One of the last science fiction films of the 20th century, and one of its most influential, The Matrix has become one of the most parodied and most referenced films of all time.
Starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, the film plays with a simple premise: that the world, as we know it, is nothing more than a simulation. Neo, along with Trinity and Morpheus (Carrie-Ann Moss and Laurence Fishburne, respectively), must wake up and defeat the machines who are attempting to harvest humanity's natural electrical energy to power their robotic civilisation.
The signature achievement of the Wachowski siblings, The Matrix has become notorious as an example of so-called 'wire-fu', a filmmaking practice in which actors or stunt doubles are suspended on wires to perform exaggerated fight choreography.
The film's depiction of 'bullet time' has also become a pop-culture staple, with Neo possessing such dominance over the eponymous Matrix that he is able to bend its fabric to his will.
Produced on a budget of $63 million, The Matrix took $463.5 million at the worldwide box office. Furthermore, it won four Academy Awards, comprising Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects.
The film was followed by two sequels. While commercially successful, the films received mixed reviews. What had been considered a groundbreaking focus on philosophy and a high-concept plot in the first film was considered convoluted in further films. Nonetheless, The Matrix 4 is scheduled for release on May 21, 2021, with the lead actors set to reprise their roles.