Why You Should Respect The Matrix

Editor’s Note : The Matrix is returning to the big screen with The Matrix Resurrections! So to celebrate, we’ve resurrected this post that Karl Smallwood (now known for Fact Fiend) wrote for us back in 2013. Enjoy.

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The Matrix is one of those films you have to watch. Everything about it is cool and slick. From the fight scenes to the ass-to-leather ratio of Trinity’s outfit. It’s one of those films you look at and know it took a lot of effort to make, but how much effort might surprise you.

Even before it was a film it was already the cause of crippling arthritis and scream tears for dozens of people. For starters, before The Wachowskis even pitched the damn movie, they had two artists storyboard the entire film in the form of a 600 page comic. Every scene was painstakingly committed to ink and after all that work, you better believe that when time came to film, they made sure people stuck to that shit.

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300 takes.

You’d expect though, considering the caliber of the actors in the cast, they would have given them some sort of break.Well, you’d be wrong. The Wachowskis adamantly asserted that each and every actor fully understood the concept of The Matrix. Could you explain The Matrix? Could you explain the subtle philosophical undertones, then go out and roundhouse kick Hugo Weaving in the face? Because that’s what he actors had to do. Carrie Anne Moss actually needed to read the script several times before she understood it. We suspect she got a pass simply because of her ass. Nothing else.

On top of the mentally grueling challenge of deep philosophical thought, each actor also had a pretty brutal physical regimen, working with renowned martial arts legend Woo Ping, each actor endured almost a year of training, which put them in “the best shape of their lives.” We’re really not kidding about the amount of training here. You know that kick in the second movie, the one where Trinity whips her foot over her head and slaps that guy in the dome?

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This one.

Carrie Anne Moss actually learned how to do that. Woo Ping called it the “Scorpion Kick” and it took her 6 months to get right. Most films take that long to film — Carrie Anne Moss spent that length of time learning how to put her leg behind her head and clock a guy with it.

In large part, The Matrix is about costumes — those bitchin’ black leather outfits helped make the movie what it is. So then, it should come as no surprise that each one was tailor-made. What might surprise you though is that each one is representative of the person wearing it.

Trinity’s black leather and PVC look was designed specifically to look like an oil slick, representing how slippery and dangerous she is. Neo’s clothing becomes gradually more monk like, representing his transformation into “The One.” And Agent Smith’s suit was designed to make him look like a douche.

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Nailed it.

But we couldn’t touch upon The Matrix without mentioning the special effects, because people swoon over the bullet-time and the fact it lets you watch people get punched in the chops at super high-speed. The thing you should be most impressed with is the helicopter crash, which took three months of research to organize, specifically to get the glass ripple effect.

Oon top of everything, every single scene set inside the Matrix has the color green and a slight green hue.

So the next time you watch the movie, just realize that every single scene is the result of months of punching, philosophizing, and sweaty crotch leather. Then again, we’re still pissed that the third movie even happened.