Matrix Resurrections, The

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Not suitable under 15; parental guidance aged 15 (strong action violence, scary themes (doom, death, peril, suicide, mind control), coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Matrix Resurrections, The
  • a review of Matrix Resurrections, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 December 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not suitable due to strong action violence, scary themes (doom, death, peril, suicide, mind control) and coarse language.
Children aged 15 Parental guidance recommended due to strong action violence, scary themes (doom, death, peril, suicide, mind control and coarse language
Children over the age of 15 Ok for this age group, though the amount of violence, the overarching sci-fi doom and gloom setting, and prominent themes of peril and threat may warrant parental guidance for some young people over 15.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Matrix Resurrections, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Science fiction themes, action violence and coarse language
Length: 148 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The audience finds Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) – who had once swallowed a Red Pill on his search for the truth and, as ‘Neo’, was at the centre of humankind fighting against the enslavement of the Machines – trapped back in oblivion. Anderson is now a successful Computer Game Designer, and Developer of a game trilogy called, “The Matrix”, and he seems to have forgotten his past as Neo. He is, however, haunted by dreams, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, and suicidal ideation. He tries to stay ‘sane’ with the help of a therapist (Neil Patrick Harris), who prescribes him Blue Pills. When one day Anderson encounters a mysterious woman called Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and her associate, Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), it dawns on him that his ‘crazy’ thoughts and delusions are in fact memories. Anderson decides to take yet another leap of faith, finding himself extracted from his pod, and back in the ‘real’ world. Here, once again as ‘Neo’, he learns that, in fact, 60 years have passed since his closest companion, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), was killed in the Machine Wars, and he was fatally injured. In the meantime, free humans have built a new bastion; a new version of The Matrix is in place; and humankind is being exploited and harvested for their energy to a more devastating degree than ever. Neo’s goal is clear: free Trinity – who, like him, had been restored and enslaved once more – and set things straight within The Matrix.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Science Fiction; Action; Sequel.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent action violence in this movie, including:

  • Shooting firearms, using other weapons, punching, kicking, pushing, throwing opponents through the air.
  • Characters are seen injured, bleeding and spitting blood, having their jaw broken.
  • One character is having their throat slit.
  • Characters are chased and trapped by angry, violent mobs.
  • Characters are emotionally and verbally threatened and abused.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The ‘real’ world is dark, gloomy, and full of threats.
  • Tentacled, monster-like machines chase humans.
  • Millions of humans are kept in fish egg-like ‘pods’, naked, in a slimy liquid, with metal cables attached to their spine, arms, neck, mouth and nose.
  • The Machines can mind-control humans and turn them into zombie-like, suicide warriors: their eyes turn large and black with green digital symbols. In one scene, a man wakes up in the middle of the night, his eyes turn black, he looks possessed, upon which he smashes through the window to become a ‘human bomb’. His partner watches in horror and screams. Hundreds of mind-controlled humans start jumping from buildings to their certain death.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The above-mentioned scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The above-mentioned scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • The above-mentioned scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb some children in this age group.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Frequent references to previous Matrix instalments.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Neo’s friend makes a remark on the phone that indicates that he has company and has romantic interests.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Neo and Trinity are seen naked as they are freed from their pods but no breasts or genitals are on display.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Neo is seen drinking in an effort to deal with his mental health issues.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Fuck
  • Shit
  • “MILF”.

In a nutshell

The Matrix Resurrections is the long-awaited fourth instalment of The Matrix series, following 1999’s ground-breaking film, The Matrix, and subsequent 2003’s, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. While the movie could potentially be watched as a stand-alone, due to recurring characters, frequent references, flashbacks, and re-used archive footage from its predecessors, it is recommended to watch at least the first movie in order to understand the post-apocalyptic world as a setting, as well as main character’s histories and relationships. The two main original characters and cast have returned – Keanu Reeves as Neo, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity. Other iconic characters such as Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and the original Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) appear in recycled archive footage and as 3-D holograms. The original cast is joined by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jonathan Groff as alternate versions of Morpheus and Agent Smith, respectively, as well as Jessica Henwick and Jada Pinkett Smith as underground fighters. As in the original trilogy, there are frequent action fight scenes, filmed in famous bullet time. There is also a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek humour. The amount of violence, the overarching sci-fi doom and gloom setting, and prominent themes of peril and threat make this movie unsuitable for viewers under the age of 15, and parental guidance is recommended for young people aged 15 and possibly beyond.

The main messages from this movie are things are not always what they seem; and that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and fight for what (or who) is really important to you.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Teamwork
  • Sacrifice
  • Innovation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Perseverance
  • Fighting for what you believe in
  • Choosing truth and your ideals over comfort.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of believing in change and progress; and not to judge everything/everyone in black or white categories: some humans and machines/programs have managed to negotiate and cooperate. For example, 60 years on, the new freedom fighters have some machines that live and work with them - almost like pets. Also, there is negotiation between Neo and Trinity with Agent Smith and the Analyst, discussing terms of the Matrix.