The Matrix (1999)

Screenplay Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi

Movie Time: 136 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

In the interrogation room, Agent Smith reminds Neo that he will be found "guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for" if Neo doesn't help them capture Morpheus. Neo refuses, demanding his phone call, only to find his lips fused together as the Agents implant a shrimp-like robot probe – a bug – in his stomach. (00:16:47)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Trinity brings Neo to Morpheus, who explains the Matrix as a false reality that was constructed to hide the truth: that Neo is a slave, like everyone else, born into bondage. Morpheus holds out two pills. If Neo takes the blue pill, he'll wake up in his bed and believe whatever he wants, but if he takes the red pill, he'll stay in Wonderland, and Morpheus will show him "how deep the rabbit hole goes." Neo takes the red pill. (00:28:50)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Neo meets the Oracle. She asks him if he thinks he's the 'One', and Neo answers, "I'm not the one." The Oracle concurs and explains that Morpheus is going to sacrifice his life to save Neo's, and that "One of you is going to die. Which one, will be up to you." (1:12:29)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Morpheus is captured, Cypher is dead, and the rest of the team unplugged, with Tank, Trinity, and Neo the only survivors. Tank explains that the Agents are trying to break Morpheus' mind to get the codes to the mainframes of Zion's computers. Because a breach of Zion's defenses would mean the last human city would be wiped out, Tank says their only choice is to unplug Morpheus, which would kill him. But Neo and Trinity decide to go into the Matrix and bring Morpheus back. (1:34:42)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

The Sentinels breach the hull of the Nebuchadnezzar as Neo – back in the Matrix – runs for his life until Agent Smith empties his magazine into Neo's chest. Neo slumps to the floor, dead. All is lost, yet Trinity whispers into Neo's ear, "The Oracle, she told me that I'd fall in love and that man, the man I loved would be the One." She kisses him, and Neo suddenly breathes. And in the Matrix, he opens his eyes. (2:02:20)


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