Director: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Writer: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
Runtime: 136 min
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Released: 31 Mar 1999
Synopsis: Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.
The screen is filled with green, cascading code which gives way to the title, 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 Moss) and Cypher (Joe 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 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.
The screen is black. A command prompt appears: “Call trans opt: received. 9-18-99 14:32:21 REC: Log>” then “Carrier anomaly” “Trace program: running” As the grid of numbers appears again a warning appears “System Failure.” Over it all is Neo’s voice:
“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 and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”
In the Matrix world, Neo hangs up the phone. He looks at the mindless masses around him, puts on his glasses and then looks up. From high above the city we see him take flight. The story is picked up in The Matrix Reloaded, the second of three Matrix movies.