The Matrix (film)

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.
  • 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.
  • I know Kung-Fu.


  • Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
  • 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.
  • Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize, just as I did, that there's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Come on! Stop trying to hit me and hit me!
  • the desert of the real.
  • Don't think you are, know you are.


  • Dodge this. [shoots Agent at point-blank range]
  • Neo, I'm not afraid anymore. The Oracle told me that I would fall in love and that that man... the man that 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 Neo; Neo's vital signs return] Now get up!


  • [to Neo] I know what you're thinkin', 'cause right now I'm thinkin' the same thing. Actually, I've been thinkin' it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?
  • Ignorance is bliss.

Agent Smith[edit]

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 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've 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. 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 are a plague and we are the cure.
  • I'm going to be honest with you. I hate this place. This zoo, this prison, this reality, whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell—if there is such a thing—I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear I have somehow been infected by it—it's repulsive! Isn't it? I must get out of here. I must get free...and in this mind is the key, my key. Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here. Do you understand?! I need the codes, I have to get inside Zion and you have to tell me how. You're going to tell me, or you're going to die!


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.
[phone rings]
Cypher: [answering] Yeah?
Trinity: Is everything in place?
Cypher: You weren't supposed to relieve me.
Trinity: I know, but I felt like taking a shift.
Cypher: You like him. You like watching him.
Trinity: Don't be ridiculous.
Cypher: We're going to kill him, you understand?
Trinity: Morpheus believes he is The One.
Cypher: Do you?
Trinity: Doesn't matter what I believe.
Cypher: You don't, do you? [a light chirp is heard]
Trinity: Did you hear that?
Cypher: Hear what?
Trinity: Are you sure this line is clean?
Cypher: Yeah, of course I'm sure.
Trinity:...I better go. [hangs up]

Agent Smith: Lieutenant, you were given specific orders.
Police Lieutenant: Hey, I'm just doing my job. You give me that juris-my dick-tion crap, you can cram it up your ass.
Agent Smith: The orders were for your protection.
Police Lieutenant: [chuckles] I think we can handle one little girl. [Smith nods to Jones and Brown; the three walk to the hotel] I sent two units, they're bringing her down now.
Agent Smith: No, lieutenant, your men are already dead.

Neo: You ever get that feeling where you're not sure you're awake or still dreaming?
Choi: Mmmm, all the time. It's called "mescaline"; it's the only way to fly. Hey, it sounds to me like you need to unplug, man. You know, get some R&R? What do you think DuJour? Should we bring him with us?
DuJour: Definitely.
Neo: I can't, I, uh, have work tomorrow.
DuJour: Come on, it'll be fun. I promise.
[Neo starts to refuse, then notices a tattoo of a white rabbit on DuJour's shoulder, recalling the message of "follow the white rabbit"]
Neo: ...Yeah, sure, I'll go.

Trinity: [approaches Neo at a nightclub] Hello, Neo.
Neo: How do you know that name?
Trinity: I know a lot about you.
Neo: Who are you?
Trinity: My name is Trinity.
Neo: Trinity…The Trinity? That cracked the IRS d-base?
Trinity: That was a long time ago.
Neo: Jesus.
Trinity: What?
Neo: I just thought, um…you were a guy.
Trinity: Most guys do.

Trinity: I know why you're here, Neo. I know what you've been doing … 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, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.

[Smith is offering Neo amnesty to help Smith apprehend Morpheus]
Agent Smith: We're willing to wipe this slate clean, give you a fresh start. All we ask for in return is your cooperation in bringing a wanted terrorist to justice.
Neo: Yeah. Well, that sounds like a really good deal. But I got a better one: How about I give you the finger...[shows his middle finger to Smith] and you give me my phone call?
Agent Smith: Mr. 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 hold him and them push him towards the table 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]

Trinity: [as Neo attempts to leave the car] Please Neo, you have to trust me.
Neo: Why?
Trinity: Because you have been down there Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you wanna be.

[Trinity has brought Neo to meet Morpheus]
Morpheus: [turns around to face Neo] At last. Welcome Neo. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus.
Neo: It's an honor to meet you. [Shakes hands with Morpheus]
Morpheus: No....the honor is mine. Please, come. Sit. [Escorts Trinity out of the room, then turns back to Neo] I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I 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, that's 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 the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix.
Morpheus: Do you want to know…what it is?
[Neo nods]
Morpheus: 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 pillbox, empties contents into his palms, outstretches his hands] 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.

Morpheus: Apoc, are we on-line?
Apoc: Almost.
Morpheus: Time is always against us. Please, take a seat there. [The team starts to run their programs] The pill you took is part of a trace program. It's designed to disrupt your input/output carrier signal so we can pinpoint your location.
Neo: What does that mean?
Cypher: It means "buckle your seat belt, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is goin’ bye-bye".
Neo: [Starts to feel strange and while looking at the broken mirror next to him; the crack in the mirror seems to disappear] Did you...? [Neo touches the mirror and a strange substance seems to be attached to him growing onto his body]
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: This can't be.
Morpheus: Be what?...Be real?

[Neo finds himself with Morpheus in a very much blank white room upon being jacked in for the first time]
Morpheus: 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, taste and see, then "real" is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. [picks up a TV remote and turns on the TV to show images of the world as Neo saw it] This is the world that you know. The world as it was at the end of the 20th century. It exists now only as part of a neural-interactive simulation...that we call the Matrix. [turns off the TV] You've been living in a dream world, Neo. This is the world as it exists today. [The landscape shifts; now Morpheus and Neo sit in a devastated Earth] 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 21st century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to A.I.
Neo: A.I...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 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 bioelectricity than a 120-volt battery. And over 25,000 BTUs of body heat. Combined with a form of fusion. The machines had found all the energy they would ever need. There are fields, Neo, 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. Watched 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. [holds up a Duracell battery]
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: Stop! Let me out! LET ME OUT! I WANT OUT!

Tank: [Prepares to start "training" Neo] Now, we're supposed to start with these operational programs first, [Tosses the disks aside] but that's major-boring shit, so let's do something a little bit more fun. How about...[Holds up disk] Combat Training. [Inserts the disk into the computer. Neo looks at the display screen, showing the combat that he will be learning]
Neo: Jujitsu? I'm going to learn...jujitsu? [Tank winks, types in the commands, and presses the Load button on the screen. Neo's eyes closed as the program's uploaded into him, then his eyes shoot open] Holy shit!
Tank: Hey, Mikey, I think he likes it. How about some more?
Neo: Hell yes!

[Neo and Morpheus are walking down what appears to be a street in the Matrix]
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 men, 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. [Neo's attention is drawn to a passing attractive woman wearing a red dress] Were you listening to me, Neo, or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?
Neo: I was…
Morpheus: Look again. [Neo looks again; the woman has instantly turned into Agent Smith, pointing a gun at his head] Freeze it. [everything on the screen freezes in time]
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 have 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.

[Morpheus and Neo are in a sparring program; Morpheus has beaten him]
Morpheus: How did I beat you?
Neo: You…you're too fast.
Morpheus: Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place?
[Neo is winded from the sparring]
Morpheus: Do you think that's air you're breathing now? Hmm?

Agent Smith: [he and Cypher are eating at a fancy restaurant] Do we have a deal, Mr. Reagan?
Cypher: [cuts a piece of steak; holds it in front of him] Y’know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [eats the piece of steak; sighs contently] Ignorance is bliss.
Agent Smith: Then we have a deal?
Cypher: I don't wanna remember nothing. Nothing, you understand? And I wanna be rich. Y’know, someone important…like an actor.
Agent Smith: Whatever you want, Mr. Reagan.
Cypher: Okay. Get my body back into a power plant, re-insert me into the Matrix, I'll get you what you want.
Agent Smith: Access codes to the Zion mainframe.
Cypher: No, I told you, I don't know them. I can get you the man who does.
Agent Smith: Morpheus.

[a boy picks up a spoon, looks at it; the spoon suddenly starts bending, distorting itself on its own; the boy then notices Neo, causing the spoon to go straight again; he offers the spoon to Neo; Neo grabs it, looking 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.

The Oracle: You know why Morpheus brought you to see me?
Neo: I think so.
The Oracle: So, what do you think? Do you think you're The One?
Neo: I don't know.
The 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.

Agent Smith: The great Morpheus. We meet at last.
Morpheus: And you are?
Agent Smith: Smith. Agent Smith.
Morpheus: You all look the same to me.

[After Cypher blasts Tank and Dozer with a lightning rifle]
Cypher: Hello, Trinity.
Trinity: Cypher? Where's Tank?
Cypher: [leaning over her plugged body] 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. Tired of this war, tired of fighting, tired of this ship, being cold, eatin’ the same goddamn goop every day. But most of all, I'm tired of that jackoff and all of his bullshit. [climbs onto the plugged Morpheus] Surprise, asshole! I betcha never saw this comin’, did ya? God, I wish I could be there, when they break ya. I wish I could be there 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 woulda told us the truth, we woulda told you to shove that red pill right up your ass!
Trinity: That is 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'd choose the Matrix.
Trinity: The Matrix isn't real!
Cypher: I disagree, Trinity. I think that 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: [as Trinity looks at him in horror] Trinity... [Cypher pulls his plug and he falls, dead]
Switch: [running to Apoc's body] No!
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 gonna 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 something terribly important to say to Switch, I suggest you say it now.
Trinity: Oh no, please don't...
Switch: Not like this. Not like this. [dies as Cypher pulls her plug]
Cypher: Too late.
Trinity: Goddamn you, Cypher!
Cypher: Don't hate me, Trinity. I'm just a messenger. And right now, I'm gonna prove it to you. [walking to the plugged Neo] If Morpheus was right, then there's no way I can pull this plug. I mean if Neo is 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. You bought into Morpheus' bullshit. Come on. All I want is a little yes or no. Look into his eyes, those big pretty eyes, and tell me - yes or no?
Trinity: [looks at Neo, tears slightly visible in her eyes] Yes.
Cypher: No! I don't believe it!
[A recovering Tank is aiming the lightning rifle at him]
Tank: Believe it or not, you piece of shit, you're still gonna burn! [blasts Cypher, killing him]

Trinity: What are you doing?
Neo: I'm going in.
Trinity: No, you're not.
Neo: I have to.
Trinity: Neo, Morpheus sacrificed himself so we could get you out. There is no way you're going back in.
Neo: Morpheus did what he did because he believes 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 sorry, I'm not. I'm just another guy.
Trinity: No, Neo, that's not true. It can't be true.
Neo: Why?
[no response, Neo walks away again]
Tank: Neo, this is loco. 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 believes in something and he was ready to give his life, 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.

Neo: What are you doing?
Trinity: I'm going with you.
Neo: No you're not.
Trinity: No? Let me tell you what I believe. I believe that Morpheus means more to me than he does to you. I believe if you are really serious about rescuing 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're not going anywhere else. Tank, load us up.

Trinity: No one has ever done anything like this.
Neo: That's why it's going to work.

Tank: So what do you need? Besides a miracle.
Neo: Guns. Lots of guns.

Trinity: What is he doing?
Morpheus: He's beginning to believe.

Agent Smith: 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.

About The Matrix (film)[edit]

  • 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[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: