10 Things You Didn't Know About The Matrix Trilogy

Jack-in, reload and become one with the secrets of The Matrix.

The Matrix
Warner bros.

How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. Or so says Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) in existential sci-fi masterpiece, The Matrix.

The Wachowskis' trilogy dumped us in at the deep end with the ultra-cool crew of reality hackers, Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), as they seized control of their digital lives, fought the corrupted programme Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and attempted to end the machines' global domination once and for all.

While the films may be uneven and a little too pretentious for some, they nonetheless contain plenty of jaw-dropping algorithms. Whether it's the freeway fight, an army of sentinels descending into Zion, or Neo stopping bullets with his brain, everyone has their favourite scene. But what about the subtle, blink-and-you'll-miss-'em moments; the glitches in the programme? Were you paying attention, or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?

Take the red pill, stay in Wonderland, and we will show you how deep the rabbit hole goes...

10. One Zero/Zero One

The Matrix
Warner Bros.

A lot of weight is given to names in the Matrix franchise, with each character, place and object often having a second -- or binary -- meaning.

This binary theme is of course essential to the coding of the Matrix itself (computers work on a binary of 1s and 0s), and comes into its own in the very first film with Neo and his moral opposite, Cypher (Joe Pantoliano).

Neo wants to be free from the matrix, seeking to seize control of his own existence and lead others into the real world; Cypher wants nothing more than to return to the matrix for good -- becoming once again blissfully unaware of harsh, grim reality -- and is willing to sell out his friends and cut a deal with the agents in order to achieve this.

Reflecting these opposing ideals, 'Neo' is an anagram of 'one' (in reference to the character's role as supposed saviour of humanity), while 'Cypher' actually comes from the Arabic word for zero, صفر (sifr). And the fact that 'zero' is also another word for 'loser' is probably just coincidence.


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Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee. Let the work speak for itself, even if it has the voice of Moaning Myrtle.