Arriving 18 years after the initial trilogy concluded in all its mind- and spoon-bending glory, the new entry in the franchise ― helmed by Lana Wachowski, who returns to the director’s chair this time without her sister Lilly ― is finally here to deliver on the promise of its title.
In the trailer, released Thursday, Reeves has indeed returned after his character Neo’s death in the third film. But this time, he’s sporting a “John Wick”-style beard and has no memory of his long-waged battle against the robot overlords that have imprisoned mankind in a virtual reality.
Instead, Neo is just another guy in a tech-obsessed world existing on a steady diet of blue pills, seemingly supplied by a nefarious therapist played by newcomer Neil Patrick Harris. “I’ve had dreams that weren’t just dreams,” Neo tells his therapist in the trailer, as moments from previous films flash across the screen. “Am I crazy?”
Neo then has a meet-cute with Carrie-Ann Moss’ Trinity, who also looks very much alive. The two introduce themselves to each other seemingly for the first time in this universe, despite their epic love story in prior installments.
To the strains of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” Neo soon enough falls down the rabbit hole himself, as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, playing a younger version of Laurence Fishburne’s bespectacled Morpheus, offers him a red pill to liberate his mind.
That’s when we’re treated to a showcase of gravity-defying action sequences, as Neo and company run up walls, race motorcycles and leap off buildings, all while being hunted by the franchise’s signature shape-shifting agents.
Written by Wachowski, Aleksandar Hemon and novelist David Mitchell, who previously collaborated with the director on the beloved Netflix series “Sense8,” the film also stars Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christina Ricci, Jonathan Groff and Jada Pinkett Smith, who returns to the franchise as her character Niobe.
“The Matrix Resurrections” will be simultaneously released on Dec. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max, where it will be available for 30 days.