The Matrix

Inciting Event: Thomas Anderson receives mysterious communications calling him by his hacker name, Neo. The sender has Trinity contact him at a rave. Every warning that Neo is being watched is confirmed in moments. When agents come to arrest Neo for his laundry list of hacking crimes, the mystery man calls Neo and tries to guide him to escape, but Neo lets himself be arrested rather than going out on the scaffolding of his high-rise office to escape.

First Plot Point: The mysterious contact has his people pick up Neo after the agents plant a bug inside him in an effort to track him to the mystery man. This incident seems like a bad dream later, because some things happen that shouldn’t be possible (Neo’s first clue that his reality may not be true). The mystery man reveals himself to be Morpheus, the leader of a band of rebels, and the tracking bug turns out not to have been a dream after all. Morpheus’ people are fighting a war against the Machines—artificial intelligences that have overrun the world and are keeping humanity enslaved by means of simulating a normal world.

Neo is offered a choice to discover the truth and leave the Normal World behind forever—or forget everything he learned and continue living a normal life. He takes the plunge down the rabbit hole and wakes up in the real world, in a twisted cybernetic metaphor of birth.

Morpheus informs Neo he removed him from the Matrix because he believes Neo to be The One, a prophesied revenant reincarnation who will destroy the Matrix and free humanity. Neo rejects this idea, but allows Morpheus to train him to survive in the real world.

Trinity starts to give Neo slightly special treatment. Fellow rebel Cypher becomes jealous.

First Pinch Point: Morpheus introduces Neo to the unsettling facts that enemy Agents have near omnipresent access to any place in the Matrix, and to any person still wired into it. If your mind dies in the Matrix, your body in the real world dies. This fact is driven home when Neo fails to transcend his belief in gravity and falls dozens of stories to the pavement below, feeling the impact, but emerging mostly unharmed because it was a controlled simulation rather than the actual Matrix.

In the real world, the rebel’s ship, the Nebuchadnezzar, is attacked by enemy squid-like robots, but they escape without having to use their EMP weapon.

Cypher, regretting ever entering the real world, makes a deal with the enemy Agents, in which they promise him his ideal reality in exchange for betraying Morpheus.

Midpoint: Morpheus takes Neo to meet The Oracle, the woman who prophesied that Morpheus would find The One. She knew the original One, who could create his own reality inside the Matrix.

She tells Neo Morpheus believes so much that Neo is The One that he will sacrifice himself for that belief, and either he or Neo will die.

Second Pinch Point: As Morpheus and Neo and the crew are leaving, the Agents find and trap them inside the building. Morpheus is captured and half the crew are killed, some by Agents or police in the Matrix and some by Cypher in the real world.

Third Plot Point: Morpheus is tortured by the Agents. Eventually he will reveal the location of Zion, the last human refuge in the real world.

The surviving crew realize they have to kill Morpheus to save the rest of humanity. Neo, still refusing to believe he is The One, decides to sacrifice himself for Morpheus.

Neo and Trinity fight their way to Morpheus inside the Matrix while Agent Smith reveals to Morpheus that he wants to escape the Matrix because he hates being trapped in it with filthy humans.

Along the way, Neo performs unprecedented reality-defying feats that show he might actually be The One after all.

They retrieve Morpheus and everyone gets out except Neo. It seems his fate is sealed.

Climax: Agent Smith comes after Neo. Instead of running away, Neo chooses to fight Smith. He wins the fight. Agent Smith simply uploads into another bystander, but Neo has done the impossible: faced an Agent and lived. Smith chases him down as Neo’s friends find him another exit out of the Matrix.

Meanwhile, the hunter robots in the real world have found the Nebuchadnezzar and begin drilling into it to kill Neo’s friends. They hold off on using their EMP weapon until Neo can get out of the Matrix.

Climactic Moment: Agent Smith corners Neo just before he reaches the exit point and riddles him with bullets. In the real world, Neo’s vital signs cease. Trinity reveals the Oracle said she would fall in love with The One, so Neo can’t be dead because she loves him.

This alters reality in the Matrix, and Neo revives, reborn as The One. He can now change things around him in The Matrix. He easily defeats the Agents, finally destroying Smith by diving into him and destroying him from the inside. Neo emerges victorious, and the other Agents flee.

Resolution: Neo sends a message to the rest of the Matrix, similar to the one Morpheus give him in the beginning, asking the people to shake off their blind reality and enter a world where all is possible. He takes off into the sky, breaking the Matrix’s law of gravity.

(Submitted by Aaron McCausland.)

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