Nearly two decades ago, a sci-fi action film caught the world by storm. “The Matrix” captivated audiences with its incredible stunts and action sequences blended in with surprisingly philosophical discussions on how one perceives reality and what the limits of his capabilities are in reality. Its popularity led to two sequels to form a trilogy, an authentic anime anthology, and several videogames. Some 18 years later one of the original franchise creators is bringing a fourth installment, “The Matrix Resurrections,” to both cinemas and HBO Max in December. A trailer has also been put up, but what the viewers see depends on their current “reality,” aka the time of day.
According to Entertainment Weekly, a trailer for “The Matrix Resurrections” has been uploaded to the fan-site WhatIsTheMatrix.com for the viewing pleasure of anyone interested. But as those who have been fans of “The Matrix” since the Wachowskis made the original that premiered in 1999, there is a twist in the presentation. The website offers the visitor a choice between a blue or red pill much like Keanu Reeves’ Neo was given in the film. Depending on what one chooses, and factoring the time of day in the viewer’s computer, there are a variety of scenes shown, seemingly all at random.
Take for instance this writer’s trip. The red pill was chosen, and the familiar green scrolling code in black background begins to run. Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen’s voiceover then drones, “This is the moment for you to show us what is real. Right now you believe it’s [says the time of day on the laptop, in this case 4:57 PM] but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Could be this is the first day of the rest of your life, but if you want it, you gotta fight for it.”
Depending on whether one chooses the red or blue pill, and the time when the site was accessed, a variety of scenes from the original films and the upcoming fourth will be featured. You’re sure to see Abdul-Mateen’s character (rumored to replace Laurence Fishburne, who is not returning), and then Keanu Reeves’ Neo (still sporting the John Wick beard), Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity, Jonathan Groff losing his mouth, and more. The interactivity is fascinating, but one gets no context to the plot of this unexpected film. Perhaps a follow-up trailer will be more straightforward. Then again, this is “The Matrix.”
“The Matrix Resurrections” is directed by Lana Wachowski from a story co-written with David Mitchell and Alexander Hemon. It also stars Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, Jessica Henwick, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The film releases in theaters and HBO Max December 22, the latter on the ad-free tier for a month following its premiere.
Image courtesy of Polygon