In 1999, The Matrix hit theaters in the United States and caused a revolution of its own. Written and directed by the Wachowskis, the movie was about the hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves) discovering that he was inside a computer simulation known as the Matrix. In reality, humanity was being enslaved by a sentient race of machines in the real world, but Neo joined a team of freedom fighters who had been freed from the Matrix and tried to save Mankind. Besides its amazing martial arts action sequences and balletic gunfights, The Matrix also introduced the "bullet time" effect, where we saw the camera move around people standing still. At the time, The Matrix was refreshingly unique with its king fu action, dazzling special effects, and deep philosophical undertones. It was a critical and commercial success and was quickly followed by two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The Matrix franchise also expanded into comic books, video games and animated shorts.
The Matrix trilogy redefined action movies in the United States and continues to influence them to this day. At the same time, entire books have been written about the story, and how it includes elements of religion and philosophy, along with cyberpunk themes. While a lot of it is awesome, there are a few plot holes that fans have cropped up. Some of the story doesn't hold up, and other plot points have been kind of glossed over. Let's go back into the virtual world to see the glitches that have been found.
23 HUMANS ARE A TERRIBLE POWER SOURCE
The Machines were deprived of the solar power they needed, so humans were used as a power source to drive the Machines and their city. That's the premise, but it doesn't really work.
Let's start with the fact that the Machines could have used nuclear power plants, wind farms or coal-fired power plants much easier. If you needed living power, pigs or cows would have worked without needing to create a virtual reality to keep them occupied; the "insult to injury" twist notwithstanding. In the original script, humans were being used for their brain power, not electricity. The studio changed it to electricity because they thought the other idea was too complicated.
22 THE MATRIX IS OBVIOUS
Part of the hook in The Matrix is that humans don't know they're in a virtual world until someone comes and points it out to them. Even then, it's such a shock that sometimes people can't handle it.
Well, that doesn't really make sense because it's kind of obvious that the Matrix isn't the real world. You're telling us that no one ever noticed that it's been the year 1999 forever? And that everything looks kind of green? People in the Matrix would have to be pretty dumb not to know things are strange. We get that it's part of the x-factor, and the delusions of dreams operate to similar functions, but the presentation still leaves a lot to be desired.
21 AGENTS CAN'T DODGE FISTS
In the Matrix trilogy, it seemed like the main method of fighting the agents was through martial arts. Scenes of members of the rebellion doing kung-fu flips and kicks against the men in black were common, because guns were almost useless on the agents since they could move at super-speed to dodge the bullets. Or so it seemed.
The big question no one ever answered in The Matrix movies was why the agents couldn't avoid fists. After all, a foot coming at them should be much easier to dodge than a bullet. Those fights should have been quick and painful.
20 THE TRUTH
The whole Matrix is based on lies. The Machines plugged humans into virtual reality because they thought humans would rebel if they found out the truth. And yet, if they just told humans "You're in a virtual reality where you can get superpowers," lots of people would sign up willingly, especially when they found out the alternative was living in a nightmarish post-apocalyptic wasteland.
However, the Resistance isn't much better. Morpheus famously told Neo that no one could be told what the Matrix is, they have to see it for themselves. But why? Why couldn't Morpheus have just explained that Neo was in a virtual world and had to be freed? It wasn't that complicated.
19 THE RESIDUAL SELF-IMAGE
In the Matrix, people are just computer simulations, so they should be able to look however they want, but had the same face and body as they did in real life. Morpheus called it the "residual self-image" that made people appear as they imagined themselves.
However, if you took the average person and showed them a picture of themselves, how many would say it doesn't look quite right? We don't always see ourselves the way others see us. Then there's the fact that most people only see themselves in the mirror, so the residual self-image should have been in reverse.
18 NEO SHOULD HAVE DROWNED
When Neo swallowed the red pill, he was ejected from the Matrix and woke up in his pod. The connections were severed, and he was flushed out of the system and into a pool to be recycled. The rebellion rescued him from the liquid and brought him back to Zion, starting his journey to freedom. However, the movie should have ended right there.
That's because when he was released from the Matrix, Neo shouldn't have been able to swim at all. Remember, Morpheus said Neo had never used his muscles before and they had to rebuild them. Neo should have sunk like a stone and his destiny as the One would have gone unfulfilled.
17 THEY SHOULD HAVE MOVED ZION
The humans who escaped the Matrix lived in an underground city called Zion, a fortress with advanced weapons and equipment that allowed them to survive. It was critical for the survival of the human race, which makes us wonder why they put it in such a dumb place.
When the Machines decided to drill their way into Zion, they didn't have to go very far. We know that because it didn't take that long for Neo to reach the Machine City, so Zion couldn't have been that far away. In fact, it seemed like Zion was practically buried right underneath the Machine City. The humans should have built it on the other side of the planet to give the Machines more work to do.
16 THE MIND MADE IT REAL
After his first fight, Neo found blood in his mouth and Morpheus explained that his mind made the injuries real. In fact, when someone's life ended in the Matrix, it ended in the real world, too.
It was dramatic, but doesn't make any sense at all. First of all, how could getting punched in a virtual world cause the tissues of a real person to rupture and bleed? The Matrix is nothing but computer programming. As for the mind ending, a human brain plugged into the Matrix doesn't literally go into the virtual world. The brain would still be there if it gets disconnected, just like turning off a video game that you're playing doesn't cause you to die.
15 THE MATRIX NEEDS BACKUPS
In the Matrix, programs exist as individual beings. It's considered a victory when Neo is able to explode Agent Smith, and we saw other programs like the vampires and bodyguards of the Merovingian get destroyed by Neo. That raised the question of why the programs could be destroyed at all.
When the programs were erased, they should have just restored a copy of themselves. If we can back up our Word documents, the Matrix could have backed up its robots. Plus, the "programs" we saw running around should have been merely avatars of the programs, not the programs themselves. When a character in a video game is deleted, the code behind it doesn't get erased.
14 WHY PROGRAMS LIVE
There are the virtual programs that live in the Matrix, and sentient robots that live in the real world. While the movies kind of got into the sense of those programs, they barely scratched the surface and raised a lot of questions.
For instance, the Matrix trilogy showed how some programs have a sense of self-preservation, like the couple who tried to protect their daughter and themselves. At the same time, other programs like the agents and the Squids seemed willing to destroy themselves to stop humans. Why would some programs be willing to live and others didn't if they're based on the same code?
13 THE TROUBLE WITH CYPHER
Cypher's betrayal of Neo and the rest of the crew allowed the agents to capture Morpheus, and Cypher almost unplugged everyone else. At one point, we saw how he would secretly go into the Matrix to plot with the Agents, but that raised a big question.
How did Cypher get into the Matrix without being noticed? The movies showed it took two people to go into the Matrix; one who jacked into the virtual world, and an operator on the outside to get them out. Cypher couldn't have told someone he was going in without raising questions, especially since the operator would have been able to see what he was doing on the monitors.
12 NEO IN THE REAL WORLD
At the end of The Matrix Reloaded, Neo shocked everyone by shutting down attacking Squids. In The Matrix Revolutions, he had the power to see the Machine code in the real world. It was cool, but should have been impossible.
As far as we know, Neo didn't have special eyes or hardware in his brain that could let him do things no one else could do. That's why it doesn't really make sense for him to be able to mentally shut down Squids or see the Machine code inside human beings. If Neo did have special parts no one else did, you'd think someone would have noticed it.
11 THE AGENTS SHOULD BE INVULNERABLE
The agents are feared by every freed human in the Matrix, because they're faster, stronger, and hard to hurt. However, they can be shot and punched and damaged, even though they can transfer themselves into other bodies.
Why give the Agents the ability to be hurt or destroyed at all? A block of titanium in the Matrix would have to be coded to be resistant to bullets, so why couldn't they give the same properties to the agents? For that matter, having an agent get hurt at all from bullets or a smashed head would need to be programmed too, so why bother? The Matrix could have made the virtual agents completely indestructible.
10 THE REBELS HURT PEOPLE
The rebels went into the virtual world to free everyone else. It seemed like a noble cause to free as many minds as they can, except for the fact that the rebels also hurt innocent people.
In many scenes, we saw the rebels gun down innocent security guards, police officers, and soldiers. When the rebels stopped an agent who took over someone in the Matrix, the old bodies would reappear, lifeless. That meant the rebels took out police officers and even agents that have taken over people's bodies, ending the life of real people connected to the Matrix. It seems like the rebels are hurting the same people they're supposed to be saving.
9 NEO COULD HAVE SURRENDERED
In the final scenes of The Matrix Revolutions, Neo made the bold step of flying with Trinity to the Machine City and doing something no one else had done: talk to them. Neo offered to go back into the Matrix to destroy Agent Smith, and in return, the Machines ended their war with Zion. Sadly, Trinity sacrificed herself to get him there and met her end as a result. It was tragic... and completely unnecessary.
Neo could have saved Trinity's life just by warning the Machines that he was coming to surrender and offer a truce. The Machines might not have attacked the hovercraft if they knew he came in peace, and she would have lived happily ever after.
8 THE FREEWAY DIDN'T SHUT DOWN
In one of the biggest action scenes of all time, The Matrix Reloaded had an epic chase scene where Trinity, Morpheus, and other rebels fought each other in a crowded freeway. It was thrilling to see all the racing and explosions, but it had one big problem.
With all the cars crashing into each other, motorcycles driving the wrong way, and trucks exploding, none of the cars seemed to stop driving. If you're on a regular freeway and two cars get into a fender bender, traffic stops for miles. However, in Reloaded, multiple cars are blowing up all over the place, and traffic keeps on going. Maybe drivers in the Matrix are used to that sort of thing?
7 THE MATRIX SHOULD BE OMNIPOTENT
In the Matrix trilogy, the agents spend most of their time trying to track down, capture or crush the humans who are rebelling against them. We saw many scenes of Trinity, Neo and other heroes running and hiding from the agents who pursued them. Still, the job shouldn't have been that hard because the Matrix should have known everything.
Remember that everything in the Matrix is nothing but code. Why doesn't the Matrix immediately know where the rebels are once they jump in since it can see everything in it? At the very least, we saw the agents take over bodies, so they should have been able to see through the eyes of everyone in the Matrix to find the rebels.
6 NEO CAUGHT TRINITY
Throughout the second and third Matrix movies, Neo suffered a deathly fear of Trinity's end. In one of the final moments of Revolutions, his vision came true and she was shot in the chest while falling from a high building. Neo used all his power to fly up and catch her right before she hit the ground. It was beautiful, and very, very odd.
Neo was going so fast that his wake pulled cars from the streets and created a firestorm behind him. Why didn't Neo catching Trinity just snap her in half from the impact? Maybe he slowed down at the last minute, but it sure didn't look like it!
5 FEEDING TIME
In the Matrix, humans exist in a sort of farm where they're kept in pods that sustain their lives. Morpheus said that human bodies were liquified to feed the living. While that seems efficient, humans are probably the worst food source they could use.
Recycling only goes so far. The law of conversation means that the living would get less energy from the bodies over time as they were recycled, so eventually, the bodies would have no nutrition at all. The Matrix would have to come up with some sort of Human Chow or something, otherwise everyone would just starve to death. Maybe the machines should give Soylent Green a try!
4 THE EMP OF ZION
In the climax of The Matrix Revolutions, Zion faced a final assault from the Machines. Enormous drills made their way from the surface down to Zion, and thousands of Squids flooded the city. The main defense of the humans were armored mechs that fired a storm of bullets. It was a great scene, but it's odd that Zion didn't use a weapon we'd seen before.
One of the main weapons the humans had against the Machines (besides machine guns) were the EMPs. The electromagnetic pulse weapons could shut down any machines within a set radius and we'd seen the Machines had no defense other than staying out of range. Once the machine attack began, Zion should have triggered as many EMPs as they could get to stop the Machines in their tracks.
3 COMAS ARE EASIER
The whole idea behind the Matrix series is that humans are hard to control. With billions of people kept in suspended animation so their energy could be harvested for the Machines, the Matrix was created as a way to pacify and keep humanity docile. Given all the trouble they had with keeping the Matrix running, it does beg the question why they bothered.
It would have been much easier to just keep humans unconscious. In fact, since the Machines essentially bred humans, they could have grown people from the womb so they weren't capable of conscious thought at all. A nice coma would have solved all their problems.
2 WHERE WERE THE PRODIGIES?
When Neo went to see the Oracle, he found a bunch of amazing kids in her living room. The Priestess called them "the others," implying they were potential candidates to be the One, just like Neo. They had amazing powers like moving objects with their mind. One of the potentials even taught Neo how to bend a spoon.
Yet we only saw them at that one point, and never saw them again for the rest of the series. While no one wants to expose children to danger, when the time came to fight for the survival of everyone in the Matrix, how could Zion turn its back on the potentials? What were all those kids doing while the Matrix was being torn apart. They should have been a special unit fighting alongside Neo.
1 THE ONE'S POWERS
With the training and realizing of his potential, The Matrix ended with Neo becoming the One. As the prophesied One, Neo had incredible power including flying and stopping bullets, but the rest of the series didn't really follow through. At least, not as much as it should have.
Morpheus described the One as someone who could change whatever he wanted in the Matrix, but Neo just had a specific set of powers that pretty much boiled down to strength, speed, stopping bullets, flying, and seeing the code around him. Why couldn't he move objects with his mind, teleport or walk through walls? The One just ended up being Superman.