The highly anticipated "The Matrix Resurrections" arrives this week as the somewhat unexpected fourth film in the trilogy, which began in 1999 with "The Matrix." That movie became a true cultural phenomenon and a watershed in sci-fi storytelling and visual effects, redefining Hollywood blockbusters for the 21st century. To refresh your memory, the "Matrix" movies take place in an artificial reality, where cool stuff happens like "bullet time" slow-motion gunfights and gravity-defying kung fu. But that's not what the films -- "The Matrix," followed in 2003 by "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" -- are actually about.
The story is about artificial intelligence machines in the future becoming self-aware, turning on their masters and subjugating humanity, and mankind's fight to reclaim dominance. "The Matrix" drew upon many influences, including cyberpunk, neo-noir, anime, wuxia, Eastern and existentialist philosophies, comics, computer games, early hacker culture, "Alice in Wonderland" and more. The Wachowskis, the auteur siblings who wrote and directed it, said that they "were determined to put as many ideas into the movie as we could."