It’s been over 20 years since Keanu Reeves and Warner Brothers first gave us The Matrix. Reeves knew the moment he saw the script that he was taking the lead role. The Matrix encapsulated the entire year it was released and, plainly, left viewers shook. It was a movie that capitalized on the millennium. Developing a narrative of digital realities and distorting one’s body to avoid being shot in a hailstorm of bullets while wearing an amazing and futuristic wardrobe.
The Wachowskis’ film The Matrix, which starred Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Laurence Fishburne, redefined what action movies could be in the modern era.
In fact, The Matrix became such a big hit that it was projected that The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions would come out right after each other and soar to even greater heights. But even though Neo and his friends still did well at the box office, the sequels didn’t get as much praise from critics as the first one.
What Did Keanu Reeves And The Matrix Franchise Make At The Box Office?
The Matrix came out in 1999, and in the United States, it made $27,788,331 on its opening day. The total brought in for the US was $172,076,928; worldwide, The Matrix generated $467,222,728.
The Matrix Reloaded was released in 2003, and six months later came The Matrix Revolutions, literally back to back. Reloaded brought in a total of $281,576,461 in the United States and $741,847,937 worldwide. Revolutions, on the other hand, took in the least amount of the three. $139,313,948 in the US and $427,344,325 worldwide.
Keanu Reeves was paid $15 million upfront as well as received a portion of the box office, making him $250 million richer when all was said and done, with 70% of that going to cancer research in honor of his sister. Despite the enormous payday, however, it is still not Keanu’s favorite role.
What Did the Critics Say About Keanu Reeves and The Matrix Reloaded?
The first version was, first and foremost, a metaphysical mystery: How was it possible for Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) to hang motionless in midair? Why did Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) always seem to know what Neo (who was then Thomas Anderson) was doing? What was it about Anderson’s life that made it seem like an illusion?
The answers came gradually, in a way that was both troubling and mysterious. It was an acute mix of contemporary science fiction and everything new (up to the second) in special effects.
The most important thing that is conveyed is that when Neo took the red pill, unplugged himself, and joined the virtual dojo, each fight gave him a deeper understanding of who he was and what he could do in the Matrix. Fans ate that up.
The Matrix Reloaded starts off right away with action, but it’s different. It’s stiff. It seems like a Marvel movie—a typical faceoff. Trinity is flying through on a motorcycle in her black vinyl suit, taking out guards and doing wild stunts. Again, though, it’s all been seen before. Movie goers see the original, only with more guards added. It fell flat.
Rolling Stone said, “And so it goes. If you belong to the church of The Matrix, then I’m a heretic. But neglecting the faults of The Matrix Reloaded blinds you to the film’s very real triumphs. Make no mistake: Eyes will pop, nerves will jangle, thoughts will be provoked, and other summer blockbusters will shrink in comparison. But to quote from one of the few cultural touchstones not referenced in this film: “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”
What Was Wrong With Keanu Reeves and The Matrix Revolutions?
The biggest problem with the Matrix trilogy was that its goals changed completely between the end of the first film and the beginning of the second. By the end of the first, it looked like the matrix would be destroyed and everyone would be free. In the second and third chapters, it appeared that they were attempting to save Zion and that the matrix was really a side plot.
Critic Roger Ebert commented that he thought it became more underwhelming as it went on, and he didn’t care about what happened to any of the characters by the end.
It left more questions than it answered. Nothing made sense. The special effects seemed to be overdone to the point where they cluttered the screen. A review on The Guardian said, “there were moments where the plot becomes so weak that the movie becomes rather tedious”.
Messy is a good way to sum up this sad movie’s ending perfectly. It would have made more sense, even with the unresolved plot threads, had they stopped after one movie.
What Does Keanu Reeves Think Of The Matrix Franchise?
In an interview with The Guardian, Keanu Reeves said that he understood why people didn’t like the Matrix sequels because he felt the same way after seeing Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He was 19 when the movie came out.
“I went in, like, ‘Wow, I wonder, are they going to do this, and will they do that…? And then I was like, ‘Oh no. Oh no! So I totally get the experience as a filmgoer. But I just try to let films be, you know? I try to think about what the creators were going for. It’s their work of art. I try to come to their art and meet it wherever it is.”
Despite the sequels’ unfavorable reviews, the Matrix film franchise is still recognized as one of the most well known and lucrative sci-fi movies ever made, with a total gross of over $1.6 billion between the three movies. As a viewer, it’s important to appreciate the vision and effort put into creating such a successful franchise, even if it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s also worth noting the impact that the Matrix has had on popular culture and its influence on other sci-fi films and media.