Big trailer for the Big Reveal: Check it out now
The return of the Matrix, and in particular Neo and Trinity, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, respectively, is looking like more than a resurrection, and that’s already a lot. The teaser for the upcoming full trailer (tomorrow at 6am PDT if you want to set your alarm) is clearly in the full spirit and classic vision of the original hit. Lana Wachowski at the helm, solo this time, appears to have brought the 4th edition of the franchise into total sync with the debut, by far the best of the series.
And both Neo, looking, just like Keanu a lifetime removed and yet the same, and Trinity appear to be aiding the cause by bringing a kind of effortless perfection to the cast – No need to mention John Wick or any intervening saga, this is a continuation, or more aptly, a resurrection of what was so amazing in the time, place spirit of that original film.
And, if you are old enough to have seen ‘The Matrix” in a theater in 1999, perhaps in Hollywood, CA, you would be involuntarily reflecting on how much more like the Matrix the world has become in the intervening 22 years. Today we have Elon Musk musing openly about the likelihood that the universe is a simulation of AI (sound like the Matrix to you?)
And the Metaverse is being hailed as just around the corner, and if that’s the case can our own Matrix be far behind? Perhaps we are already there?
“The strongest argument for us being in a simulation, probably being in a simulation, is the following: 40 years ago, we had Pong, two rectangles and a dot…That is what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality. If you assume any rate of improvement at all, the games will become indistinguishable from reality.” –Elon Musk
And then there’s “Dead Internet Theory” which posits that the internet “died” in around 2017 and what’s left are the skeletal remains of what was and nothing of what could have been. Sounds like a cause to fight against and escape from a la Neo and Trinity? And what is more romantic than the idea of a reunion, thanks to resurrections, of that duo back in the mix, fighting what appears to be a similar and yet further evolved battle of fake real vs real dystopia and lost innocence? Familiar?
If the teaser campaign to promote the trailer which is itself to promote the film says anything it says, with effortless simplicity that there is a fidelity to the original and a progression in time, clear from the protagonists physical instruments, that is fully absorbed into the update.
A thread like an unbroken through line, connecting the 1999 moment anew, yet absorbing the intervening changes to the fictional worlds of artifice within the films and to a third, that we, the audience, have grown with bringing us to December 22, 2021.
The BLUE PILL:
The blue pill leads to a very different series of flashed images, depicting, presumable, the journey of Neo in the Matrix simulation world it self, as in the original. While the story is known and some of this, like the Dojo scenes below, are very beautiful, classic recreations of the original training sequences with Lawrence Fishburne, the similarity only serves to pique our curiosity all the more regarding the resurrection story and how it differs this time around.
Once more the set, while perhaps not 100% identical, and, of course, likely to befit from advances in digital filmmaking, evokes so perfectly the spirit of the original that the experience, best case in a live movie theater (!) of vicariously “being there” is already a tantalizing proposition.
And Neo / Keanu, appears to have everything he displayed as a man 22 years younger in his physical presence and that alone tells a story within the story.
Naturally, some images produce more curiosity and questions than they answer, even when a still frame is isolated and studied. There is a particularly interesting interaction with the rooftop crowd in this case (above) and the image begs the question: will Neo lead uprisings both within the Matrix and the revolutions in the “real” world?
What kinds of mental challenges and trickery will a more mature Neo encounter while in the Matrix? This shot also produces mystery and begs for speculation regarding the script and how the various logical and illogical pathways will be traversed.
Multiple flash frames do confirm that a romantic adventure and escape will extend the story of Neo & Trinity, and that, while perfectly fitting, also appears to be something that could add more interest on a level above the intervening sequels (2 & 3). For all these reasons and many more, it does look like the buzz and building anticipation will start here and just keep growing until we all have a chance to experience the film in its entirety. On December 22, 2021 either in the Theater (best!) or on HBO Max for subscribers.
Another example of the fantastic potential of re-uniting the Director / Writer with much of the cast and perhaps even crew and locations. This still (above) looks interestingly like the rooftop where the famous bullet-time sequence was made. Perhaps the same location or just digitally re-created, still the spirit of the original already can be seen shining through even in the set design and location management.
If anything, it feels like there is a depth and poignancy to the characters, the images and the implied story that extends and deepens the original, as a great sequel should do. For once it’s as if the maturity of the main stars in the cast is not an obstacle to manage or navigate but a built in feature.
The images will be extended no doubt, with tomorrow’s full trailer and, perhaps take the already building anticipation to the next level.
Thank you to Warner Bros. for the still frames and for not minding that we penned this love letter to the series, it’s cast, crew, director and producers.
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