It has been 18 years since the conclusion of The Matrix trilogy, the genre-blending action-meets-cyberpunk science-fiction franchise created by the Wachowski sisters, Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. The latest installment, The Matrix Resurrections, resurrects — quite literally — two of the most iconic action heroes of all time, presumed dead at the end of The Matrix Revolutions: Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). In Resurrections, it has been 60 years since the events of Revolutions, and Neo and Trinity are alive again — but they are far from the iconic duo we once knew.
At the start of The Matrix Resurrections, the truce between humans and machines has been broken and most of humanity — including Neo — is trapped inside the Matrix. Neo, now known once again as Thomas Anderson, is a deeply troubled, renowned game developer known for his hit video game series called The Matrix. He is kept docile by his prescribed “blue pills” from his therapist (Neil Patrick Harris), but he still is experiencing, what he believes to be, breaks in his reality. He finds himself drawn to Tiffany (A.K.A. Trinity), a wife and mother who reminds him of the Trinity from his game.
When Bugs (Jessica Henwick), the captain of the hovership Mnemosyne and “true believer” in the legend of Neo, introduces him to the new Morpheus — now a program, played by newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II — Neo begins to question his sanity. They manage to free him from the Matrix, where he wakes up in a pod (sound familiar?) except, this time, Trinity is in a pod next to him.
At its core, The Matrix Resurrections is a love story in which the overarching plot is fueled by Neo and Trinity’s longing to find each other again. In fact, as we learn, their love is powering the Matrix — literally! How, you might ask? Let’s unpack that ending.
What happens at the end of The Matrix Resurrections?
Neo’s therapist reveals himself to be the Analyst, the creator of the current version of the Matrix following the Architect (Helmut Bakaitis). After he watched Neo and Trinity die at the end of the Machine War, the Analyst created resurrection pods to study them. He studied Neo’s resurrected body for years trying to activate his source code with no success. It was then that he discovered that individually, Neo and Trinity are not particularly special or important. Together, however, they have the power to alter the entire Matrix system. The Analyst figured out that he could keep the system in balance if he kept Neo and Trinity near each other, but not close enough to make contact. Unlike his predecessor, the Architect, the Analyst realized that the human race thrives on emotions, particularly desire and fear. The key to the Analyst’s Matrix — one which he claims to be a rousing success with zero resistance — is Neo and Trinity’s love.
Neo strikes a deal with the Analyst to allow Trinity to be freed from the Matrix but agrees that if she doesn’t want to, then he will return to the Matrix himself. Trinity turns Neo down and allows her family to lead her away. But, as she turns around and looks at Neo one last time, she finally recognizes herself as Trinity, not Tiffany. A fight breaks out and just as the Analyst prepares to kill Trinity, the “new” Smith (now played by Jonathan Groff) intervenes — a temporary, but surprising alliance is forged from the fact that when Neo was freed by Bugs and her crew, Smith was freed as well — allowing Neo and Trinity to push through the crowd and reunite.
Neo and Trinity escape on Trinity’s motorcycle, but not before the Analyst activates “Swarm mode” and all of the San Francisco residents turn into AI bots, some even launching themselves out of buildings like human bombs. Neo and Trinity escape to the roof of a skyscraper where they take a leap of faith and jump off, expecting Neo’s ability to fly to manifest itself. Instead, Trinity saves them, having developed the ability to fly herself.
In the final scene, Neo and Trinity confront the Analyst one final time, now fully suited up in their Matrix ensemble. Trinity has developed a new set of powerful skills. Not only can she fly now, but she is able to slice the Analyst’s throat then immediately bring him back to life. The Analyst tells them that the Suits (the machines who are holding humanity captive) tried to activate the fail-safe, but he knew that would be impossible without Neo and Trinity’s source code now that they are no longer in their pods.
Still, the Suits didn’t purge him because he knows the system the best. Most importantly, he knows human beings. According to the Analyst, Neo and Trinity may feel like they hold all the cards because they can now do whatever they want in this world, but his “sheeple” aren’t going anywhere. Unlike Neo and Trinity, he says, his sheeple don’t want “sentimentality” or freedom – they want to be controlled. They crave the comfort of certainty that the Matrix provides for them.
Neo and Trinity, cool and composed, laugh: they are not there to negotiate. They are on their way to remake his world. They only stopped by to thank him for giving them something they never thought they would have: another chance. They slide on their sunglasses and fly off into the sunset.