Full Circle, The Matrix is done, done…for reals
Article by Wilson Lee.
Is it really over? The Matrix series after almost twenty years since the last film another has hit the silver screen—Matrix Resurrections. But this isn’t a review of the final film per se, but rather a review of The Matrix as a whole. Four films over twenty years. I grew up with The Matrix. As silly as it seems, this final instalment felt as if it closed the door on a fixture of my youth, permanently.
The year was 1999, I was thirteen years old. There were Blockbusters, and CDs and computers with CD burners. The Internet was settling in as a thing, but it wasn’t yet everything. There was no streaming service, Netflix mailed you DVDs. The world was about to change, I promise it was that serious. The 90’s was good to me, just a year earlier Wesley Snipes’ performance as Blade opened my eyes to the true possibility of movies. The advancements in the industry made the comics and sci-fi/fantasy novels I loved ever more possible as film. And then there was the Matrix. When the Matrix released on March 31, 1999 it broke the world!
My eldest brother, as he often did, took me to see it. And I was done! At school, in the shopping malls (yes people went to those to shop), outside in the street, you would see kids dodging imaginary bullets…you heard the menacing words, “Mr. Anderson”. The world was on fire. There were so many new things in the film; techniques and technologies that are now common place were new and groundbreaking.
The impacts of the first Matrix are clear to me today. It set a new bar for film. I credit Blade and the Matrix for transforming the action film genre, and paving the way for the insanely budgeted films of Disney and Warner Bros today (for better or worse). The success of the film guaranteed the trilogy would see completion. And I loved them all, even the third one which catches a good deal of slack.
Even with a significant wait between the films, the anticipation was high each time. We had all chosen the red pill, we all wanted to chase the white rabbit no matter where it led. In the first film we learned about Neo, about the potential of his power. In the second film we got to see Neo really show off how powerful he and the others had become within the Matrix. Also, the second film had the Merovigian and the Twins (I love these characters).
The third film in the trilogy was to be honest my least favorite. I would rank them in order of release, The Matrix, Matrix Reloaded, and Matrix Revolutions. Matrix Revolutions was interesting and tragic. It left me feeling helpless. All in all, it was an okay ending to the trilogy, all-be-it anti-climactic. Based on the Matrix Revolutions ending, the Matrix Series as a whole was a dystopian sci-fi story. Full of action with a light touch of romance.
The addition of the of the fourth movie to the series changes my final opinion of the Matrix series. I no longer see it as a dystopia science-fiction action film. Matrix Resurrections weaves a retelling of the original Matrix into its main narrative. Reimagining or rather fulling uncovering the nature of the “One”.
Ultimately the original premise of the first Matrix seems to be soundly rejected by the fourth film. The idea that the fate of all of humanity rest in the hands of single “chosen” person is replaced with the idea that connection is the ultimate power of humanity. This final chapter to the series solidifies its standing as an epic romance. Its final and resounding message is that love conquers all; the Matrix is a love story.
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