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'The Matrix Resurrections': Neo still knows kung fu in second memory-jogging trailer

The Matrix Resurrections arrives in theaters and on HBO Max Wednesday, Dec. 22.

By Josh Weiss
Matrix Ressurections YT

The latest trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is giving us a real sense of déjà vu. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (who plays a younger version of Morpheus) waxes poetic about being "trapped inside these strange, repeating loops," while the footage all but confirms that Jonathan Groff is stepping into the polished shoes of an Agent Smith-esque antagonist. Hugo Weaving is a hard act to follow, but the Frozen and Mindhunter star looks like he's more than up to the task.

There's also a nice little stinger at the very end where Neo (Keanu Reeves) assures the audience that he still knows kung fu (calling back to one of the most iconic lines in the first movie in 1999). Resurrections is clearly just as fascinated with the past as it is with the future. Normally, we'd say we've seen it all before, but director and co-writer Lana Wachowski can get away with it since repetition was a big part of the original Matrix trilogy.

Watch the trailer below:

"We wrote it as a very elegant structure, which was dialectical in nature," the filmmaker explained over the summer, making reference to her sister, Lilly, who declined to return for the new chapter. "It was resonant with ideas of birth, life, death, and thesis, antithesis, synthesis. These things which we wanted the story to be in a triptych for a reason. Many stories are just long and they split them up, but Matrix was designed, from the beginning, like a piece of music or a philosophical argument and it had a really beautiful elegance to it. We loved it and we thought that was it. That it was done.”

Lana flew solo as director this time around, working from an original screenplay she co-wrote with previous creative partners, Aleksandar Hemon (Sense8) and David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas).

Check out a new IMAX poster below:

Matrix Resurrections IMAX Art PRESS

Reeves is one of three returning cast members along with Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe). Abdul-Mateen II and Groff lead the series newcomers: Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Priyanka Chopra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, Ellen Hollman, and Christina Ricci.

While plot details are still downloading, the trailers seem to imply a world in which Neo has forgotten the war against the machines. He's back in the Matrix, living a humdrum existence plagued by incessant dreams of what he went through in the first three movies. "Not that it needed it, but certainly the depth of why this film got made is the sense of it being a love story between Trinity and Neo," Reeves told Entertainment Weekly.

The Matrix Resurrections will thrust audiences back into the simulation when the long-awaited sequel arrives in theaters and on HBO Max Wednesday, Dec. 22.