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At The Movies: Neo and Trinity’s excellent adventure

“The Matrix Resurrections” is a science-fiction action film that should hold your interest from beginning to end.

What exactly is going on in The Matrix, what exactly is The Matrix, and whether Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) are dead or alive isn’t exactly clear.

Neo and Trinity were dead at the conclusion of the third “Matrix’ film, “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003).

But all is not as it seems in the fourth installment of The Matrix, which presents an alternate reality in what has been dubbed the multiverse in science-fiction and scientific speculation.

“The Matrix Resurrections” is a fascinating, entertaining and rip-roaring film which doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s even a reference in the screenplay’s dialogue to the film being green-lit, i.e., given the studio go-ahead for production.

The first “The Matrix” (1999) film was a huge success. It had a groundbreaking effect on cinema science-fiction and the New Millennium in its influence on social media, video games, the internet, online “life” and fashion. The sequels, “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003) and “The Matrix Revolutions,” deepened, expanded and upped the ante.

At the heart of “The Matrix Resurrections” is the relationship between Neo and Trinity. Reeves and Moss have a natural onscreen chemistry that is not so much one born of romance as of mutual respect for their immense humanity and abilities.

Reeves (“John Wick” series; “Matrix” series; “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” 1989) is Thomas Anderson, a video game programmer, in the real world, and Neo in The Matrix.

Reeves has a minimalist acting style defined by major emotional muscle in minor facial inflections and verbal intonations. His long black duster coat and sunglasses gives him the quality of a cleric from another world.

Moss (“The Matrix” series; “Memento,” 2000), similarly, plays a character of few words. In real life, she’s Tiffany. As Trinity, in The Matrix, she’s Neo’s doppelgänger, a leather-clad mirror image, opposite-gender reflection.

When Reeves and Moss are on-screen in a scene together, the film soars. It’s Neo and Trinity’s excellent adventure.

The action sequences soar, too. The film has incredible set pieces of martial arts, chases (on Trinity’s Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro), augmented reality, and depictions of the inner sanctum of The Matrix and the complexities of its other world.

The supporting cast is extensive and memorable.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is Morpheus in a stunning, fashion-plate recreation of the original role played by Laurence Fishburne.

Jessica Henwick is Bugs, the blue-haired captain of the hovercraft Mnemosyne. Jonathan Groff is Smith, Agent of the Matrix in a role previously played by Hugo Weaving.

Neil Patrick Harris is The Analyst, who is psychiatrist to Thomas Anderson. Priyanka Chopra Jonas is Sati. As with the characters in the film, she’s described as a program. You see, the world of The Matrix is a video game.

Jada Pinkett Smith is Niobe, a haughty general of the remnant humans.

The latest “Matrix” film, directed by Lana Wachowski, examines symbolically the topics of our time and the future.

Wachowski (co-director, “The Matrix” series; “Jupiter Ascending,” 2014; “Cloud Atlas,” 2012; “Speed Racer,” 2008; “Bound,” 1996) directs from a screenplay co-written with David Mitchell (screenwriter, “Cloud Atlas,” 2012, from his novel “Cloud Atlas”) and Aleksandar Hemon (screenwriter, “Love Island,” 2014), which is wide-ranging and disjointed.

Your level of interest in science fiction, and especially “The Matrix” films, will determine the degree to which you understand or will want to explore the world of The Matrix.

“The Matrix Resurrections,”

MPAA rated R (Restricted: Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.) for violence and some language; Genre: Science Fiction, Acton; Run time: 2 hours, 28 minutes; Distributed by Warner Bros.

Credit Readers Anonymous:

A post end-credits scene in “The Matrix Resurrections” takes us to a video-game design meeting where the future is defined by cat videos: “The Catrix.” Filming took place in San Francisco, Chicago and Studio Babelsberg, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany. “White Rabbit” (1967) by the Jefferson Airplane, the psychedelic rock band that opened The Matrix, a music venue in San Francisco in 1965, is heard during the film’s opening scenes.

At The Movies:

“The Matrix Resurrections” was seen in the Dolby Theatre at AMC, AMC Center Valley 17, The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, Upper Saucon Township.

Theatrical Movie Box Office,

Jan.14-16: “Scream” scared Spider-Man from his one-month No. 1 perch with $30.6 million in 3,664 theaters, as “Spider-Man: No Way Home” dropped one place to No. 2, with $20.8 million in 3,925 theaters, $698.7 million, five weeks.

3. ”Sing 2” dropped one place, $8.2 million, in 3,581 theaters, $119.3 million, four weeks. 4. “The 355” dropped one place, $2.3 million, in 3,145 theaters, $8.4 million, two weeks. 5. “The King’s Man” dropped one place, $2.3 million, in 2,510 theaters, $28.6 million, four weeks. 6. “Belle,” opening, $1.6 million, in 1,326 theaters. 7. “American Underdog” dropped two places, $1.6 million, number of theaters unavailable at press time, $21 million, four weeks. 8. “West Side Story” dropped one place, $948,000, in 1,460 theaters, $33.7 million, six weeks. 9. “Licorice Pizza” stayed in place, $883,000, in 772 theaters, $9.5 million, eight weeks. 10. “The Matrix Resurrections” dropped four places, $815,000, in 1,725 theaters, $35.8 million, four weeks.

Box office information from Box Office Mojo as of Jan. 16 is subject to change.


Jan. 21:

“Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre,”

No MPAA rating: Guy Ritchie directs: Jason Statham, Josh Hartnett, Hugh Grant and Cary Elwes in the Action, Comedy, Thriller. A special agent recruits a Hollywood movie star for an undercover mission.

“Redeeming Love,”

PG-13: D.J. Caruso directs Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Famke Janssen and Logan Marshall-Green in the History, Drama, Romance. The movie about the betrayal of a young woman is based on the novel by Francine Rivers.

“The King’s Daughter,”

PG: Sean McNamara directs Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Benjamin Walker and Kaya Scodelario in the Action, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Romance. King Louis XIV quests for immortality.

Movie opening date information from Internet Movie Database as of Jan. 16 is subject to change.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY WARNER BROS. Keanu Reeves (Neo-Thomas Anderson), Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity-Tiffany), “The Matrix Resurrections.”