*Warning: This article contains spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 2*
It's official: The Matrix is being turned off and on again, with confirmation that Warner Bros. will be rebooting for a new audience. The original trilogy ended in 2003, but really, the Matrix never left us. Instead, it became a part of the code of society and simulated one of the best action franchises of a generation — John Wick.
At least according to Reddit theories by users SnoopLyger and delitomatoes, who both identify curious links between the simulated reality in The Matrix, and the hyper-reality of the world's most dangerous hitman, John Wick. #KeanuReeves is the very tip of the iceberg is as the protagonist of both movies. But the connection goes much, much deeper that a famous face. So free your mind, and read on.
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How The Matrix Simulates Reality
First, a quick rewind to what #TheMatrix is all about. The debut movie, released before the turn of the millennium in 1999, told the story of a simulated reality where humans were kept under control by machines. Set in a dystopian future, the true plight of the human race was disguised by a computer generated virtual reality that appears to be real life.
Within the Matrix, Reeves's character, Neo, was a computer hacker who discovered the true reality of things. He was identified as the Chosen One, a Prime Program added by the machines with the ability to break the illusion of reality, and free the human race in the process.
But here's the significance for this #theory — the dream world that Neo lives in isn't the first variation of the Matrix. In fact, the machines had repeatedly crafted new virtual realities, each more sophisticated than the last, allowing them to more astutely hide the truth. And this is where John Wick comes in. Over to you, John.
Is John Wick A Simulation In The Matrix?
John Wick. The man, the myth, the legend. The pencil-wielding, dog-loving assassin who singlehandedly racks up a death count in the hundreds like it's a game of squash. The man you send to kill the Boogey Man himself. According to the theory, Wick is The One in a new simulation, explaining his borderline superhuman ability and the way he miraculously manages to escape death in the unlikeliest of circumstances.
According to SnoopLyger, the events in #JohnWick take place after the ending of The Matrix Revolutions (2003), and are the result of a new, more sophisticated version of the simulated reality aimed at avoiding another similar situation. In order to collect all the independent "thinkers" in one place, the simulation includes The Continental, a high-flying, highly-secretive underground network of contract killers.
The Continental provides strict guidelines on how those involved can behave, thus keeping them under strict control while allowing them to live a form of "enhanced" life. In the paradigm of the Matrix, the head of the assassin's group, Winston (Ian McShane), could be an agent, or even the Architect, due to his godlike ability to keep the streams of contract killers in line.
A particular scene in John Wick: Chapter 2 highlights this — after being marked as "excommunicado" and banned from the Continental, John goes to meet Winston in a park. The scene itself is peculiar; Winston is surrounded by people, and with a subtle nod, he is obeyed and clears the plaza as it is revealed those crowd consists entirely of assassins intent on taking Wick's life. The scene feels odd, and appears remnant of the Agent training program, Woman in Red, in The Matrix.
John Wick, Meet Morpheus
But there's more. Laurence Fishburne plays Morpheus in The Matrix, a rebel who knows the true reality of things, and first introduces Neo to the shocking truth. He too appears in #JohnWick2 in a mysterious role as The Bowery King, the outlaw of outlaws who protects Wick while he has a $7 million bounty on his head. He also has an intricate network of spies posing as homeless through the city, which, in many ways, has the aura of a simulated reality, while his rebellious nature mirrors Morpheus.
The theory argues that The Bowery King is an inclusion in the Matrix made by the architect, as an Easter Egg possibly planted by fellow Matrix rebel, Mouse, to help The One in his time of need. But he isn't the only inclusion; the Keymaker from the Matrix — a computer program that can create shortcuts — also appears as the Continental's doctor in John Wick, played by Randall Duk Kim.
His inclusion is equally as important. If the Continental are a group set up to keep those "free thinkers" happy, the Keymaker's inclusion could be another form of shortcut — this time a way to restore health, so the assassins don't die immediately due to their risky occupation.
Extra Reasons Why The Theory Fits
Although abiding by physical laws and technically plausible (with a lot of good fortune involved), John Wick is still detached from reality, resembling a video game in its execution. This, too, could be a manifestation of the Matrix: gold coins are used a currency; health seems to regenerate; the computers in John Wick 2 are shown to use the same basic green and black, MSDOS appearance as the Matrix; and John Wick's fighting skills mimic Neo's.
With the amount of evidence to argue its case, don't be surprised if it turns out the Matrix reboot has been hiding in plain sight all along, and Warner Bros. big announcement is the rebooted movie will be called John Wick 3. After all, who knows how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
Could John Wick be a simulation in the Matrix?