fate and free will. This film keeps some of that, but on the whole goes for a considerably more optimistic tone, focusing on subjects like love and shedding old prejudices. A lot of the characters are less stoic or deathly serious, preferring familial and cordial engagements with one another that ease off on the direness of previous Matrix movies. Even the antagonists are a contrast, with Smith being reborn as a modern-day executive with a casual relationship with his employees that he maintains even when he is reawakened, and the Analyst having none of the Architect's stone-cold logic and seeing things in a flexible, malleable context with a laid-back and bemused opinion of humanity. The ending is also upbeat, with a tinge of comedy and Neo and Trinity reunited and unplugged from the Matrix once more to make it a better place instead of facing a long road ahead that hasn't even begun to take shape, like the original film's. And, as pointed out earlier, Everybody Lives. Following on that, the new Matrix pointedly replaces Agents (that required Zion agents to kill innocent humans in case they get bodysnatched) with autonomous Programs that are not truly sentient and don't require those still plugged in the Matrix to be killed.
  • Logo Joke: The WB logo has a green blue-green pixelated background traditional to that of the previous films. The studio campus panorama prior to it appears more in a darker glow akin to the sun as depicted in the matrix with more of a neon style color on the tower logo - this scene is not pixelated or depicted to show as if in a computer monitor. The Village Roadshow logo is green as well.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the Analyst gained his advantage as a Rules Lawyer. Both humans and Machines living together in Io note that Neo's truce held. Humans who discovered the artificiality of the previous (Neo's) Matrix were allowed to leave, and the Machines were not actively seeking complete control, domination or extermination of humanity. However, the Machine Civil War left those in support of the truce losing against those who wanted more energy from the Matrix. The Analyst gains control by creating a new Matrix v.4 (the failed utopia, haunted house and stable Matrix managed by the Architect as prior art). Improving on the last Matrix, he resurrects and weaponizes The One's powers against himself as needed. In this new fourth Matrix, the Analyst respects the letter of the law in allowing the humans to leave, but, because of its refinements, virtually no human is aware at all of its artificiality, violating the spirit of the truce.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: This is weaponized against Trinity to keep her pacified inside the Matrix, where she's referred to as "Tiffany." Over coffee with "Thomas", "Tiffany" tells him that she remembers wanting a family, but is unsure whether or not it was something that she actually wanted or if societal expectations had programmed her to want it. Whenever she gets too close to him, she's interrupted and dragged away by her husband Chad and their children on some pretense. Near the end of the film, when Neo asks her to leave the Matrix with him, she chooses motherhood out of obligation at first, until Chad calls her "Tiffany" one too many times and her personality as Trinity fully kicks in.
  • Mexican Standoff: Between Bugs and Agent "Smith" a.k.a. Morpheus.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Tiffany's husband is named Chad. Chad is often the term used by the incel community to refer to the sort of men that women prefer over them. It's also the actor's name. In a film already so postmodern, it practically requests the viewer see meaning in regard to Chad Stahelski's history vis-a-vis The Matrix films.
    • Tiffany is a thin gauze muslin, lampshading the paper-thin disguise of the alias.
  • Memorial Statue: In Io, Neo finds one dedicated to the original Morpheus.
  • Meta Fiction: It reaches Postmodernism in how often the fictional nature of the movie(s) is brought up — the Analyst even speaks of confusing fiction with reality.
    • Part of the story of the film involves Warner Bros. executives — yes, really — in the Matrix trying to get Thomas Anderson to make a fourth game in the Matrix series, despite his reluctance to. This reflects Lana Wachowski's apprehension towards returning to the franchise that she co-created despite lucrative offers from the studio.
    • Very often, footage from the original film (and at times the sequels) is featured, especially in recreations of old moments — the scenarios that are revisited include the dojo fight, Trinity being aimed at from behind and then walking on walls, touching a mirror leaving ripples on its surface, Neo facing a luminous door, and someone jumping out of a tall building through a window. There is also an in-universe case where Neo is brought into a theater where his original meeting with Morpheus is screened, specifically to make him familiar with his past self's events.
    • As part of a promotional Unreal Engine 5 demo, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss present a discussion of how modern games are practically indistinguishable from reality, morphing between their original trilogy appearances and their current selves and other tricks, before having the viewer go through a shoot-out with the Agents on a freeway, while engaging in banter about the demo itself, the entire thing being rendered on-the-fly, even the archive footage.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Inverted. To hide Neo's identity, the Machines changed his appearance in the Matrix. While he still sees himself as depicted by Keanu Reeves, everyone else sees a balding old man. This false visage is glimpsed once in the bathroom mirror in Neo's apartment, then Neo himself sees it when Bugs shows him his reflection in a specialized mirror.
    • This is also applied to Trinity. During Neo and Trinity's meeting at Simulatte, the glass table clearly reflects a different woman with shoulder-length blonde hair where Trinity is seated.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The Analyst is a manipulator and doesn't take part in any fighting himself.
  • Not His Sled: In-Universe. The first few minutes are nearly Shot-for-Shot Remake of the original The Matrix film. Then the Agents catch up with "Trinity," which is not what was supposed to happen, and other characters comment on that. It also isn't Trinity — the actress is Ellen Hollman — which the characters also comment on.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Smith at several points remarks on how he and Neo are necessary opposites, even telling the Analyst that the two have more in common than he realised.
  • Numerological Motif: The number 2 crops up a lot: Thomas Anderson is working on a game called Binary. IO resembles 10, which is how 2 is represented in binary. At the end of the movie, two people, Neo and Trinity, have the powers of The One, and 2 is the average of 1 (Neo) and 3 (Trinity). The Neo/Trinity and Neo/Smith relationships are both central to the functioning of the new Matrix. And the literary motif is not Alice in Wonderland but Through the Looking Glass, the 2nd of Lewis Carroll's books about Alice.
  • One True Love: After hinting at it throughout the original trilogy, this film more or less explicitly confirms Neo and Trinity as soulmates who will always find their way back to each other. Their love for each other is strong enough to transcend any attempts to suppress it and eventually leads to Trinity breaking free of the Matrix altogether when she is properly reunited with Neo.

  • Pet the Dog: While Smith still has a rivalry with Neo, he comes to realize that the Analyst was using them both for his new Matrix. Even after regaining his memories, he still addresses him as "Tom" with some fondness. Smith also saves Trinity's life by shooting the Analyst, and telling Neo that any alliance that they have is over before vanishing.
    • Smith is shown willingly leaving a human host unharmed, rather than only jumping to another body when his current one is killed. This is the only time a sentient program is shown sparing a borrowed body in the series.
  • The Power of Love: The machines (embodied by Smith) always saw love as "an illusion, a vaguery of perception". To them, love is an anomaly, just as "The One" is an anomaly. The Analyst had begun to understand its power, since he was designed to understand feelings, rather than just data like his predecessor, the Architect; he thought that he could harness the power of Neo and Trinity's love for each other, as it also caused them to generate more energy inside their pods. It's repeated throughout the movie that Neo is not special and anyone could have been "The One", which Trinity proves when she develops powers like Neo. This implies that the power of The One can be gained by any free mind — the key trigger appears to be mutual love between two free minds: the stronger the bond, the more powerful each of the pair will be in reshaping the Matrix to their will.
  • Product Placement: Thomas Anderson won a Game Awards award for the Matrix game and the physical award is shown many times... Also, winning a Keighley is somewhat the catalyst for his suicide attempt so subverted trope, maybe?
  • Production Throwback: On top of all the references to the previous Matrix films...
    • When Thomas/Neo is looking at birds in the sky, he sees a business sign called Corky's Massage with a bizarre logo, a reference to Bound, the first film that the Wachowskis made. Corky is the lead of the film, played by Gina Gershon. And the odd-looking logo? It's a Labrys, an asymmetric double-headed ritual axe, just like the one that Corky has as a tattoo on her arm in the film.
    • The movie theater that Bugs escapes from is airing a film called Root of All Evil starring a Lito Rodriguez. In the Wachowskis' show Sense8, Lito Rodriguez was one of the protagonists and an actor.
    • During the motorcycle chase, a bus shelter ad is seen for Papa Song's, a setting from Cloud Atlas.
  • Pun: The Analyst states that he gave Trinity the name "Tiff" (Tiffany) as a sort of inside-joke. Tag Image File Format (.TIFF) is an image file format for storing raster graphics images, popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry, and photographers. This turns her alias into a Meaningful Name: "Tiffany" was supposed to be visible to Neo, yet inaccessible, as if he were viewing her as an image on a computer screen, as in those old quips about girls whose names end with JPG.
  • Punch Catch: Neo catches Morpheus' punch twice during a spar.
  • Punny Name: Jude. So when Thomas tries to stop him it sounds like "no, dude!".
  • The Purge: It is mentioned that many programs were purged when the Matrix was rebooted, including the Architect, the Oracle, and Sati's parents.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: In one of the film's many Call Backs to the original, Neo gets pummeled with punches against a wall by the returned Smith in the same manner that Agent Smith pummeled Neo in the first film.
  • Reboot Snark: The Distant Sequel to the original trilogy sees Neo reindoctrinated into the Matrix and believing the first three films were successful video games he developed years ago. He's annoyed that their "beloved parent company Warner Bros." wants a Trilogy Creep, but signs on because they were going to do it with or without him. He has to sit through through a painful focus group that attempts to distill the films — er, games — to what audiences liked: "effing with [your] head", "guns", "crypto-fascism and capitalist exploitation", and of course, Bullet Time. Neo spaces out by the time people start talking about most remakes being regurgitations.
    Warner Bros. Marketer: Inside, you'll find the breakdown including keyword association with the brand. The top two being "originality" and "fresh," which I think are great things to keep in mind as you begin working on Matrix 4. And who knows how many more?
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill:
    • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's iteration of Morpheus presents the same choice to Neo between the blue pill and the red pill as Laurence Fishburne's iteration of Morpheus did back in the first film. It even has, in some shots, images of the original choice projected onto the walls for added effect.
    • Neo is shown with a prescription bottle of "blue pills" as well, given to him by his therapist to suppress his occurrences of perceived reality and dreams being indistinguishable.
  • Reflective Teleportation: Mirrors seem to be the main way to exit the Matrix now, given that time has passed, and landline phones are no longer the norm (in our world, at least).
  • Riches to Rags: Since the Matrix was reset after Smith's defeat, various Exile programs have suffered, with the Merovingian in particular now reduced to wearing rags and often ranting madly as opposed to his controlled information broker role.
  • Robots Enslaving Robots: The Analyst and his faction, the New Power, despise Machines who want to bury the hatchet with humanity, and later turn out to have forced Agent Smith back into his despised role as a regulator of the system.
  • Scenery Censor: Much like in the first film, Neo is fully nude when he awakens and is extracted from his pod. However, Cybebe carries him with tentacles wrapping him appropriately during his journey out of the cell and towards the Mnemosyne. The characters position Trinity in appropriate posture after cutting her free and hacking her to avoid showing her in full due to being nude herself.
  • Sequel Hook: The film deliberately leaves a couple of plot threads unresolved, and clearly hints at a potential sequel maybe expanding on them. Namely:
  • Show Within a Show: The events of the first three movies are fictionalized in-universe as a series of video games. Neo is made to believe that he programmed them and that his memories of his past life are him having dissociative episodes due to integrating many elements of his own life into the games, which were themselves designed with the goal of being indistinguishable from reality.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As usual, the horde of Alice Allusions returns (white rabbits in particular).
    • Morpheus' quip of "Tragedy or farce?" references a famous quote by Karl Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce."
    • In Thomas' office, a figurine of Blake Belladonna can be seen on a shelf.
    • The Unreal Engine demo released to promote the film is named The Matrix Awakens, clearly an allusion to The Force Awakens. This ties into the Meta Fiction aspects, as the latter film has been accused by critics of turning out an inadvertent remake of the original Star Wars film, A New Hope. This is something Resurrections does as well, and very deliberately so.
    • "Tiffany" claims her mother loved Audrey Hepburn, implying that she was named for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, and not Audrey's character in the movie, Holly Golightly.
  • Skewed Priorities: Trinity is horrified that she's named Tiffany in the Matrix. When she and Neo have the final confrontation with the Big Bad, this is the first thing she brings up before anything else.
  • Smug Snake: The Analyst is someone gleefully and overly confident in his own superiority. Not hard to see why at first, since he can overclock the Matrix to invoke Bullet Time. But after it becomes clear that things are slipping away from him, he remains all too confident about his place.
  • Socialization Bonus: The Analyst determined that Neo's power as the One is only truly accessible when Trinity is with him (hence only using his abilities in the first movie after Trinity gave him the Kiss of Life); the Analyst spent some time after bringing them back to life determining the necessary distance to create between them that would allow the Analyst to tap Neo's power without bringing them so close together that Neo could break free.
  • Social Media Is Bad:
    • One of the recurring shots in the “White Rabbit” montage depicting Neo’s life of ennui in the Matrix is him in an elevator full of people all fixated on their phones.
    • The Merovingian blames Neo for the new updated iteration of the Matrix, and among the despised additions that he names is “Face-Zucker-Fuck”.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Downplayed, but during the 'Set and Setting' sequence, new Morpheus mentions that Neo's disappearance after Revolutions spawned rumors that he'd been working for the Machines from the beginning. Given the enormity of the revelations of Reloaded, it makes sense that Morpheus, Link, Niobe, and the others would not have been able to keep the truth about the One under wraps indefinitely. It would have leaked out sooner or later and so naturally elements of Zion society would've viewed their one-time messianic figure with distrust and contempt.
  • The Stinger: Neo’s old game developer teammates, claiming that the rapid pace of the Internet has made narrative obsolete, pitch a game made of rapid-fire cat videos that they dub “The Catrix”.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In the final act, Trinity faces the choice between remaining a housewife in the Matrix or going with Neo. She opts for the latter.
  • Strawberry Shorthand: Strawberries are used to illustrate just how different Io's food is from Zion's.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: This time around, Smith claims that conflict between them, doesn't have to be inevitable, in stark contrast to his usual malicious use of the term. However, it's Neo and Smith, so violence breaks out not too long after regardless.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe, the rebooted Matrix is no longer based on the late 20th century, but advanced to around 2020 (some supplementary materials from the first movie suggested that the classic Matrix cycled between around 1980 to 2010 or so, then reset). Now everyone in the Matrix has things like smartphones... And they're just as addicted to them as the movie-going audience is. The human resistance has upgraded several of their technologies. They no longer use hardline phones as exits, such as phone booths — possibly because the rebooted Matrix has now advanced to 2020ish, so there aren't phone booths anymore. Instead, they create "portals" much like the Keymaker did in Reloaded, doorways that connect to different locations miles apart. They also frequently hack mirrors to turn them into portals. Another nifty update is that they no longer use mobile phones to communicate with their Operators back in the real world: instead, ship crews can communicate with them by directly transmitting an audio-visual feed into their brains (though only they can see or hear them inside the Matrix).
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Even before it's revealed that Neo's boss is actually an amnesiac Smith, the two already have a very testy relationship, with the boss himself saying the two have the chemistry of an FBI interrogation.
  • This Cannot Be!: Neo exclaims as much when he sees that his business partner Smith is actually the real Agent Smith among the living once more when he re-awakens during the shootout at their company.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: None of the ads hide that Jonathan Groff is playing Agent Smith with a brand new face.
  • Trilogy Creep: The Matrix Revolutions used to mark the Grand Finale of the Matrix trilogy, but it's not a trilogy anymore. Lana Wachowski confirmed that, at the time, the third movie was indeed supposed to be the ending of the entire story, and for years she rejected WB's offers of "truckloads of money" to make more Matrix projects, until the death of her parents indirectly spurred a new idea for a Matrix movie.
    • This is actually part of the narrative — Warner Bros. executives want Thomas Anderson to make a fourth game in his Matrix series, but he initially feels that the works are complete on their own.
  • A True Story in My Universe: The previous movies exist as video games that Neo programmed based on his subconscious memories.
  • The Unchosen One: One of the key points of The Matrix Revolutions was that the whole idea of The Chosen One was a lie and tool of control by the Machines, and Neo achieved what he did because of his own choices rather than any grand destiny. Smith seems to allude to this in his final line as he makes his exit.
    Smith: You know the difference between us, Tom? Anyone could have been you. Whereas I've always been anyone.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: When Neo and the crew work out how to free Trinity from the Matrix, Sati explains all the things that have to go right while they play out on-screen.
  • The Unseen: Tiffany is said to have three children, but only two are shown on screen, with the third being used as an excuse to get her away from Tom.
  • Villainous Rescue: Of all characters, it's Smith who saves Trinity from being shot by the Analyst, where even Neo was helpless to.
  • Wham Line:
    • At one point, Neo's boss grabs a gun and seems to become possessed. After cracking his neck, he screams out two words that reveal his true identity.
      Smith: MR. ANDERSON!
    • What kicks off the final battle is when Tiffany finally reveals her real identity to her fake family.
      Tiffany: I wish you would fucking stop calling me that. I hate that name. My name is Trinity, and you'd better take your hands off of me.
  • Wham Shot: Neo is pretty rusty after years back in the Matrix and can't yet figure out how to fly. At the critical moment where he needs to fly to save himself and Trinity, he still can't do it... but Trinity flies instead, driven to become a new One, and carries them both to safety.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Resurrections has a lot of story parallels to Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion.
    • Like Homura in Rebellion, Neo, who has previously fought against a powerful non-human enemy, had his memory erased, and was placed into a fake world resembling his old life. Another character from his old life, Trinity, has also been placed into that world, and leads a completely ordinary life with little resemblance to what she was originally, which is also similar to what the other magical girls became in Rebellion. Both stories end with the characters regaining their old memories and escaping their prison.
    • The main antagonist of Resurrections, the Analyst, is also similar to Kyubey from Madoka in that they both harvest energy from humans' negative emotions, and have constructed a special prison for the protagonists. The energy they harvest is used to solve an energy crisis in both cases.
  • Wild Card: Smith. His desire for revenge on the Analyst has him both hinder and help Neo at points in the movie.
  • A World Half Full: While the world outside the Matrix is still post-apocalyptic, there's actually hope for a better future that simply didn't exist before Neo's actions in the previous three films. A schism within the Machines means that there's now a faction that has joined humanity. The standard of living in Io is far greater than that of Zion, with the citizenry no longer living with a siege mentality and working to restore the environment through re-engineering previously extinct crops. Humans also have a greater chance of growing old, as evidenced by Niobe remaining healthy into her 90s. The film also ends on the note of Trinity and Neo promising to make the world inside the Matrix a better experience for everyone.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Curiously zigzagged. Whereas the original three films offered extensive thematic studies of the Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate (spoiler: Smith represented Fate, Neo Free Will), this film takes on a new approach by declaring that people are driven not by external requirements to walk down certain paths, but by the inscrutable exhortations of their own souls. Can you fight fate? Yes. Can you fight your own nature? No. This is underlined by Bugs a mere 12 minutes into the movie, when she offers to Red Pill, Blue Pill someone new:
    Bugs: You have to be ready to leave. You have to be really ready. (offers the red pill) And if you're not, if you think this is where you belong... (offers the blue pill)
    Morpheus: You call this a choice?
    Bugs: Oh, honestly, when somebody offered me these things, I went off on binary conceptions of the world and said that there was no way I was swallowing some symbolic reduction of my life... And the woman with the pills laughed, because I was missing the point.
    Morpheus: What point?
    Bugs: The choice is an illusion. You already know what you have to do.
  • Younger and Hipper: While several surviving characters from the original movies have visibly aged with their actors, Morpheus appears considerably younger due to being played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II instead of Laurence Fishburne. This is because he's a computer program and the original Morpheus has passed away. Likewise, Smith now looks a lot younger due to what he later says is a code overhaul.
  • Zerg Rush: While the Agents are still used, the machines' primary weapon against the redpills are swarms of bots — programs blended in as humans that can activate at any time. They're not nearly as effective as the Agents in combat, but use surprise and massive numbers— in the finale, hundreds, if not thousands, are controlled by the Analyst in an attempt to stop Neo and Trinity.

Trinity: Before we got started, we decided to stop by to say thank you. You gave us something we never thought we could have.
The Analyst: And what is that?
Trinity: Another chance.


Video Example(s):


Good AI, Evil AI

MatPat takes you down memory lane and recaps some examples of evil AI, but also shows examples of good AI that have cropped up in recent years

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AIIsACrapshoot

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