Revisited & Remixed.
In the years since The Matrix (1999) was released, its impact on culture has extended from the popular to the political; its progressive motifs have been co-opted by real-world conservative ghouls; its sibling directors The Wachowskis have both come out as transgender women, and have had to explicitly state their film’s subtext as a trans allegory.
Patrick H. Willems seeks to work only with existing elements (Reloaded and Revolutions, as well as cross-media properties including games, animation, and comics) to better structure, and better tell, the story in the second and third films:
Jean Baudrillard‘s Simulation and Simulacra “was the biggest philosophical influence on the [Matrix] franchise, and he actually had criticisms of the first film and where it fell short, and where he felt like it misunderstood his philosophy,” explains Sophie From Mars, which the Wachowskis returned to in the sequels and “re-did better”. Sophie and Sarah Zedig posit that Reloaded and Revolutions should be considered as a single film, that that single film was ahead of its time, and their deep-dive into the considered symbolism across the two parts of that single film builds their argument that The Matrix Sequels Are Good, Actually:
In case you need a reminder, here’s a bunch of breakdowns and behind-the-scenes which reveal the craft that went into the original 1999 film:
The Matrix Resurrections (2021) is a messy-but-heartfelt response to both the 1999 film and the influence it’s had on the real world in the two decades since: