The Matrix (series)
The Matrix is a science fiction/techno-noir cyberpunk action media franchise created by The Wachowski Brothers and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The series began with the feature film The Matrix (1999), and continued with two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). The characters and settings of the films are further explored in other media set in the same fictional universe, including animation, comics, and video games.
Setting and Themes
The series depicts a far future in which Earth is dominated by robots that were created early in the 21st century and rebelled against humanity. At one point, humans attempted to block out the machines' source of solar power by covering the sky in thick, stormy clouds. During this time, the machines and mankind were engaged in a massive war in which the machines ultimately emerged the victor. Having no definite source of energy, the machines devised a way to extract humans' bioelectricity and thermal energy by growing people in pods, while their minds are kept under control by cybernetic implants connecting them to a simulated reality called the Matrix.
The virtual reality world simulated by the Matrix resembles human civilization around the turn of the 21st century (this time period was chosen because it is supposedly the pinnacle of human civilization). The majority of the stories in the Matrix franchise take place in a vast Western World unnamed megacity. This environment is practically indistinguishable from reality (although scenes set within the Matrix are presented on-screen with a green tint to the footage, and a general bias towards the color green), and the majority of bluepills - humans connected to the Matrix - are unaware of its true nature. Most of the central characters in the series are able to gain superhuman abilities within the Matrix by taking advantage of their understanding of its true nature to manipulate its virtual physical laws.
It is said that the Wachowskis had the lead actors read all three of the following books; “Simulacra and Simulation” by Jean Baudrillard, “Out of Control” by Kevin Kelly, and “Introducing Evolutionary Psychology” by Dylan Evans and Oscar Zarate. This was in order for them to better understand the world of the movie and its premise.
In the film, Neo hides his illegal computer files in a copy of Baudrillard’s book.
The films main genre is cyberpunk with some sci-fantasy elements added into the later films, but mostly the final film of series Matrix Revolutions. This is mostly thanks to the incorporation of religious themes and symbolism (such as Joseph Campbell's monomyth) throughout the films series.