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The Most Paused Trinity Scene From The Matrix

Way back in the year 2003, the final "Matrix" film — "The Matrix Revolutions" — hit the big screen. Both at the time and in the modern-day, it's hardly regarded as the strongest installment in the famed trilogy, and by the time it left theaters, the "Matrix" craze had significantly died down. Although, between that being 18 years ago and the 2020s continuing the trend of endless reboots and sequels, excitement is in the air for "The Matrix Resurrections," which will debut in December of 2021 and presumably pick up where "Revolutions" left off.

Therefore, there's no better time than now to begin refreshing your memory on all that the "Matrix" franchise has to offer, beginning with the 1999 film that captivated a generation. From deep allegories that carry more meaning today than they did way back when to innovative filmmaking techniques that changed cinema forever, "The Matrix" was, by definition, a game-changer. It presented audiences with philosophical quandaries in an easy-to-understand way, packed a punch through its unique action sequences, and told a story that was more than worth the price of admission. Not to mention, it added some incredible characters to the pop-culture pantheon.

There's no denying Keanu Reeves' Neo is the poster child of "The Matrix" and its additions, but one would be remiss not to give Carrie Anne-Moss' Trinity the spotlight she deserves. She played a big hand in the first film's story and earned her place as a movie icon — cementing her legacy through one particular scene that still has fans pausing, rewinding, and watching again.

Trinity's iconic kick was a real showstopper

As we enter the "Matrix" universe for the first time, it's made clear that something isn't quite right. This green-tinted dystopia looks like a normal city, but we feel in our bones that the whole setup is, at the very least, different than the world we know. Regardless, we move to the interior of a building swarmed by cops, eventually meeting a black-leather-clad woman — Trinity — sitting at a computer. Despite being busted, presumably for a hefty crime, she refuses to go quietly and delivers arguably the coolest-looking kick in the history of the motion picture.

The image above, with Trinity hovering before a dumbfounded police officer, has become the defining image of the character even for those who've never seen "The Matrix." Not to mention, the scene itself has been parodied to death over the years, most recently getting an homage in 2021's "Space Jam: A New Legacy." The reason it's so iconic is because of its use of a bullet-time camera rig: a setup that included dozens of cameras all in operation at the same time, capturing a 360-degree image that appears "frozen." Combine that with a green screen, Carrie-Anne Moss on cables, and slow-motion aftereffects, and you've got yourself a movie moment.

As soon as viewers watched Trinity leap into the air for the first time, it became crystalized that "The Matrix" wasn't going to look or feel like any action movie before it. As it continued along in its runtime, that statement's validity would increase, but no other scene captured that pause-worthy "wow" factor like Trinity's kick.

The Matrix revolutionized cinema in more ways than one

The famous Trinity kick is an excellent example of how "The Matrix" and its sequels changed how Hollywood and general audiences think about visual effects. It was as if the collective zeitgeist took the red pill and had their eyes opened to a new way of filming action sequences. That went further than merely introducing all of us to "bullet time." It meant taking the art of the fight scene to a new level by bringing in one of the biggest names in the game to choreograph various sequences.

The Wachowskis hired Yuen Woo-ping ("Drunken Master," "Fist of Legend") to train the actors for an unprecedented six months prior to filming (via Unilad). That kind of time frame solely to focus on fighting was unheard of for a Hollywood film at that point in time. It showed fight scenes could be more than punching and kicking. With the right people on board, you could create a visually stunning scene that rivals any car chase, but "The Matrix" did far more than merely give us cooler set-pieces.

The sci-fi flick altered the way people think about action movies and the way they can incorporate philosophy. Before "The Matrix," people thought you had dumb action movies and "serious" dramas. "The Matrix" blended the two, and it's possible that without the film, we wouldn't have the likes of "Inception," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and "District 9." Of course, we also wouldn't have "The Matrix Resurrections," which drops in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22, 2021.