The first Matrix film was released in 1999 and featured a star-studded cast including ‘A’ listers like Keanu Reeves & Laurence Fishbourne which spoke of an ‘end of days’ plot between machines and humans with the machines winning and taking over the earth with only a small contingent of humans surviving, some going into hiding and others being captured by the machines.
The humans captured by the machines were harvested and made into a form of ‘battery/energy source’ to power the machines’ network, and to keep the illusion of a human existence known as the Matrix construct. The Matrix was created to give the batteries a ‘false’ reality that looks and feels like what the old version of life on Earth was.
Of course, to make any great movie plot relatable you need a ‘hero/heroes’ and these come in the form of the other human survivors from the apocalypse who have moved underground. They create a secret city called ‘Zion’ and launch a campaign to free the remaining humans being used as batteries and their offspring.
The machines dispose of the humans that die/default in their system but save their reproductive fluids to keep creating more humans/batteries to run their endless power/energy source.
Laurence Fishbourne is Morpheus, a renegade cyber and tech aficionado freed from the Matrix and returned to Zion where due to his unique skills is made Captain of on of Zion’s many battleships the Nebuchadnezzar.
Through Morpheus receiving visions in line with a Zion prophecy that speaks of a human known as the ‘One’ that will come to free Zion and defeat the machines. He searches for humans within the algorithms of the Matrix that show potential to possess the ‘gift’ of the ‘One’.
Morpheus frees several potential ‘Ones’ from the facade that is the Matrix, and when they have all been tried, tested and found not to be the ‘One’ by the Oracle (played by Gloria Foster) a human who resides within the Matrix and acts as a prophet who believes that balance and co-existence between man and machines must be re-instated; with the machines being defeated and Zion remaining free, he continues his search with the as part of his trusted Crew.
The search for the ‘One’ comes to an abrupt halt when Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) is discovered. By day Neo goes as a mild mannered Software Engineer called ‘Mr. Anderson’ for a global Tech company. By night he becomes a world renowned Hacker that wreaks havoc on the world's unfair and unjust digital systems that see the poor remain poor and humans forever being watched, monitored and punished for failing to comply with society’s many laws and constructs.
Neo is aware of the existence of Morpheus, but not the whole picture involving Zion and the fact that for him to join Morpheus, he must first choose to be freed from the Matrix itself.
Morpheus uses Trinity (played by Carrie-Ann Moss, but oddly enough when the role was first comprised; the Directors had Janet Jackson in mind to play the part. She couldn’t though due to scheduling conflicts) to firstly meet Neo in a club and assure him that what is about to happen is real, and everything he has always questioned about his existence was on the money.
A love interest between Neo and Trinity is sparked and rages like a California wildfire throughout the Franchise. The sheer magnetism between the two leads make for a magical delivery on screen insatiable.
Morpheus & his team now assembled with the ‘One’ on their side; fight Agent Smith (played by Hugo Weaving), other programs and a gigantic swarm of machines to save their beloved City Zion.
The fantasy world of instinctive and programmed computer/technological brilliance goes up against the amazing mountainous Caves and below-the-surface glamour of the Utopia that is Zion and had me out to see the 1st instalment of the trilogy (The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded & Matrix Revolutions) and every other to follow.
The franchise itself has done so well, that as I started writing this piece, a fourth and final (I would hope) instalment was announced called ‘Matrix Resurrection’ set to premier in December 2021 with a few changes, the main of which to include its Directors; who when the franchise began were the Wachowski Brothers, but have since changed gender to identify as women, and only one of them working this time round.
I believe the Matrix and its fantasy world has myself and millions of other fans wanting to move there because of what it has to offer.
The Matrix as a construct works excellently for the programs that exist to keep it in check. You could, if taking a real life view; look at those programs as the world’s wealthy 1%.
They control the wealth of the world as do the more powerful programs in the Matrix construct, they drive the most expensive cars, live in lavish houses/estates and make decisions that affect the world’s impoverished 99%. The programs are not interested in world peace or stopping world hunger, they have one goal and one goal only; which is to keep the 99% percent in line as a power source and have them dreaming of the day they too can become a part of that 1%.
The fantasy world of the Matrix is filled with high fashion, luxury jewels, clothes, cars, magnificent homes, holidays, glamourous food and most of all the endless ability to play with or do as the programs’ wish with the hopes and dreams of the 99% human power source.
So, when the natural order of the Construct is infiltrated by Morpheus and his band of humans with the ‘One’ among them said to have the power to end what the programs’ see as their ‘world’; it’s little wonder that a battle of epic proportions begins.
Then there is Zion, beautiful majestic Zion where the last of Man has been preserved. It has two existing clans of Humans; those born in the Matrix and then freed, and those that are ‘pure born’ that have never served as an energy cell for the machines.
The inhabitants of Zion coexist in harmony with their unifying goal to liberate Zion from the constant threat of destruction by the evil soulless machines and their programmed conscious logic. Designed like a Star in layout, this Utopian wonder has five transport docks and a central power source at its heart on its surface. Several hundred elevators and bridges facilitate life below and comes with its own natural amphitheatre for mass gatherings and parties that all in the City can attend.
Clothing is environmentally friendly/made and as such does not come with the opulence of the fashion items you would find within the Matrix. They bear a ‘commune-like’ finish with a hint of Mother Africa as its influence.
I fell in love with the Matrix at first sight, and oddly enough didn’t see myself as the lead Neo, but as his strong and supportive love interest Trinity.
Some would say bold choice, but there is a seductively sweet, passionate, loyal and gentle way in which she gives herself to Neo and is willing to sacrifice anything and everything to both seeing Neo fulfil the prophecy of the ‘One’ as well as love her like no man could in this life or the next.
Also, as awesome as the action scenes in the movies are that Neo does, Trinity in skin-tight black PVC with matching leather coat, shades and knee high black leather six inch heels; Hubba-Hubba-Hubba.
When the drums and instruments of Zion sound out through the City and its inhabitants gather for an uplifting and rousing pre-battle speech by Morpheus himself, you are left with that bubbling sensation in the pit of stomach that later fuels the tribal dancing to moderate techno accompanying the drums that follow.
So, the bodies sway and the sounds transcend throughout every corner of this fantasy world; I am transported to join my fellow humans in taking that last stand.
That moment of truth, and in that moment, I too can see Neo saving humanity, and as is done in the film, I become his Trinity, his everything. I give the passionate send-off a true Hero deserves to my Neo and chose to follow him into battle knowing it could mean our deaths.
So, I close with bated breath for the new installation of the Matrix franchise, hoping it doesn’t ruin my return to Zion and delivers a few answers to some questions left from that last Matrix movie. Still even if I don’t get the answers, it just better be brilliant; or else!
About the Creator
Carlton A. Armistad is the pseudonym for Andrew R. Little. I prefer writing under this as it allows me to look at any body of work I complete separate to my personal day-to-existence, and safeguards my relationships and family.