Cover Story

The Neo Wave

Inside the ''The Matrix Reloaded.'' The scoop about the 14-minute car chase and the 1,000 dazzling F/X shots -- an excerpt from Entertainment Weekly's May 16, 2003, cover story

Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix Reloaded | RINGING UP A FORTUNE Fishburne returns as Morpheus, leader of the human rebels
Image credit: The Matrix: Reloaded: Claudio Carpi/Warner Bros.
RINGING UP A FORTUNE Fishburne returns as Morpheus, leader of the human rebels

''The Matrix'' is the most influential action movie of its generation. This is not hyperbole. It isn't even a stretch. The story -- in a future where machines have enslaved humans in a virtual reality called the Matrix, a hacker named Neo discovers that his destiny is to lead the resistance -- had seismic impact. And since the movie's release in March 1999, every 360-degree sweep of a camera, every black-clad hero, every sexy yet deadly heroine, every bullet rippling slowly through the air, is a rip-off that can be traced back to writer-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski. They made Carrie-Anne Moss. (''I had no career before,'' says the actress. ''None.'') They inspired the most slavish fan worship this side of ''Star Wars.'' They triggered countless pale imitations and dull-witted parodies. They were hailed as geniuses, and for a brief, mad moment, they were even blamed for the shootings at Columbine High School.

''Larry and Andrew shared some of their e-mails and showed me how it was being discussed on the Internet,'' says star Keanu Reeves. ''That's where I started to see [how big the movie was], which was a ways after it came out.''

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