The announcement of a future Matrix sequel seemed like a good a time as any to give the trilogy a rewatch, and watching them again for the first time in a long, long time, I was struck by something: They are absolutely riddled with wildly obvious plot holes. I ate these movies up as a kid — I pored over the movies and the Animatrix and the comics and games like Enter the Matrix hoping to learn as much as I could about the universe of the films — and somehow never cottoned on to just how flimsy a premise I was being asked to accept.
Just in case it has also been a while since you turned a critical eye to the series, here are all the laughably glaring weak points in the trilogy that I managed to spot this time around.
1. No one looks cool in a trench coat
The entire trilogy is built on the assumption that wearing a trench coat makes you insanely cool and that wearing a trench coat is what a badass would do given the freedom to wear whatever they like. Presumably Neo, Trinity and Morpheus — who all wear trench coats at various stages throughout all three films — are able to choose whatever clothes they wish from the Construct. Given that they are clearly positioned as being very cool badasses, it makes no sense at all that they would have the sartorial sensibilities of a professional Magic the Gathering player.
Pictured: Then why don’t you load better ones? You fool!
2. Everyone wears sunglasses all the time even though it’s pretty much always night time
One of the biggest drawbacks of wearing sunglasses is that they tend to make everything much darker. Obviously, there are circumstances where this can be beneficial, but in low-light situations, like being indoors or being outdoors at night time, they become nothing but a hindrance. Unless, for some reason, the Matrix is much, much brighter than the ‘real world’, there is simply no reason for everyone to be wearing sunglasses all the time.
Pictured: A bunch of absolute rubes.
3. No adult would call another adult ‘Morpheus’ with a straight face
Morpheus. Trinity. Neo. Mouse. Apoc. Cypher. Ghost. Bane. The characters in the trilogy refer to each other with names that are, frankly, ridiculous. While it would maybe be plausible if these were nicknames, the coupling of these childish nom-de-internets with official titles (‘Captain Morpheus’, as an example) makes it clear that this is not what is happening. This contrast is made even starker by the existence of characters who do have real names in the real world, like Mjolnir crewmember Maggie and Zion military officer Jason Lock.
It almost stands to reason that Lock would have a regular person name, as he was born in Zion — but that doesn’t explain characters like Tank and Dozer, who were also born in Zion, but still have ‘cool’ hacker names. And, on top of that, Maggie has plugs — so what the fuck.
3a. Even though everyone is called by the name they used on AIM or IRC or whatever, no one is called x_DaRkAng3l_x
If everyone in the Matrix films is going by their internet name, there would be at least one onscreen character called MuscularNarutoFan or SubaruImpreza1984, but there isn’t! Somehow we’re meant to not notice that? Come on!
4. Neo and Trinity act like they haven’t fucked in ages when they get back to Zion at the start of Reloaded even though they have their own room aboard the Nebuchadnezzar
What are we supposed to believe, that it’s impossible to fuck in a room with a lockable door aboard a noisy hovercraft? What ridiculous fantasy about human sexuality are we meant to entertain here — that they refrain from coitus because they do not want to be overheard by their fellow crewmembers? The Earth has been ravaged by a robot apocalypse and reduced to a cold, lightless wasteland due to human hubris, and their main concern is that Morpheus might hear Neo getting delightfully, sensuously pegged? It makes no sense at all.
5. Both Tank and Link answer the phone by saying ‘operator’ even though that doesn’t provide any helpful information because the person knows that they are calling the operator, the operator could just say ‘hello’, which is more polite
Sure, I guess it would be cute for a while. Y’know, like in the old days, when you’d pick up the phone and talk to an operator? It’s simply not realistic to believe that this would remain funny or charming for an extended period of time — and for this to be apparently the accepted practice for all operators? Just silly.
6. Ada Nicodemou is in one of the movies
Uh, yeah, Wachowskis, I’m totally going to believe that Ada Nicodemou is in the first Matrix movie. Totally Realistic. (I’m being sarcastic by the way.)
7. The Architect is an old white guy in a white suit, yet he doesn’t say anything racist
Obviously, this doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Incidentally, as part of my intense and thorough research for this piece, I googled “colonel sanders racist” and found this article from Colonel Sanders’ great-granddaughter insisting that he would never, ever say the n-word.
8. In the night club where Neo meets Trinity and everyone is listening to Rob Zombie, no one is wearing a t-shirt featuring Grave Digger, the monster truck
There are a set of incontrovertible physical principles that govern our universe. For every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Energy can be transformed but cannot be created or destroyed. Objects will remain at rest or continue in a constant state of motion unless acted upon by an external force. Any time Rob Zombie is playing, someone within listening distance will be wearing a t-shirt featuring the monster truck known as Grave Digger.
9. Morpheus says that Zion has been around for 100 years and also says that the Matrix is up to the year 1999 when Neo wakes up and the Matrix and the real world appear to exist on synchronous timelines so that means people have been waking up from that version of the matrix since it was around 1899 in the Matrix, but telephones didn’t become a common household item until around the 1920s and 1930s and it’s apparently already hard to get phone lines to use as exits even in the 1999 version, so how the fuck did they do it in like the early 1905 part of the Matrix?
Wanna give it a watch for yourself and see if you can spot any more? The Matrix is now streaming on Stan.