Falling deeper down the rabbit hole

New film in the Matrix Trilogy causes audience to slip through dreamland all over again


Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

In continuation to the Matrix franchise, the unresolved story of these idolized characters finally comes to an end with the newest film released in December of 2021.

Carley Bailey, Staff Reporter

What if what we perceive to be the real world was all an illusion? How about a computer-generated hallucination? The whole idea of the Matrix is a pixelated world constructed to block us out from the infinite possibilities our individual personas hold. However, that’s just beginning to explain the diverse scheme behind the realm of the Matrix. 

The newest movie in the four part saga, “The Matrix Resurrections,” takes “Following the White Rabbit” to a whole new level as watchers are sent into a long-enduring and almost never-ending chase through the building blocks of reality.

Disclaimer: Spoilers

The movie starts off with a very familiar scene that can be closely compared to the beginning of the first Matrix film. This scene shows Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) performing her famous “telephone escape” and a new character, Bugs (Jessica Henwick), is introduced as she witnesses Trinity’s bullet-dodging getaway before experiencing the action first-hand. The wise man of the saga, Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) returns to save Bugs from the agents chasing close behind her. Morpheus brings the utterly confused Bugs into the old apartment of the Matrix’s ideal savior and protagonist, Neo (Keanu Reeves). 

At just the start of this film, I was already glued to the screen. The amount of sci-fi action and incredible special effects make this “not so real world” come to life. I will say, the disappointment I felt when I saw that Laurence Fishburne wasn’t playing his dynamic part as Morpheus was vast, but I quickly began to grow fond of the new Morpheus as his character unfolded.  Although the part Morpheus plays in this movie can be confusing, the producers dive deep down and bend over backward to explain the reasoning behind his role.

With just a look around the old, trashed apartment, Bugs quickly came to the realization that Neo, after being proclaimed dead, was still alive through a forgotten memory. With this information, she makes it her mission to free him.

The setting is swiftly changed and the audience sees the official return of past lovers, Neo and Trinity. Despite what was revealed in the ending of the third film, “The Matrix Revolutions,” where producers substantiated their deaths like no other, this is the type of film where what you think you saw could all be a part of the mind-boggling reality of the Matrix. After being free for so long, the two are thrown back into the “Desert of the Real” by artificial intelligent machines and continue to be under the close watch of agents.  With Neo being a world-famous video game designer in his new life, he creates a Matrix video game based on all of his past memories he perceives only as day dreams. 

The remission of these characters back into the saga was a real turning point for me. I mean, would it really be a Matrix movie without Neo and Trinity? I’ve always adored the connection between the two ever since the first movie, and the fact that they meet multiple times and don’t have any recollection of everything they have been through is truly heartbreaking. Their memory of each other only exists in a foggy delusion. 

As the film continues, Neo is met by a character he thought he had only created as a program in his game, Morpheus. Just like in the first film, he offers Neo the red pill that brought him into the real world in the first place. After Morpheus’s failed effort to release Neo back into the real world, he later wakes up in his therapist’s office thinking that his mind made the whole thing up. Following a subtle attempt to free his mind, Neo finally comes across Bugs, who shows him the truth of who he once was—who he really is. 

Throughout the film, you truly begin to have a deeper understanding of the concept of the Matrix and the beneficial and harmful effects it has on the characters throughout. The Matrix shows viewers how everyone has the individual responsibility to make a choice between the real world and the dream world.  It brings the characters true consciousness to the surface and reveals to them what it really means to be free.  I personally enjoyed how the producers put a twist on this sequel and gave the audience a new perspective on Neo and his internal strength while watching him become an enhanced version of the person he once was. 

In fear of him ruining the new and improved city they built for themselves in the real world, Neo is captured by people that he had formerly trusted. You can clearly see him evolve and become stronger than anyone ever thought he could be while battling his past enemies. 

The way the film portrays this new version of Neo was honestly incredible. As it’s finally revealed what happened to Neo after his “death,” it really came to show that the pure torture he underwent only heightened his sense of modesty and courage. His love for Trinity along with the amount of trust he had in the others was tested on all accounts. Somehow, he always conveyed beyond doubt that his loyalty was ever-lasting and proved to everyone that he has always been “the one.”

As the franchise comes to a finish, Trinity, still imprisoned in the Matrix, is forced to make the decision between being freed into the real world with Neo or staying in her fantasy of a life she has created for herself. Knowing what has to be done, Trinity and Neo escape the clasp of their imprisoner in style as they flee from an entire city of mind-controlled citizens and end the series with a major boom. 

This action pact film had me at the edge of my seat with every passing second. The many major plot twists made the movie captivating and gave watchers the immense desire to see what was to come. Although this was the last movie we’d see in the Matrix era, the producers not only gave our heroes a happy ending, but also left the audience wondering what happens after. This is definitely the type of film where you have to watch the first movies to understand the general storyline.  Even with multiple unanswered questions I had in the end, the entire Matrix saga as a whole defies the world as we know it and leaves us questioning our own reality.