The Matrix came at the end of a crazy decade; the ’90s saw the internet become a thing. People were freaking out about Y2K, which was going to stump our computers and send the world into chaos. Then The Matrix was released in theaters. The 1999 film stirred our doomsday paranoia into one big fatty vat of futuristic chili. It said a lot about what our world might become, in a cyberpunk, EDM sort of way. Twenty years later it got a lot right. Not that we all live in a simulation (or do we?), but some brush strokes are consistent. With the recent announcement of a fourth Matrix movie, let’s look at some ways the original film predicted life today as well as some ways the new film could predict life 20 years from now
AI is creepy AF. ('The Matrix')
They’re building robots to do everything for us. Should we worry? Will artificial intelligence take over as the dominant species and use us as batteries? Matrixmythology always seem to blame humanity.
Sunglasses can be rocked 24/7. ('The Matrix')
Whenever Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus enter the Matrix, they wear sunglasses. The artsy interpretation of this is that they’re shielding their eyes from the false world they see. The fashion of The Matrix really took off—leather, trench coats, sunglasses, and all-black everything.
Virtual reality will take over our lives. ('The Matrix')
Landlines are scarce in The Matrix. They're the only way the warriors of truth can get out. Nowadays, phones are always pulling people away from their realities. Technology, in general, is one big blue pill people love to swallow. Social media, VR headsets, you name it.
Martial arts will become mainstream. ('The Matrix')
MMA and the UFC have really taken off; everyone seems to be training for the end of the world. You don't have to be big and ripped to kick some ass, you just have to want to. It's all supposedly very therapeutic—to quote Morpheus, it will "free your mind."
There will be overbearing global surveillance. ('The Matrix')
Bob, the FBI agent in the surveillance van across the street from Starbucks has seen enough dick pics to last him the next 20 years.
AI will grow out of its creeper phase. ('The Matrix 4')
The Matrix trilogy ended with a truce between humans and machines; all the human beings were free to leave the Matrix. It remains to be seen if the fourth film will allow this truce to remain intact. Hopefully, it does, simultaneously leading us into a robot group hug tomorrow.
Sunglasses will be even cooler. ('The Matrix 4')
Although, in 20 years, they may not be necessary (if all that smog rolling in from China is any indication), they will remain cool. There's a 50 percent chance Keanu will be rocking Ray-Bans in the fourth film and a 100 percent chance he'll be rocking shades.
Virtual reality will still be with us. ('The Matrix 4')
What are landlines? Zion won't have any land lines in the next film and neither will we 20 years from now. Those restrictive monstrosities will exist in the same historical abyss as telegrams.
Everyone will be an expertly trained warrior. ('The Matrix 4')
Lana Wachowski will either go the route of "everyone got fat in a time of peace" or "everyone went apeshit." We think the former is a more entertaining narrative decision. Two decades from now, everyone is going to be jacked—food will be better (for you), training will be more in depth, and they're probably going to put chips in our heads that allow us to easily master bullet dodging and slow-motion wall running.
Global surveillance will no longer be a thing. ('The Matrix 4')
Bob went home, he'd seen enough.
'The Matrix' will remain inspirational.
In 1992, Nickelback sang “And they say that a hero can save us.” In 1999, Thomas Anderson (aka Neo, aka Keanu Reeves) was that hero—the chosen one. A protagonist, who, full of doubt, changed the world. If there's anything to take away from The Matrix, it is to believe in yourself. The Wachowskis' did this when they challenged simple narratives, set pieces, and choreography. So take a page out of the Matrix-centic book. Seek out the truth, then bend reality to your liking. There is no fucking spoon.