Set 60 years after The Matrix Revolutions (2003), the third film in the Matrix franchise, The Matrix Resurrections is a thrilling, meta installment in the series. It follows hacker and ‘Chosen one’ Neo (Keanu Reeves), now working as a games developer and having no memory of his fight against the machines that enslaved humanity. Unlike the earlier films in the franchise, which were co-written and co-directed by the Wachowski sisters, Lily and Lana, Resurrections is Lana’s solo directorial venture, which she co-wrote along with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemo. Ahead of its release on Amazon Prime Video on May 12, here’s everything you need to know:
What’s it about?
When The Matrix Resurrections begins, Neo has been plugged back into the Matrix and developed its three prequels — The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003) — as video games, to resounding success. He has no memory of having lived through any of those experiences outside of the Matrix, though the lines between reality and fantasy gradually begin to gradually blur for him. He bases one of the characters in his game, Trinity, on his former partner (Carrie-Anne Moss), though she’s now a suburban mother he keeps running into at a coffee shop, both of them unaware of their shared history, romantic relationship or ideals. Outside of the Matrix, Neo is presumed dead. However, when young programmer Bugs (Jessica Henwick) discovers him alive on the inside, she breaks him out so he can take down the simulation and free the people once more.
Which cast members return?
Along with Reeves and Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith reprises her role as Niobe, former captain of the hovercraft Logos. Lambert Wilson returns as The Merovingian, one of the oldest and most powerful programmes inside the Matrix, intent on seeking revenge against Neo.
Which new actors can we look forward to seeing?
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II takes over the role of the hacker Morpheus, originally played by Laurence Fishburne, while Jonathan Groff steps into Hugo Weaving’s role of Smith, a computer programme and agent bent on killing Neo, now masquerading as his business partner within the Matrix. Priyanka Chopra plays the adult version of Sati, a computer programme created to manipulate the weather inside the Matrix, first introduced in the guise of a young girl in The Matrix Revolutions. Neil Patrick Harris plays Neo’s therapist, helping him distinguish between fact and fiction as the two begin to blend together in his head.
What have critics said about the film so far?
Katie Walsh of The Los Angeles Times called the film “irreverent” and “infectious”, writing “The new blood brings new life to the text, which could otherwise be just a clever dig at sequel culture, but the film is also deeply earnest and deeply felt, especially when it comes to the core love story, the swooning romance between Neo and Trinity.” Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent described it as “a volcanic cluster of ideas with ambition”. “The Matrix Resurrections both reasserts Lana Wachowski’s personal vision and takes stock of the franchise’s thorny legacy,” she wrote.
Recommendation in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video.