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How thirst for the Chosen Keanu unplugged our emotional Matrix
We're venturing deep down the rabbit hole when it comes to thirsting over Keanu Reeves in the Wachowskis' Matrix trilogy — specifically the series' second installment, The Matrix Reloaded.
Is it a bit too on-the-nose that Keanu is our Chosen One of the Month while also serving as the Chosen One for this story about humans rising up in rebellion against their robot overlords? Sure, but we here at SYFY WIRE FANGRRLS have never claimed our cavewoman brains were subtle. The appeal of Keanu as Neo, a man prophesied to end the war between man and machines, to save all of humanity, can no longer be denied. Much like Thomas J. Anderson in the first Matrix movie, we must choose the red pill and wake up to the reality that this baby-faced dystopian Jesus has our lady bits worshipping at his altar.
And why are we bringing gifts and naming our first-borns after Neo, you may ask?
It's not because he's destined to liberate the human race. It's not because he's a soft-spoken everyman reluctantly embracing a position of power for the good of the people. It's not even because he's inspired a line of sunglasses that Kim Kardashian would appreciate. No, we thirst over Neo because of another strong, heroic character in the Matrix trilogy: Trinity.
It's Neo's all-consuming love for his shipmate and ranking officer that elevates his character's thirst level from "drop-of-water-in-the-desert" to "full-blown-Niagara-Falls" heights. The two begin the film squeezing in spooning sessions and elevator makeouts where they can as the resistance prepares for its final stand against the machines in Zion. The sexual tension is thick. So much so that even sentient computer programs can read the depths of their doomed love just by looking at them.
And Keanu SELLS those emotions, breaking out some true thespianage skills with every stolen glance and longing look thrown co-star Carrie-Anne Moss's way. He practically aches to be with Trinity, bemoaning his misfortune when their quick romp is interrupted by throngs of followers begging for his help and sulking through underground frat parties with his bros. The world may need Neo, but Neo needs to get laid — not by some rando but by the love of his life, and he's only got 30 hours to do it. The chemistry between Moss and Reeves is palpable — they grab and rush and fight their way to each other in almost every scene, and this overwhelming desire is heightened by the visions Neo begins having of Trinity's death. There's a sense of desperation to their relationship, and while Keanu has never struggled to play the love interest, it's a difficult line to walk in a film like this that demands he fulfill an unquestionably masculine role as this kickass hero while also appearing lovesick enough to justify his character's ultimate decision to forego saving the world for saving his girlfriend.
It's a lot to ask of any actor, but never fear, this is Keanu Reeves we're talking about. He manages to make sweaty cave sex a to-do item on every red-blooded woman's bedroom fantasy list, his muscles are enough to distract us from the large ports littering his body, and he prefers to cuddle after a bout of vigorous lovemaking. Add to this the fact that not even a long-awaited climax can rid him of the image of Trinity's death and we're given a Romeo-type worth our stanning, a man who desires and genuinely cares for the woman he's risking it all for. It's a delicate balance between lust and love and Keanu's Neo navigates it beautifully, never hesitating to choose Trinity over his supposed destiny.
Ultimately, he ends the film with a big "F*** You" to humanity by rescuing Trinity after she's shot while falling from a high-rise, reaching into her code to remove the bullet and revive her, a full circle moment filled with passion, despair, elation, and a ton of angst.
So while yes, we certainly thirst over the power Keanu wields in this series, the way Neo is propped up above all others, his importance, his destiny, it's his love for Trinity and how he's unashamed of those emotions that make him our horny Kryptonite.