By Brian M. Raftery
Updated July 27, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Since its March 1999 release, The Matrix and its body-bending, time-warping fight scenes have been widely imitated. In fact, big-screen spoofs have appeared faster than Keanu Reeves can dodge a bullet. But with the latest homage in this month’s Cats & Dogs, perhaps it’s time to put a leash on the trend. Here’s the whoa-down on the endless series of Matrix knockoffs.

DECEMBER ’99 In Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, cinematic trailblazer Rob Schneider kicks his way out of the gate with the first high-profile parody.

JULY ’00 Scary Movie’s lengthy fight sequence (played up in the trailer) gets big laughs, negating the need for further Keanu-related comedy.

AUGUST ’00 In the documentary The Original Kings of Comedy, Cedric the Entertainer bends over backward to send up the flick.

MARCH ’01 The dated joke hits the kiddie set in Spy Kids, as dueling tykes — neither of whom is old enough to actually see The Matrix — do battle in the air.

MAY ’01 The trend is far from ogre: Even ‘toons aren’t immune, as Shrek’s Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) defies gravity in a row with Robin Hood.

JULY ’01 Even with the allure of talking pets, the thrill of Matrix- mocking is gone. With any luck, Cats & Dogs will give future filmmakers paws.

Random Quote
”I can understand how they could go from Christina to Britney to me — the three of us are really the only virgins left in this town.” — Natasha Lyonne, who was cast as a possessed teen in Scary Movie 2 after Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears rejected the role

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