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The Final Chapter
In 1999, the Wachowski Brothers and producer Joel Silver unveiled The Matrix, a visionary fusion of brutally elegant action and densely-layered storytelling. The filmmakers not only electrified audiences with audacious visual innovations, they created a provocative action film that ponders the essence of reality and identity, illuminating the choices we must make and the strengths and weaknesses that compel us to make them. The Wachowskis envisioned the epic story they unleashed in The Matrix as a trilogy, and approached the production of the second and third installments as a single film that would be presented in two parts.

With the May 2003 release of the second chapter, The Matrix Reloaded, the writer-directors tunneled deeper into the sprawling saga's mythology and presented revolutionary new visual effects technology that redefined what is cinematically possible. Driven by furiously breathtaking action sequences, Reloaded elaborated on the first film's themes of philosophical and technical alienation in the continuation of Neo's treacherous journey toward greater truth and understanding of his pivotal role in the fate of mankind

To date, The Matrix Reloaded has earned over $735 million in worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing film of 2003 and the highest-grossing R-rated film in history, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, Reloaded scored the record for the largest single week ever with $158.2 million and reached $150 million in a record-breaking six days domestically; internationally, it is the 10th highest grossing film of all-time, and is the first film in history to gross more than $100 million in a single weekend.

The staggering box office of the first two installments of the trilogy and the vast amount of thought devoted to the examination of the Wachowskis' work is evidence of the extent to which the filmmakers have hacked into the collective consciousness with their provocative and challenging filmmaking. "They've created an epic story, told it in a visionary way that revolutionized entertainment, and created a thinking person's action trilogy," observes Matrix producer Joel Silver. "You can enjoy the films on a purely visceral level, and if you want to go deeper, there are some very profound ideas to consider."

The Wachowskis believe that at the heart of the Matrix films is the hope of integration – the synthesis of our finite knowledge of what is with our infinite beliefs of what might be. "These films explore the search for truth, the cost of knowledge, the quest for understanding our lives and the sacrifices we choose to make," Keanu Reeves suggests. "Evolution is another important theme of the trilogy. In the first film, it's Machines versus humans, who are trying to free themselves from the world of the Matrix where the Machines have enslaved them. In Reloaded and Revolutions, you see the perspective of Machine-created programs trying to hide in the Matrix when they face deletion in the Machine world, while the humans face extinction by the Machines that are trying to destroy Zion. Ultimately, the Machines' survival is threatened as well, and the humans, programs and Machines have to find a way to cooperate to ensure their survival."

The visual and intellectual concepts that were introduced in The Matrix and further explored in Reloaded culminate in a tour de force of epic action and resolution in the trilogy's final explosive chapter, The Matrix Revolutio

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