BlueRay: The Matrix - (1999) Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Release Date: 2008-10-14 Duration: 136 Min ...
- Andy Wachowski
- Lana Wachowski
The screen is filled with green, cascading code which gives way to the title, “The Matrix”The Matrix.
A phone rings and text appears on the screen: “Call trans opt: received. 2-19-98 13:24:18 REC: Log>” As a conversation takes place between Trinity (Carrie-Anne MossCarrie-Anne Moss) and Cypher (Joe PantolianoJoe Pantoliano), two free humans, a table of random green numbers are being scanned and individual numbers selected, creating a series of digits not unlike an ordinary phone number, as if a code is being deciphered or a call is being traced.
Trinity discusses some unknown person. Cypher taunts Trinity, suggesting she enjoys watching him. Trinity counters that “Morpheus (Laurence FishburneLaurence Fishburne) says he may be ‘the One’,” just as the sound of a number being selected alerts Trinity that someone may be tracing their call. She ends the call.
Armed policemen move down a darkened, decrepit hallway in the Heart O’ the City Hotel, their flashlight beam bouncing just ahead of them. They come to room 303, kick down the door and find a woman dressed in black, facing away from them. It’s Trinity. She brings her hands up from the laptop she’s working on at their command.
Outside the hotel a car drives up and three agents appear in neatly pressed black suits. They are Agent Smith (Hugo WeavingHugo Weaving), Agent Brown (Paul GoddardPaul Goddard), and Agent Jones (Robert TaylorRobert Taylor). Agent Smith and the presiding police lieutenant argue. Agent Smith admonishes the policeman that they were given specific orders to contact the agents first, for their protection. The lieutenant dismisses this and says that they can handle “one little girl” and that he has two units that are bringing her down at that very moment. Agent Smith replies: “No, Lieutenant. Your men are already dead.”
Inside, Trinity easily defeats the six policemen sent to apprehend her, using fighting and evasion techniques that seem to defy gravity. She calls Morpheus, letting him know that the line has been traced, though she doesn’t know how. Morpheus informs her that she will have to “make it to another exit,” and that Agents are heading up after her.
A fierce rooftop chase ensues with Trinity and an Agent leaping from one building to the next, astonishing the policemen left behind. Trinity makes a daring leap across an alley and through a small window. She has momentarily lost her pursuers and makes it to a public phone booth on the street level. The phone begins to ring. As she approaches it a garbage truck, driven by Agent Smith, careens towards the phone booth. Trinity makes a desperate dash to the phone, picking it up just moments before the truck smashes the booth into a brick wall. The three Agents reunite at the front of the truck. There is no body in the wreckage. “She got out,” one says. The other says, “The informant is real.” “We have the name of their next target,” says the other, “His name is Neo.”
Neo (Keanu ReevesKeanu Reeves), a hacker with thick black hair and a sallow appearance, is asleep at his monitor. Notices about a manhunt for a man named Morpheus scroll across his screen as he sleeps. Suddenly Neo’s screen goes blank and a series of text messages appear: “Wake up, Neo.” “The Matrix has you.” “Follow the White Rabbit.” Then, the text says “Knock, knock, Neo…” just as he reads it, a knock comes at the door of his apartment, 101. It’s a group of ravers and Neo gives them a contraband disc he has secreted in a copy of Simulacra and Simulation. The lead raver asks him to join them and Neo demurs until he sees the tattoo of a small white rabbit on the shoulder of a seductive girl in the group.
At a rave bar Neo stands alone and aloof as the group he’s with continue partying. Trinity approaches him and introduces herself. Neo recognizes her name; she was a famous hacker and had cracked the IRS database. She tells him that he is in great danger, that they are watching him and that she knows that he is searching for answers, particularly to the most important question of all: what is the Matrix? The pulsing music of the bar gives way to the repetitious blare of Neo’s alarm clock; it’s 9:18 and he’s late for work.
At his job at Metacortex, a leading software company housed in an ominous high rise, Neo is berated by his boss for having a problem with authority, for thinking he’s special. Neo listens to his boss, but his attention is on the persons cleaning the window of the office. Back at his bleak cubicle Neo receives a delivery as “Thomas Anderson.” Upon opening the package he finds a cellphone which immediately rings. On the other end is Morpheus, who informs Neo that they’ve both run out of time and that “they” are coming for him. Morpheus tells him to slowly look up, toward the elevator. Agents Smith, Jones, and Brown are there, obviously looking for him, as a woman points towards Neo’s cube. Morpheus tries to guide Neo out of the building but when he is instructed to get on a scaffolding and take it to the roof Neo rejects Morpheus’s advice, allowing himself to be taken by the Agents.
In an interrogation room the Agents confront Neo. They’ve had their eye on him for some time. He lives a dual existence: one life as Thomas A. Anderson, a software engineer for a Metacortex, the other life as Neo, a computer hacker “guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for.” Agent Smith asks him to help them capture Morpheus, a dangerous terrorist, in exchange for amnesty. Neo gives them the finger and asks for his phone call. Mr. Smith asks what good is a phone call if he’s unable to speak. Neo finds that his lips have fused together. Panicked, he is thrown on the interrogation table by the Agents and they implant a shrimp-like probe, a bug, in his stomach, entering through his belly-button.
Neo awakens with a start in his own bed, assuming it has all been a bad dream. His phone rings and Morpheus is on the other line. He tells Neo that the line is tapped but they’ve underestimated his importance. Morpheus tells Neo he is the One and to meet him at the Adams St. bridge. There he is picked up by Trinity and two others in a car; they all wear black latex and leather. A woman in the front seat, Switch (Belinda McCloryBelinda McClory), pulls a gun on him and tells him to take off his shirt. Trinity tells him it’s for their mutual protection and that he has to trust her. He takes off his shirt and she uses a device to remove the probe that Neo believed had been part of a nightmare. Trinity drops the bug out into the road where it slowly goes dark in the rain.
Trinity takes Neo to Morpheus. Morpheus explains that he’s been searching for Neo his entire life and asks if Neo feels like “Alice in Wonderland, falling down the rabbit hole.” He explains to Neo that they exist in the Matrix, a false reality that has been constructed for humans to hide the truth. The truth is that everyone in the world is a slave, born into bondage. Morpheus holds out two pills. In his left palm is a blue pill. If Neo takes it he will wake up in his bed and “believe whatever you want to believe.” But if he takes the red pill in Morpheus’s right hand, then “you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Neo takes the red pill.
As the rest of Morpheus’s crew straps him into a chair, Neo is told that pill he took is part of a trace program, to “disrupt his input/output carrier signal” so that they can pinpoint him. Neo looks at a shattered mirror placed next to him which miraculously reforms itself. Neo touches the surface and the silver begins to creep over his skin, engulfing him as Morpheus’s crew attempt to locate something on the monitors around them. The silver takes Neo over and he blacks out.
He awakens inside a pinkish/purple embryonic pod, extending from the side of a circular building, a massive power plant. He is hairless and naked, with thick black tubes snaking down his throat, plugged into the back of his skull, his spine, and invading most of the rest of his body. He finds his pod is open and that he is surrounded by tower after tower of pods just like his, all filled with bodies. Suddenly a menacing, hovering nurse robot grabs him by the throat. The tubes detach and Neo is flushed down a tube into an underground pool of filthy water. Just as he’s about to drown in the muck a hovercraft appears above him, snags him and hauls him into its cargo bay. Neo finds himself surrounded by Morpheus’s crew again, but they are dressed differently, in simple knit garments. Just before Neo passes out Morpheus says to him, “Welcome to the real world.”
Neo drifts in and out of consciousness. At one point he asks, “Am I dead?” “Far from it,” replies Morpheus. Again he wakes, his body a pincushion of acupuncture. “Why do my eyes hurt?” he asks. “You’ve never used them,” Morpheus replies.
Neo finally wakes, fully clothed, with a short shock of hair on his head. He removes a connector that is sunk deep into his arm and reaches to find the large socket at the back of his neck when Morpheus enters the room. “What is this place?” Neo asks. “The more important question is when,” says Morpheus, “You believe it is the year 1999, when in fact it is closer to the year 2199.” Morpheus goes on to say that they really don’t know when it is. He gives Neo a tour of his ship, the Nebuchadnezzar (they pass a plaque stating it was built in 2069). Neo is introduced to Morpheus’s crew including Trinity; Apoc (Julian ArahangaJulian Arahanga), a man with long, flowing black hair; Switch; Cypher (bald with a goatee); two brawny brothers, Tank (Marcus ChongMarcus Chong) and Dozer (Anthony Ray ParkerAnthony Ray Parker); and a young, thin man named Mouse (Matt DoranMatt Doran).
Morpheus gets to the point. “You wanted to know about the Matrix,” he says, ushering him to a chair. Neo sits down in it and Trinity straps him in. A long probe is inserted into the socket at the back of Neo’s skull.
Neo wakes in a world of all white. He is in the Construct, a “loading platform” that Morpheus and his team use to prepare newly freed humans to deal with the Matrix world. Gone are the sockets in Neo’s arms and neck. He has hair again. Morpheus tells him that what he is experiencing of himself is the “residual self image, the mental projection of your digital self” and bids him to sit while he explains the truth. “This,” he says, showing an image of a modern city, “is the world that you know.” A thing that really exists “only as part of a neural, interactive simulation that we call the Matrix.”
Morpheus then shows Neo the world as it truly exists today, a scarred, desolate emptiness with charred, abandoned buildings, black earth, and a shrouded sky.
Morpheus goes on to say that “at some point in the early 21st century all of mankind was united in celebration as we gave birth” to artificial intelligence, a “singular consciousness that birthed an entire race of machines.”
Someone started a war, and no one knows who, but it was known that it was mankind who blotted out the sky, attempting to deprive the machines of the solar power they required to function. Instead the machines turned to humans as a power source; Mopheus explains that a human’s body provides “more electricity than a 120 volt battery and over 25k BTUs in body heat.” Morpheus shows Neo fields where machines grow human beings, connecting them to their outlets, ensconcing them in their pods, and feeding them with the liquefied remains of other human beings. “The Matrix,” says Morpheus, “is a computer-generated dreamworld created to keep us under control, to turn us…” into a mere power source, into coppertop batteries.
Neo rejects this information so feverishly that he pulls himself out of the Construct. He is back in the chair on the hovercraft. He fights to free himself from this harsh reality, only to end up vomiting on the floor and passing out.
When Neo wakes up in his bunk, Morpheus is beside him. “I can’t go back, can I?” Neo asks. “No,” says Morpheus. He apologizes to Neo for breaking a cardinal rule: after a certain age people aren’t brought out of their simulacrum, but Morpheus explains he had to bring Neo out. When the Matrix was created there was a man born inside it who could create his own reality inside it. It was this man who set Morpheus and the others free. When he died, the Oracle (Gloria FosterGloria Foster) prophesied that he would return in another form. And that the return of the One would mean the destruction of the Matrix. As long as the Matrix exists, humanity will continue to live in complacency inside it and the world can never be free. “I did what I did because I believe that search is over,” says Morpheus.
The next day Neo starts his training. Tank is his operator. Tank and his brother Dozer are “100% pure old-fashioned, homegrown human. Born in the real world; a genuine child of Zion.” Zion, Tank explains, is the last human city, buried deep in the earth, near the core, for warmth. Tank straps Neo back into the jack-in chair, by-passes some preliminary programs and loads him up with combat training, starting with Jiu Jitsu. When Tank hits “load” Neo is shocked by the force of the knowledge pouring into him. “I think he likes it,” says Tank, “want some more?” “Hell yes,” replies Neo. Neo is fed a series of martial arts techniques including Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Drunken Boxing and Kung Fu. Morpheus and Tank are amazed at Neo’s ability to ingest information, but Morpheus wants to test Neo.
Morpheus and Neo stand in a sparring program. The program has rules, like gravity. But as in many computer programs, some rules can be bent while others can be broken. Morpheus bids Neo to hit him, if he can. They fight with Neo impressively attacking but Morpheus easily parrying and subduing him. The rest of the crew gathers around the monitors to watch the fight. Morpheus ends up kicking Neo into a beam, explaining to him that the reason he has beaten him has nothing to do with muscles or reality. They spar again. “What are you waiting for?” Morpheus asks him. “You’re faster than this!” Neo finally brings a punch near his teacher’s face. They can move on.
A jump program is loaded. Both men now stand on one of several tall buildings in a normal city skyline. Morpheus tells Neo he must free his mind and leaps from one building to the next. Neo nervously tries to follow him and doesn’t make the jump, falling to the pavement below. Neo wakes back in the Nebudchanezzar with blood in his mouth. “I thought it wasn’t real,” he says. “Your mind makes it real,” replies Morpheus. “So, if you die in the Matrix, you die here?” “The body cannot live without the mind,” says Morpheus, underlining the very real danger faced in the simulation.
Later, Trinity brings Neo dinner. Outside his room, Cypher remarks that Trinity never brought him dinner. He asks Trinity why, if Morpheus thinks Neo is the One, he hasn’t taken him to see the Oracle yet. Trinity says he’ll take him when he’s ready.
Morpheus and Neo are walking down a standard city street in what appears to be the Matrix. Morpheus explains that the Matrix is a system and that the system is their enemy. All the people that inhabit it, the people they are trying to free, are part of that system. Some are so inert, so dependent upon the Matrix that they can never be free. Neo notices a stunning girl in a red dress. “Are you listening to me?” asks Morpheus. He asks Neo to look at the girl again. Neo turns to face Agent Smith, pointing a gun straight at his head. Morpheus stops the simulation, which has just been created to look like the Matrix.
Neo asks what the Agents are. “Sentient programs,” says Morpheus, that “can move in and out of any software hard-wired into their system, meaning that they can take over anyone in the Matrix program. “Inside the Matrix,” Morpheus says, “They are everyone and they are no one.” Thus Morpheus and his crew survive the Agents by running from them and hiding from the Agents even though they “are guarding all the doors. They are holding all the keys and sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.” But no one who has ever stood up to an Agent has survived; all have died. Still, Morpheus is certain that because the Agents live in a world of rules that they can never be as strong, never be as fast as he can be. “What are you trying to tell me,” a