Study Guide

The Matrix Genre


Post-Apocalyptic; Science fiction; Action

Let's start with the basics, shall we? The Matrix is an action movie, pure and simple. We spend so much time talking about themes and symbolism in this guide that it's surprisingly easy to forget what's actually happening in the movie: lots of action.

And while there's nothing unique about a gunfight or a kung fu showdown, no movie has combined the two in such a way before The Matrix. Of course, if you really want to see what's capable in terms of maximum action, you'll need to see The Matrix: Reloaded, but we're sticking with the original for now.

Next on our plate is the science fiction genre. Again, this one is pretty straightforward. Sure, it doesn't have warp drives and sexily clad female aliens that (for some reason) always seem to be strangely humanoid aside from their skin color, but it's pretty science-y (jacking into a virtual world complex enough to replicate the real world…and hovercrafts for good measure) and it's pretty freakin' fictitious.

Finally, let's touch on the post-apocalyptic. The real world in The Matrix is a mess. Everyone lives in a single underground city fearing annihilation from a machine army (without Netflix—the horror!). People are scared for their lives and travel through underground service tunnels and sewers. The sky is black. And why? Because the robot overlords—those squid-like machines with their technological know-how—took over. Jerks.