Dumb things in The Matrix everyone just ignored

It defined action films for a generation, but that doesn't mean 1999's The Matrix is perfect. It's awesome, sure, but not perfect. So, forget the sequels (because they definitely weren't perfect, not even close), and let's dig into the dumbest things that still irk us about the original film.

The Mootrix

We're told the robots keep humans alive to use them as a power source, but if you actually stop and think about it, that seems like a wildly inefficient way to actually power a massive system. It has to require more energy than they're putting in to meet the caloric intake to make a human body produce heat, and even if the metabolism is slowed, you'd think a cold-blooded animal would probably be more efficient.

But if it's metabolic output per specimen that the machines are going for, what's stopping the robots from just plugging in a bunch of cows into this system to crank out some heat for their giant, robo-war machine? Though, now that we think about it, a virtual world of cows probably wouldn't have done quite as well at the box office.

Wait, how did Cypher take that meeting?

As part of the rules of The Matrix, you need an operator to stay behind in the "real" world to pull you out when you're done kicking around in the virtual world. So, how the heck does Cypher take his clandestine meeting with Agent Smith, since there's obviously not anyone to pull him out (because they would obviously figure out he's a giant tool and is betraying them).

Well, it's never really explained in the movie. But, the Wachowskis later explained that Cypher built an automated script to pull him out the Matrix at a certain time, and that's how he pulled off the meeting. But, that seems like a pretty handy trick, and if that was how he did it, how come no one else ever took advantage of the idea?

Why don't the Agents always use the body-hopping skill?

We soon learn the Agents can jump into the bodies of literally everyone in the Matrix, so why don't they use this fantastic tactical ability more often? Trinity and the gang fight a whole lot of random cops and people throughout this film, while the Agents are on their way to the scene. But why cruise around in town cars when they can just leap into anyone near Morpheus and his team? The Agents' use of this skill is randomly inconsistent. For dang's sake, in the opening scene, why didn't they just jump into the SWAT team that assaulted Trinity?

Later on, when they have the tracker in Neo and he gets in the car with Trinity, why not just take him over right there and attack? Yes, they have a gun on him, but what's there to lose for the Agents from taking a shot? They're computer programs — a gunshot probably wouldn't so much kill as simply require a hard reboot.

Why not bust Neo out sooner?

The entire turn of events that leads Neo to Morpheus is insanely complicated, and absolutely unnecessary. Morpheus leads Neo to the club to have a chat with Trinity, then sends him home to go back to work the next day—only to be picked up by a team of Agents after a failed escape attempt.

So … was it Morpheus' plan to get captured by the enemy? Seems like a pretty terrible plan. If he really thinks Neo is the chosen one, why not get him out right that night before the Agents have a chance to put a tracker on him and (potentially) kill him?

Wait, why did Trinity need to be looking after Neo in the first place?

The opening action set piece with Trinity sets up the good guys, the bad guys, and the style of action we'll see for the entire film. But think about it—why the heck was Trinity even in the system to begin with? It's implied she's in the system to keep an eye on Neo, but we learn in the next scene that Morpheus is apparently keeping tabs on him by just looking at the code. It's well-established they run from Agents, so why go in at all? Just to sit in an empty room facing the wall? If Morpheus can watch Neo close enough through the Matrix code to guide him on that near-escape from his office building with pinpoint accuracy, why send Trinity in there at all to risk her life?

No one figured out Cypher is a traitor?

The big surprise is that Cypher has been working against the team, having cut a deal with the Agents to get himself plugged back into the Matrix. Are we supposed to believe no one had any inkling about this? In the opening scene, he claims the line isn't tapped (after he swore it was secure), but the Agents come right up on Trinity. Did nobody notice the Agents suddenly had the drop on them whenever good ol' Cypher was conveniently around? Or how Cypher never really seemed too thrilled to be there? Nobody put two and two together, like, ever?

OK, yeah, it's an apocalypse — morale probably wouldn't be at an all-time high. But still, the signs were there!

Umm, don't people see all this crazy stuff happening?

Seriously, there are more than a few scenes that take place in the Matrix, where local cops and citizens see people running on walls, moving faster than humanly possible, and jumping from rooftops in ways that would make Batman blush. Yes, a lot of people who come in contact with these folks wind up dead, but not all of them. Do they just chalk all these instances up to WTF-ery and forget about it the next day?

Why bug Neo? Can't the computers track him, anyway?

Morpheus and his team have no problem tracking Neo's every move, so why was it so hard for the Agents to figure out his location? Why'd they have to lo-jack him with that freaky bug in the first place? This is supposed to be the robots' system, and they literally can't track one dude already plugged into their mainframe at the time?

Also, when Trinity picks up Neo, the phone is hacked, and they have a tracker on him—how are there no agents there to ambush them? Was it the day of the company picnic and they couldn't be bothered?

Why not just kill Neo before he wakes up?

If the robots are so worried about Neo, why not just kill his physical body before he can escape the Matrix in the first place? Instead of chasing the dude all around this virtual world, just go turn off his pod. Boom. Movie over. Hell, the robot literally opens his pod and helps him out when he wakes up. Why not have those same bots just kill anyone that wakes up, so they can't join the resistance?

Yes, they're using Neo as bait to try and catch Morpheus, but once that idea goes sideways, why not just kill him and prevent the resistance from adding another soldier? That way, they would also prevent Hollywood from adding a pointless, useless sequel. And then another.

How do they know Neo's the One in the first place?

Yes, the Oracle said there'd be a savior, but why is Morpheus so sure it's Neo? Why is Morpheus so convinced this dopey-looking "whoa" guy is the right man? Aside from being a shady hacker, there's no real indication that Neo's special at all. There's especially no hint he's a Jesus-level savior who will fight off the robot apocalypse. So, what actually led Morpheus to Neo's doorstep in the first place? We don't know, because they didn't tell us.

It beats you over the head with religious themes

The Wachowskis could never be accused of being subtle. Neo is basically Jesus, and his mission to save humanity has been prophesied. Even his hacker customer calls him his "own personal Jesus Christ" when he gives him that data disk. You getting it yet? God stuff.

But it goes a lot deeper than that. Neo is joined by Trinity (of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost fame) and they fly around on a ship called the Nebuchadnezzar (a legendary Bible king). Even the hull of the ship bears the message "Mark III No. 11," a reference to a Bible passage in the Book of Mark. The writing's literally on the wall!

Look, sprinkling religious imagery into pop culture is nothing new, but The Matrix just backs the holy truck up and dumps it all on its audience of sinners.

Why not make the Matrix a world with no phones at all?

While interrogating Morpheus, Agent Smith reveals this Matrix is actually the 2.0 version, after the first one was a major failure. But why does it have to be set in the late-90s? We're told the real world is actually about 100 years in our future anyway, so why not dial it back a couple centuries while making the simulation? Make Matrix 1 a '60s thing, and have Neo's be in the 2100's or something. That way, they wouldn't have to worry about people using Windows 98 to discover the Matrix exists. Plus, there defintely won't be phone lines in the post-Jetsons era—we barely have them now! Ergo, no conduit for resistance members to hack into the system.

The rules of "dialing" into the Matrix make no sense

Look, using land lines to enter the simulation is a really cool idea. It gives the film an analog vibe, and provides a basic set of rules for the story. But those rules seem inconsistent. Sometimes, you have to pick up and touch a ringing phone, and other times someone else has to pick it up, and still other times, the entire team can just appear inside the Matrix standing near a phone. If you don't have to touch to dial in, why do you need to touch it to dial out? There's always no spoon, so why isn't there always one entrance rule?

How did Neo not shoot Morpheus during the helicopter rescue?

The team's rescue of Morpheus after he's captured by the Agents is one of the coolest action scenes in history. But how exactly did Neo avoid accidentally shooting Morpheus while he was spraying bullets into the room from a helicopter outside? We see water spraying everywhere from the sprinklers, and debris flying everywhere else from the hail of bullets. He takes out the agents in the room, but miraculously avoids hitting Morpheus—who is literally just sitting there in the room. Not even William Tell's that good a shot.

Neo doesn't understand what deja vu is

The Wachowskis are awesome when it comes to world-building, especially in how they try to incorporate and explain real-life phenomena within the rules of the Matrix. One biggie is how deja vu exists, but as a glitch in the Matrix.

That's a great idea, except Neo apparently doesn't really understand what deja vu is. When he sees the same cat walk by twice, he says "deja vu." But … deja vu isn't literally seeing the exact same thing twice in a row — it's a feeling that you've done something in the past when you're actually doing it for the first time. So it's a great idea, but they blow it in execution. Chalk it up to a glitch in the screenwriting matrix.

Why do they never send a fleet of Agents to shut down Morpheus' gang?

We see the Agents regularly jump into literally anyone jacked into the Matrix … so why not hijack 100 people, instead of just two or three? If these resistance fighters can't handle one Agent, wouldn't sending a platoon of them nip this rebellion in the bud pretty quickly?

The robots run the system, and obviously have the resources. If you're thinking with cold logic, overwhelming the opposition with pure numbers seems like the most obvious strategy, right? Why'd it take Agent Smith two movies to realize he could copy himself 100+ times over? Did he just learn that in Remedial Agency 101?

The idea of building a city close to the Earth's core is insane

We don't actually get to see it until later sequels, but we're told the surviving humans built a massive city underground, close to the Earth's core, to keep warm. But … that's crazy. How exactly does being "close to the Earth's core" work? Scientists believe it's as hot as the Sun's surface—that's not exactly something you'd want to get "close" to, folks. One wrong move with the shovel, and you've flooded your city with molten iron.

Even if it did work, how did they have the resources to dig thousands of miles deep and create this ambitious underground world? They were already losing a war with the robots by this point, right? Maybe their goal of hanging their hat right next to a giant ball of smoldering metal hotter than the Sun is why they're losing.