The 5 Best Fight Scenes from The Original Matrix (1999)
Some of the most ultimate moments from the sci-fi martial arts action classic The Matrix!
If you’re going to have a website dedicated to the most Ultimate Action Movies ever made, it would be a cardinal sin to not include anything on 1999’s iconic classic, The Matrix.
This movie bleeds ULTIMATE action – it is the epitome of what every great action movie longs to be, and then some! Sure, the flick has an all-star cast led by Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne (and who could forget Hugo Weaving’s nefarious villain, Agent Smith), as well as an intoxicatingly thought-provoking moral focused on the limits of reality and self-belief, but let’s be honest – you watch The Matrix for the revolutionary fight scenes!
Blending breath-taking hand-to-hand combat with heart-pounding shootouts, the action sequences in this movie were so far ahead of their time that most of them still hold up today, some 20 years later!
Get out your trench coat and turn up the dubstep music as we rank the top 5 fight scenes from The Matrix:
5) “No Lieutenant, your men are already dead.”
The film’s opening scene is an adrenaline shot to the head. The perpetually leather-donned Trinity finds herself pinned down by police in a dusty, old, deserted building. As the Agents arrive to the scene, they inform the leading officer that there’s a reason his men were told not to engage, leading us into the first fight sequence in the film.
Trinity showcases her combat prowess, easily disposing of the cops, and then has to make a daring escape. This sequence also gives the audience our first taste of the groundbreaking 360-degree slow-motion effect that The Matrix has come to be most remembered for, as Trinity gives an absolutely devastating jump-kick to an opponent’s chest (a move later copied by Princess Fiona in Shrek). What a way to start a movie!
4) “Dodge this.”
As Neo and Trinity risk it all to save their fearless leader, Morpheus, they find themselves on the roof of a high-rise building. There is a brief moment where we see them effortlessly kicking the asses of the private security dispatched to stop them, but the scales are drastically tilted as a helicopter pilot is transformed into an Agent.
Neo unloads his clips at him, but the Agent dodges every bullet. As the Agent fires back at Neo, we get the truly iconic slow-motion scene in which Neo defies gravity with a body-bending limbo, dodging (or at least, almost dodging) all of the shots.
The Agent slowly approaches to finish off his target, but before he can pull the trigger, Trinity puts a gun to his temple from point-blank range and blows him away.
This sequence has played a role in inspiring countless special effects scenes since then, but it’s hard to top the innovation of the original.
3) “He’s beginning to believe.”
In the final showdown, Agent Smith faces off with Neo in a deserted Subway. The sequence is dripping with Western motifs, as a piece of trash takes the place of a tumbleweed and billows between them.
They begin with an intense shootout, both men diving towards each other as the slow-motion camera yet again swirls around them, displaying all of the flying bullets. Both men empty their clips, and the real fun begins, as the audience is treated to some of the most high-quality hand-to-hand choreography in cinematic history.
The scene has a real against-all-odds feel to it, and Neo is only able to defeat Smith by accepting his true identity: “My name…is Neo!”
2.) “Stop trying to hit me and hit me!”
After Neo has “downloaded” hours of martial arts knowledge, Morpheus takes him to an interactive training dojo for a little master vs. student sparring. This is arguably the most beautiful sequence of the entire film, a brilliantly composed fight showcasing an assortment of various martial arts techniques.
Fans of classic karate flicks will be drunk with joy as Morpheus tries to get Neo to realize that his true power can be as great as his mind allows it to be, all the while throwing a myriad of punches and kicks.
1) “Backup…send backup!”
It simply doesn’t get much more ULTIMATE than The Matrix’s penultimate fight sequence. As Agent Smith torturously interrogates Morpheus, Neo and Trinity enter the lobby of the building and immediately start putting holes in people.
I’m trying to think of a shootout from another film to compare this to, but honestly, none come to mind – this scene is truly one-of-a-kind movie magic!
The slow motion is again utilized effectively, as the badass duo cartwheel and wall-run their way through a slew of enemies. This is undoubtedly the best fight scene in the movie, and it’s arguably one of the best in history.
Although he wasn’t born until 1991, don’t assume this feisty millennial can’t tell Tom Selleck from Tom Cruise. Nick Hemming has long been an action movie aficionado, comic book enthusiast (ONLY Marvel; DC sucks!), and all-around wunderkind. When he isn’t watching movies, he is probably writing about them.
What’s your favorite scene from the original Matrix? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!