The Matrix (film)

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I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them … a world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

The Matrix is a 1999 film about a computer hacker who learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against the controllers of it.

Written and directed by the Wachowskis.
Be Afraid of the Future.  (taglines)


Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
  • [At a phonebooth] I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. [Then flies up into the sky]
  • Dodge this. [Shoots agent at point-blank range]

Agent Smith

As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems that you've been living two lives. In one life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a Social Security number, you pay your taxes, and you… help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.
  • As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems that you've been living two lives. In one life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a Social Security number, you pay your taxes, and your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.
  • Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world. Where none suffered. Where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this, the peak of your civilization. I say your civilization because as soon as we started thinking for you it really became our civilization which is, of course, what this is all about. Evolution, Morpheus, evolution. Like the dinosaur. Look out that window. You had your time. The future is our world, Morpheus. The future is our time.
  • I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.


The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
Do not try to bend the spoon — that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon.
You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Trinity: Right now all I can tell you is that you’re in danger. I brought you here to warn you.
Neo: Of what?
Trinity: They’re watching you, Neo.
Neo: Who is?
Trinity: Please just listen. I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing. I know why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night you sit at your computer. You’re looking for him. I know, because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question just as I did.
Neo: What is the Matrix?
Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo. It’s looking for you. And it will find you, if you want it to.

[Neo is sitting in an interrogation room. Agents Smith, Jones and Brown enter; Smith sits down behind the desk.]
Agent Smith: [Produces folder and opens it] As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems that you've been living two lives. In one life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a Social Security number, you pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not. We know that you've been contacted by a certain individual, a man who calls himself Morpheus. Now whatever you think you know about this man is irrelevant. He is considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive. My colleagues believe that I am wasting my time with you but I believe that you wish to do the right thing. We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start and all that we're asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.
Neo: Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one: How about I give you the finger... [displays the gesture to Smith] and you give me my phone call?
Agent Smith: Oh, Mr. Anderson... you disappoint me.
Neo: You can't scare me with this Gestapo crap. I know my rights. I want my phone call.
Agent Smith: Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you' speak? [Neo’s mouth suddenly starts to "melt together" until he's completely mute; he backs into the corner of the room as Agents Jones and Brown hold him and then push him towards the table, slamming him on it, face up, as Smith readies to implant a bug into Neo.] You're going to help us, Mr. Anderson. Whether you want to or not. [The "bug" turns into an actual insect and enters Neo through his navel. After it enters him, he wakes up at home in bed]

[Neo wakes up in his apartment and a phone rings]
Morpheus: This line is tapped, so I must be brief. They got to you first, but they’ve underestimated how important you are. If they knew what I know, you’d probably be dead.
Neo: What are you talking about. What... what is happening to me?
Morpheus: You are The One, Neo. You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I’ve spent my entire life looking for you. Now do you still want to meet?
Neo: Yes.

[They pull up to the Lafayette Hotel]
Trinity: This is it. Let me give you one piece of advice. Be honest. He knows more than you can imagine.
Morpheus: At last. Welcome, Neo. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus.
Neo: [Extends hand for handshake] It’s an honor to meet you.
Morpheus: No, the honor is mine. Please, come. Sit. [They sit in separate sofa seats facing each other] I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole, hmm?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know, you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life that there's something wrong with this world. You don't know what, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad [beat]. Do you know, what I'm talking about?
Neo: About the Matrix?
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is? [Neo nods in response] The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work. When you go to church. When you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: [Leans in closer to Neo] That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind. [Pause] Unfortunately, no one can be... told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. [Opens his pillbox, empties the contents into his palms, outstretches his hands as clenched fists] This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, [opens his right hand revealing blue pill] the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, [opens his left hand revealing red pill] you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. [Neo, after a pause, reaches for the red pill] Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more. [Neo takes the red pill] ...Follow me. Apoc, are we online?
Apoc: Almost.
Morpheus: Time is always against us. Please, take a seat there.
Neo: You did all this?
Trinity: Uh-huh.
Morpheus: The pill you took is part of a trace program. It’s designed to disrupt your input/output carrier signals so we can pinpoint your location.
Neo: What does that mean?
Cypher: It means buckle your seat belt, Dorothy, ’cause Kansas is going bye-bye.
Neo: [Watches a cracked mirror become repaired] Did you... [He touches it and glass becomes semi-viscuous on his hands]
Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
Neo: [The semi-viscuousness starts spreading on his arm] This can’t be...
Morpheus: Be what? Be real? [The semi-viscuousness goes up his neck and into his throat, thereby waking up unplugged from The Matrix]

[Neo is rescued by the Nebuchadnezzar]
Morpheus: Welcome to the real world... We’ve done it, Trinity. We’ve found him.
Trinity: I hope you’re right.
Morpheus: I don’t have to hope. I know it.
Neo: Am I dead?
Morpheus: Far from it.
[Neo lies on table with many needles in his body]
Dozer: He still needs a lot of work.
Neo: What are you doing?
Morpheus: Your muscles have atrophied, we’re rebuilding them.
Neo: Why do my eyes hurt?
Morpheus: You’ve never used them before. Rest, Neo. The answers are coming.

[He wakes up in his quarters and Morpheus enters]
Neo: Morpheus, what’s happened to me? What is this place?
Morpheus: More important than ‘What?’ is ‘When?’
Neo: When?
Morpheus: You believe it’s the year 1999 when in fact it’s closer to 2199. I can’t tell you exactly what year it is because we honestly don’t know. There’s nothing I can say that will explain it for you, Neo. Come with me. See for yourself. [Walking through the hacking floor] This is my ship, the Nebuchadnezzar. It’s a hovercraft. This is the main deck. This is the core where we broadcast our pirate signal and hack into the Matrix. Most of my crew you already know. This is Apoc, Switch, and Cypher.
Cypher: Hi.
Morpheus: The ones you don’t know, Tank and his big brother, Dozer. The little one behind you is Mouse. [Puts hands on Neo's shoulders] You wanted to know what the Matrix is, Neo? [Motions head to her] Trinity, [To Neo in plug-in chair] try to relax. This will feel a little weird. [Slips in head plug and Neo becomes sentient in the construct] This is the construct. It’s our loading program. We can load anything from clothing, to equipment, weapons, training simulations, anything we need.
Neo: Right now we’re inside a computer program?
Morpheus: Is it really so hard to believe? Your clothes are different. The plugs in your arms and head are gone. Your hair has changed. Your appearance now is what we call residual self image. It is the mental projection of your digital self.
Neo: This... this isn’t real?
Morpheus: What is real? How do you define "real"? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then "real" is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. This is the world that you know. [Turns on vintage TV set and sits in an antique leather seat] The world as it was at the end of the twentieth century. It exists now only as part of a neural-interactive simulation that we call the Matrix. You’ve been living in a dream world, Neo. This is the world as it exists today... [Changes channel to war-ravaged city with blackened thunderous skies and then Neo and Morpheus become apparationed to the ground-level scene] Welcome.. to the desert.. of the real. We have only bits and pieces of information but what we know for certain is that at some point in the early twenty-first century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI.
Neo: AI? You mean artificial intelligence?
Morpheus: A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. We don’t know who struck first, us or them. But we know that it was us [Points upwards] that scorched the sky. At the time they were dependent on solar power and it was believed that they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun. Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony. The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTUs of body heat. Combined with a form of fusion, the machines have found all the energy they would ever need. There are fields, endless fields, where human beings are no longer born. We are grown. For the longest time I wouldn’t believe it, and then I saw the fields with my own eyes. Watch them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living. And standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth. What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this. [He holds up a thick Duracell battery to illustrate his point]
Neo: No. I don’t believe it. It’s not possible.
Morpheus: I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.
Neo: No. Stop. Let me out. Let me out. I want out.
[Back in the Nebuchadnezzar]
Trinity: Easy, Neo. Easy.
Neo: Take this thing off me. Take this thing...
Morpheus: Listen to me...
Neo: Don’t touch me. Stay away from me. I don’t want it. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.
Cypher: He’s gonna pop.
Morpheus: Breathe, Neo. Just breathe. [Neo falls to knees, vomits and then passes out]

Neo: [To Morpheus visiting Neo in his quarters] I can’t go back, can I?
Morpheus: No. But if you could, would you really want to? I feel I owe you an apology. We have a rule. We never free a mind once it’s reached a certain age. It’s dangerous, the mind has trouble letting go. I’ve seen it before and I’m sorry. I did what I did because... I had to. When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was he who freed the first of us, taught us the truth: ‘As long as the Matrix exists the human race will never be free.’ After he died the Oracle prophesied his return and that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix, end the war, bring freedom to our people. That is why there are those of us who have spent our entire lives searching the Matrix looking for him. I did what I did because I believe that search is over. Get some rest, you’re going to need it.
Neo: For what?
Morpheus: Your training.

Tank: [Enters Neo's quarters] Morning, did you sleep? [Neo shakes head] You will tonight, I guarantee it. I’m Tank, I’ll be your operator.
Neo: [Noticing Tank's lack of physical sockets] You don’t... you don’t have any...
Tank: Holes? Nope. Me and my brother Dozer, we’re both one hundred percent pure, old fashioned, home-grown human, born free right here in the real world. Genuine child of Zion.
Neo: Zion?
Tank: If the war was over tomorrow, Zion’s where the party would be.
Neo: It’s a city?
Tank: The last human city. The only place we have left.
Neo: Where is it?
Tank: Deep underground, near the earth’s core where it’s still warm. You live long enough, you might even see it. Goddamn, I…I got to tell you, I’m fairly excited to see what you’re capable of, if Morpheus is right and all... We’re not supposed to talk about this, but if you are... damn, it’s a very exciting time. We got a lot to do. Let’s get to it...
Tank: [Jumps into operator seat with Neo in his plug-in seat and Tank is rifling through floppy discs] Now, we’re supposed to start with these operation programs first, that’s major boring shit. Let’s do something a little more fun. How about... [holds up floppy] combat training?
Neo: [Reading on screen] Jujitsu? I’m going to learn Jujitsu? [Tank uploads program] Holy shit!
Tank: Hey Mikey, I think he likes it. How about some more?
Neo: Hell yes!
[After an uploading marathon]
Morpheus: [Leaning over Tank] How is he?
Tank: Ten hours straight. He’s... a machine.
Neo: [To Morpheus leaning over him] I know Kung Fu.
Morpheus: Show me. [In the sparring program] This is a sparring program, similar to the programmed reality of the Matrix. It has the same basic rules, rules like gravity. What you must learn is that these rules are no different that the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken. Understand? Then hit me. If you can. [They fight a round] Good. Adaptation, improvisation. But your weakness is not your technique.
Mouse: [To the Nebuchadnezzar crew in the mess] Morpheus is fighting Neo. [They all scramble to]
Morpheus: How did I beat you?
Neo: You’re too fast.
Morpheus: Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? You think that’s air you’re breathing now?... Again.
Mouse: Jesus Christ, he’s fast. Take a look at his neural kinetics, they’re way above normal.
Morpheus: What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this. Don’t think you are, know you are. Come on. Stop *trying* to hit me and HIT me.
Mouse: I don’t believe it.
Neo: I know what you’re trying to do.
Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo, but I can only show you the door, you’re the one that has to walk through it. Tank, load the jump program... [The jump program simulation is initiated Neo and Morpheus are on top of a skyscraper] You have to let it all go, Neo, fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind. [Morpheus superhumanly jumps from the skyscraper to another skyscraper]
Neo: Whoa. [Makes focus-on-the-task-gestures] Okie dokie. Free my mind.
Mouse: So what if he makes it?
Tank: No one’s ever made the first jump.
Mouse: I know, I know. But what if he does?
Apoc: He won’t.
Mouse: Come on.
Trinity: Come on.
Neo: All right, no problem. Free my mind. Free my mind. All right. [He jumps only to fall to the street landing softly]
Mouse: Wha- what does that mean?
Switch: It doesn’t mean anything.
Cypher: Everybody falls the first time. Right, Trin'?
Neo: [Gets unplugged and wipes blood from mouth] I thought it wasn’t real.
Morpheus: Your mind makes it real.
Neo: If you’re killed in the Matrix, you die here?
Morpheus: The body cannot live without the mind.

[Morpheus and Neo are are a major city intersection and start walking along a street walking through the crowds of working professionals]
Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around. What do you see? Business people, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it. [A smiling attractive women walks past them with Neo turning his head at her] Were you listening to me, Neo, or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?
Neo: I was...
Morpheus: Look again. [Woman has become a version of Agent Smith, who is raising his firearm at Neo's head] Freeze it. [All pedestrians and agent become frozen in place]
Neo: This... this isn’t the Matrix?
Morpheus: No. It’s another training program designed to teach you one thing. If you are not one of us, you are one of them.
Neo: What are they?
Morpheus: Sentient programs. They can move in and out of any software still hard-wired to their system. That means that anyone we haven’t unplugged is potentially an agent. Inside the Matrix, they are everyone and they are no one. We are survived by hiding from them by running from them. But they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors. They are holding all the keys, which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.
Neo: Someone?
Morpheus: I won't lie to you, Neo. Every single man or woman who has stood their ground, everyone who has fought an agent has died. But where they have failed, you will succeed.
Neo: Why?
Morpheus: I've seen an agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air. Yet their strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.
Neo: What are you trying to tell me, that I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.

[Whole Nebuchadnezzar crew is in their plug-in chairs]
Tank: Everyone please observe, the fasten seat belt and no smoking signs have been turned on. Sit back and enjoy your ride.
[They're driving through city streets]
Morpheus: Unbelievable, isn’t it?
Neo: God.
Trinity: What?
Neo: [Points at passing location] I used to eat there. Really good noodles. I have these memories from my life. None of them happened. What does that mean?
Trinity: That the Matrix cannot tell you who you are.
Neo: And an Oracle can?
Trinity: That’s different.
Neo: Did you go to her?
Trinity: Yes.
Neo: What did she tell you?
Trinity: She told me.
Neo: What?
Morpheus: We’re here. Neo, come with me.
Neo: So is this the same Oracle that made the prophecy?
Morpheus: Yes. She’s very old. She’s been with us since the beginning.
Neo: The beginning?
Morpheus: Of the Resistance.
Neo: And she knows what, everything?
Morpheus: She would say she knows enough.
Neo: And she’s never wrong.
Morpheus: Try not to think of it in terms of right and wrong. She is a guide, Neo. She can help you to find the path.
Neo: She helped you?
Morpheus: Yes.
Neo: What did she tell you?
Morpheus: That I would find the one... I told you I can only show you the door. You have to walk through it.
[They enter The Oracle's apartment]
Priestess: Hello, Neo. You’re right on time. Make yourself at home, Morpheus. Neo, come with me. These are the other potentials, you can wait here.
[A monk apprentice boy picks up a spoon, and looks at it. The spoon suddenly starts to bend and twist, seemingly on its own. The boy notices Neo, and the spoon straightens out again. The boy then offers Neo the spoon, who takes it and looks at it]
Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon—that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Oracle: You know why Morpheus brought you to see me?
Neo: I think so.
Oracle: So, what do you think? Do you think you’re The One?
Neo: I don’t know.
Oracle: [The latin phrase Temet Nosce appears on an inscription over the Oracle's door] You know what that means? It's Latin. Means "Know thyself". I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Being The One is just like being in love. No one can tell you you're in love, you just know it. Through and through. Balls to bones.
Neo: Ahhh.
Oracle: Okay. Now I’m supposed to say, “Umm, that’s interesting, but...” then you say...
Neo: But what?
Oracle: But you already know what I’m going to tell you.
Neo: I’m not The One.
Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something.
Neo: What?
Oracle: Your next life maybe, who knows? That’s the way these things go. What’s funny?
Neo: Morpheus. He- he almost had me convinced.
Oracle: I know. Poor Morpheus. Without him we’re lost.
Neo: What do you mean, without him?
Oracle: Are you sure you want to hear this? Morpheus believes in you, Neo. And no one, not you, not even me can convince him otherwise. He believes it so blindly that he’s going to sacrifice his life to save yours.
Neo: What?
Oracle: You’re going to have to make a choice. In the one hand you’ll have Morpheus’ life and in the other hand you’ll have your own. One of you is going to die. Which one will be up to you. I’m sorry, kiddo, I really am. You have a good soul, and I hate giving good people bad news. Oh, don’t worry about it. As soon as you step outside that door, you’ll start feeling better. You’ll remember you don’t believe in any of this fate crap. You’re in control of your own life, remember? Here, take a cookie. I promise, by the time you’re done eating it, you’ll feel right as rain.
Morpheus: What was said was for you and for you alone.

Cypher: Where are they?
Tank: Making the call.
Cypher: Good.
Trinity: You first, Neo.
Cypher: [Fires lightning thrower at Tank but fails to kill him] Shit! [Fires it again and succeeds]
Dozer: [He witnesses it and lunges at Cypher] No! [Cypher fires lightning thrower at Dozer]
Neo: I don’t know, it just went dead.
Cypher: Hello, Trinity.
Trinity: Cypher? Where’s Tank?
Cypher: [Leans over Trinity's face] You know, for a long time, I thought I was in love with you. I used to dream about you. You’re a beautiful woman, Trinity. Too bad things had to turn out this way.
Trinity: You killed them!
Apoc: What?!
Switch: Oh God!
Cypher: I’m tired, Trinity. I tired of this war. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of this ship, being cold, eating the same goddamn goop everyday. But most of all, I’m tired of that jack-off and all his bullshit. [Jumps onto Morpheus' body] Surprise, ass-hole! I bet you never saw this coming, didja? God, I wish I could be there, when they break you. I wish I could walk in just when it happens. So right then, you’d know it was me.
Trinity: You gave them Morpheus.
Cypher: He lied to us, Trinity. He tricked us. If you’da told us the truth, we woulda told you to shove that red pill right up your ass.
Trinity: That’s not true, Cypher, he set us free.
Cypher: Free? You call this free? All I do is what he tells me to do. If I had to choose between that and the Matrix, I choose the Matrix.
Trinity: The Matrix isn’t real!
Cypher: I disagree, Trinity. I think the Matrix can be more real than this world. All I do is pull the plug here. But there, you have to watch Apoc die.
Apoc: Trinity. [Falls down dead]
Switch: No! [Rushes down to him]
Cypher: Welcome to the real world, huh, baby?
Trinity: But you’re out, Cypher. You can’t go back.
Cypher: Oh no. That’s what you think. They’re going to reinsert my body. I go back to sleep, and when I wake up, I won’t remember a goddamn thing. By the way, if you have anything terribly important to say to Switch, I suggest you say it now.
Trinity: No, please don’t.
Switch: Not like this. Not like this. [She falls down dead]
Cypher: Too late.
Trinity: Goddamn you, Cypher!
Cypher: Don’t hate me, Trinity. I’m just the messenger, and right now I’m gonna prove it to you. If Morpheus was right, then there’s no way I can pull this plug. I mean if Neo’s The One, then there’d have to be some kind of a miracle to stop me. Right? I mean how can he be The One if he’s dead? You never did answer me before if you bought into Morpheus’ bullshit – come on – all I want is a little yes or no. Look into his eyes, those big pretty eyes. Tell me. Yes or no?
Trinity: Yes.
Cypher: [Realizes Tank survived and is aiming the flame thrower] No, I don’t believe it!
Tank: Believe it or not, you piece of shit, you’re still gonna burn. [Fires lightning thrower at Cypher who goes flying into pipes]

Neo: What are they doing to him?
Tank: Breaking into his mind. It’s like hacking into a computer, all it takes is time.
Neo: How much time?
Tank: Depends on the mind. Eventually it will crack and his alpha patterns will change from this to this. When it does, Morpheus will tell them anything they want to know.
Neo: Well, what do they want?
Tank: The leader of every ship is given codes to Zion’s mainframe computer. If an agent got the codes and got into Zion’s mainframe, it could destroy us. We can’t let that happen.
Neo: Trinity? Tank: Zion’s more important than me or you or even Morpheus. Well there has to be something that we can do.
Tank: There is. We pull the plug.
Trinity: You’re going to kill him? Kill Morpheus?
Tank: We don’t have any other choice.
Agent Smith: Never send a human to do a machine’s job.
Agent Brown: If indeed the insider has failed, they’ll sever the connection as soon as possible, unless...
Agent Jones: They’re dead, in either case...
Agent Smith: We have no choice but to continue as planned. Deploy the sentinels. Immediately.
Tank: Morpheus, you’re more than a leader to us. You’re our father. We’ll miss you always.
Neo: Stop. I don’t believe this is happening.
Tank: Neo, this has to be done.
Neo: Does it? I don’t know, I... this can’t be just coincidence. It can’t be.
Tank: What are you talking about?
Neo: The Oracle. She told me this would happen. She told me that I would have to make a choice.
Trinity: What choice? What are you doing?
Neo: I’m going in.
Trinity: No you’re not.
Neo: I have to.
Trinity: Neo, Morpheus sacrificed himself so that he could get you out. There’s no way that you’re going back in.
Neo: Morpheus did what he did because he believed I am something I’m not.
Trinity: What?
Neo: I’m not the one, Trinity. The Oracle hit me with that too.
Trinity: No. You have to be.
Neo: I’m not, I’m sorry. I’m just another guy.
Trinity: No, Neo. That’s not true. It can’t be true.
Neo: Why?
Tank: Neo, this is insane. They’ve got Morpheus in a military controlled building. Even if you somehow got inside, those are agents holding him. Three of them. I want Morpheus back too, but what you’re talking about is suicide.
Neo: I know that’s what it looks like, but it’s not. I can’t explain to you why it’s not. Morpheus believed something and he was ready to give his life for what he believed. I understand that now. That’s why I have to go.
Tank: Why?
Neo: Because I believe in something.
Trinity: What?
Neo: I believe I can bring him back... What are you doing?
Trinity: I going with you.
Neo: No you’re not.
Trinity: No? Let me tell you what I believe. I believe Morpheus means more to me than he does to you. I believe if you’re really serious about saving him, you are going to need my help. And since I am the ranking officer on this ship, if you don’t like it, I believe you can go to hell. Because you aren’t going anywhere else. Tank? Load us up.

Tank: [In the absolutely white construct with Trinity] Okay. So what do you need, besides a miracle?
Neo: Guns. Lots of guns. [Aisles of endless firearms appear and whoosh past them in the construct]
Trinity: [Neo takes an MP5K off a rack] Neo, no one has ever done anything like this.
Neo: That’s why it’s going to work. [Slap cocks the MP5K]

[Neo is in a subway station]
Trinity: Run, Neo, run. [Agent Smith appears behind Neo] What is he doing?
Morpheus: He's beginning to believe.
[Smith rushes Neo who believes with them holding each other's arms with them shooting off their guns]
Smith: You're empty.
Neo: So are you.
Smith: [After fighting a round] I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson.
Trinity: [Neo coughs up blood after continued fighting] Jesus, he's killing him.
Smith: [After fighting a round ends with Neo in a headlock on subway tracks with the sound of approaching subway train] You hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability. It is the sound of your death. Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.
Neo: My name... is Neo. [Neo jumps upward with Smith being smashed into ceiling and they fall down with Neo backflipping onto the platform and the train plowing into Smith]

Trinity: Neo, I’m not afraid anymore. The Oracle told me that I would fall in love, and that that man, the man who I loved would be The One. So you see, you can’t be dead. You can’t be, because I love you. You hear me? I love you. [Kisses him] Now get up. [Neo resurrects, fully enlightened and the agents at the hallway end raise their firearms and simultaneously fire]
Neo: No. [Raises a hand and stops all bullets in mid-air]
Tank: How?
Morpheus: He is The One.

About The Matrix (film)

  • Philosophical objections aside, I think I reacted negatively to “The Matrix” because I had a sense of what was coming. Neo triumphs by breaking the rules, and the Wachowskis, shifting from one style of representation to another, sending bullets harmlessly through the air, bringing simulated characters back from death, broke most of the rules of filmmaking, too. In this movie, they worked as artists, and some of “The Matrix” is thrilling. But later directors have violated the laws of time and space so opportunistically that the new freedom provided by digital invention has often become meaningless. Even worse than meaningless—destructive. By last summer, I was ready to declare my allegiance to realism; or at least to the common-sense idea that successful stories depend on limits, restrictions, consequences. Stories without death can't interest us for very long. Summing up: I regret how casually I wrote about “The Matrix,” but I think I was on to something bad that was about to be unleashed on movies.
  • Too bad, because the set-up is intriguing. "The Matrix" recycles the premises of "Dark City" and "Strange Days," turns up the heat and the volume, and borrows the gravity-defying choreography of Hong Kong action movies. It's fun, but it could have been more. The directors are Larry and Andy Wachowski, who know how to make movies (their first film, "Bound," made my 10 best list in 1996). Here, with a big budget and veteran action producer Joel Silver, they've played it safer; there's nothing wrong with going for the Friday night action market, but you can aim higher and still do business.
  • Both "Dark City" and "Strange Days" offered intriguing motivations for villainy. "Matrix" is more like a superhero comic book in which the fate of the world comes down to a titanic fist-fight between the designated representatives of good and evil. It's cruel, really, to put tantalizing ideas on the table and then ask the audience to be satisfied with a shoot-out and a martial arts duel. Let's assume Neo wins. What happens then to the billions who have just been "unplugged" from the Matrix? Do they still have jobs? Homes? Identities? All we get is an enigmatic voice-over exhortation at the movie's end. The paradox is that the Matrix world apparently resembles in every respect the pre-Matrix world. (I am reminded of the animated kid's film "Doug's 1st Movie," which has a VR experience in which everything is exactly like in real life, except more expensive.) Still, I must not ignore the movie's virtues. It's great-looking, both in its design and in the kinetic energy that powers it. It uses flawlessly integrated special effects and animation to visualize regions of cyberspace. It creates fearsome creatures, including mechanical octopi. It morphs bodies with the abandon of "Terminator II: Judgement Day." It uses f/x to allow Neo and Trinity to run horizontally on walls, and hang in the air long enough to deliver karate kicks. It has leaps through space, thrilling sequences involving fights on rooftops, helicopter rescues and battles over mind control.
  • Mr. Reeves plays a late-20th-century computer hacker whose terminal begins telling him one fateful day that he may have some sort of messianic function in deciding the fate of the world. And what that function may be is so complicated that it takes the film the better part of an hour to explain. Dubbed Neo (in a film whose similarly portentous character names include Morpheus and Trinity, with a time-traveling vehicle called Nebuchadnezzar), the hacker is gradually made to understand that everything he imagines to be real is actually the handiwork of 21st-century computers. These computers have subverted human beings into batterylike energy sources confined to pods, and they can be stopped only by a savior modestly known as the One.
  • With enough visual bravado to sustain a steady element of surprise (even when the film's most important Oracle turns out to be a grandmotherly type who bakes cookies and has magnets on her refrigerator), The Matrix makes particular virtues out of eerily inhuman lighting effects, lightning-fast virtual scene changes (as when Neo wishes for guns and thousands of them suddenly appear) and the martial arts stunts that are its single strongest selling point. As supervised by Yuen Wo Ping, these airborne sequences bring Hong Kong action style home to audiences in a mainstream American adventure with big prospects as a cult classic and with the future very much in mind.
  • Economically made in Australia for about $60 million, live-action comic book marks a big step up in ambition for writer-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, whose first film was the lesbian crime meller “Bound.” Reportedly, the brothers penned “The Matrix” first and have been working on it steadily for five years; from the evidence, they were grafting on surplus ideas during that time rather than subtracting and synthesizing. Not only is it a good half-hour too long, but there are so many elements here — Christian motifs and mysticism, half-baked Eastern philosophy, Lewis Carroll refs, ambiguous oracular prophecies, the co-existence of two realities, pod-grown babies, time travel, creatures capable of rebirth and, all importantly, the expectation of the arrival of the Chosen One — as to prove utterly indigestible.
  • The morphing involved in numerous scenes is outstandingly fluid and vivid, but it's the way the martial arts are handled, as promised in the opening teaser, that sets “The Matrix” apart. Chinese kung fu and wire-stunt ace Yuen Wo Ping was engaged to choreograph the fight sequences, which are on a level perhaps unsurpassed in an American film. Beyond that, filmmakers have employed a technique they call “bullet-time photography,” ultra-fast lensing that, when combined with computer enhancement, allows for altering the speed and trajectories of people and objects, resulting in the live-action equivalent of a Japanese anime film.
  • It's really simple. The truth of that one is that design staff on The Matrix were given Invisibles collections and told to make the movie look like my books. This is a reported fact. The Wachowskis are comic book creators and fans and were fans of my work, so it's hardly surprising. I was even contacted before the first Matrix movie was released and asked if I would contribute a story to the website. (...) I'm not angry about it anymore, although at one time I was, because they made millions from what was basically a Xerox of my work and to be honest, I would be happy with just one million so I didn't have to work thirteen hours of every fucking day, including weekends.
  • There's this one scene where I run up the walls. It lasts about 30 seconds, but it took months of training. I did that scene for hours and hours, and it was hard. You have to put complete trust in the spotters (who catch you if you fall). I remember when they took the padding off the concrete walls and asked me to do the scene. I couldn't. I freaked. I went home that day and cried and cried. I was afraid and the fear got me.
  • Get this: what if all we know as reality was, in fact, virtual reality? Reality itself is a ravaged dystopia run by technocrat Artificial Intelligence where humankind vegetates in billions of gloop-filled tanks - mere battery packs for the machineworld - being fed this late '90s VR (known as The Matrix - you with us here?) through an ugly great cable stuck in the back of our heads. And what if there was a group of quasi-spiritual rebels infiltrating The Matrix with the sole purpose of crashing the ruddy great mainframe and rescuing humans from their unknown purgatory? And, hey, what if Keanu Reeves was their Messiah?
  • Reeves and Fishburne make a convincing team of master and student badasses, and Moss more than holds her own for the Riot Grrrl contingent. As the shape-shifting Smith, Weaving calls to mind the sullen cool of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day's" Robert Patrick as the liquid-metal villain T-1000.
  • At first viewing, the action sequences stun, but there's more to this than the groundbreaking "bullet time" photography, or the adolescent allure of flash, black clothes and big, black guns.
    Sure, "The Matrix" is almost untenably cool, but beneath the sheen there's substance. The story's a potent mix of buddhism, Greek mythology, and - predominantly - the Christian gospel.
    The image of a superficial existence, where ignorant people thrive by blocking out a troublesome reality, is potent for a Western society drowning in wealth while the rest of the world suffers.
  • A futuristic kung-fu fantasy with terrific stunts and a stunted script Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a computer hacker who thinks he's living in the twentieth century but is really a pawn in a giant virtual-reality game controlled by twenty-second-century programmers. Dude! Damned if I can explain more about this muddled mind-bender, except to say that Neo is recruited by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) to join her leader, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), in a rebellion against those who would enslave them. If fashion dictates choosing sides, it's a lock for the kinky rebels who wear black leather and cool shades.
  • Written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, Larry and Andy, "The Matrix" is the unlikely spiritual love child of dark futurist Philip K. Dick and the snap and dazzle of Hong Kong filmmaking, with digital technology serving as the helpful midwife.
  • Just as exciting are "The Matrix's" two kinds of action sequences. One strata involves John Woo-type expenditures of massive amounts of ammunition shot in super slow-motion and the other uses both Hong Kong-style stunt work and a technique the press notes refer to as "bullet-time photography" that involved shooting film at the computer-aided equivalent of 12,000 frames per second.
    "The Matrix" cast members who were involved in the film's eye-catching kung fu fight sequences also apparently committed to four months of pre-production work with Hong Kong director and stunt coordinator Yuen Wo Ping, someone who specializes in the technique, known as wire fighting, that gives H.K. films like "Drunken Master," "Once Upon a Time in China" and "Fist of Legend" their distinctive high-flying look.
    Not everything in "The Matrix" makes even minimal sense, but the Wachowski brothers, said to be major fans of comic books and graphic novels, are sure-handed enough to smoothly pull us over the rough spots. When a film is as successful as this one is at hooking into the kinetic joy of adrenalized movie making, quibbling with it feels beside the point.
    • Kenneth Turan, [An Apocalypse of Kinetic Joy "An Apocalypse of Kinetic Joy"] Los Angeles Times, (March 31, 1999).
  • It's a story about consciousness, a child's perception of an adult's world. The Matrix is about the birth and evolution of consciousness. It starts off crazy, then things start to make sense


  • Be Afraid of the Future.
  • Free your mind.
  • The Fight for the Future Begins.
  • Believe the unbelievable.
  • Reality is a thing of the past.
  • What is The Matrix?
  • Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
  • Welcome to the Real World.
  • There is no spoon.
  • I can only show you the door, you have to walk through it.
  • Follow the white rabbit.
  • In a world of 1s and 0s... are you a zero, or The One?
  • Future is not User Friendly.



See also

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