Lots of people reject both Matrix sequels, but do they have a good solid reason?

Personally, I watched all three with the same level of wonder and interest. I listened carefully and pieced together the fictional universe as details emerged. Everything seems to fit; There's nothing I can put my finger on that is contradictory.

Please make answers specific and detailed; leave generalized, "sequels just suck, 'cause..." answers for the forthcoming, "Why do all sequels suck?" question.

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    Contradictions or plot-inconsistencies aren't the only reason for people disliking movies. I personally didn't liked Matrix too much, because I saw first the movie 'Dark City' with very much the same basic idea and that was much cooler realized. Secondly I liked the mysterious starting with 'follow the white rabbit', but it solved itself very fast and in a boring way. So very much disappointed expectations.
    – Mnementh
    Nov 30, 2011 at 23:37
  • Lots, lots, lots and lots of inconsistences. Yet they didn't ruin the movies alone. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:15
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    I'm confused about what the point of this question is...If it's actually to determine whether there are plot inconsistencies in the Matrix trilogy, it's a simple yes or no answer. And I don't think plot-hole or plot inconsistency questions make the internet better, for the most part. If the goal of the question is to find out why people "reject both Matrix sequels"...that seems like a bad subjective question. (See: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective)
    – Laura
    Dec 5, 2011 at 19:57
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    @Mnementh Dark City was infinitely better than the Matrix. It was one of those rare movies where so many of the things were done so perfectly.
    – puk
    Dec 18, 2011 at 0:12

6 Answers 6


Now that I think about it, I think the biggest inconsistency - besides Neo suddenly gaining power in 'the real world' at the end of the second film - is the travel that Neo takes to get to The Architect in the second film, and The Architect's implication that this Neo is the 7th (or perhaps more - it's been a while since I saw the film) version to meet him. There are a few problems with this:

  1. The free will of other people in each incarnation. Does this mean that in each incarnation, there was an incarnation of Cypher that betrayed his teammates?

  2. The fact that each incarnation was Keanu Reeves. It would have made more sense to have 7 different people representing Neo on the screen, seeing as how Keanu Reeves couldn't possibly have been born the same way each time (in theory, if the machines had a copy of his DNA, I suppose this could be true, but this seems like a stretch even for the world of The Matrix)

  3. The path that got Neo to The Architect. Neo interacts with a number of 'old' programs, programs that supposedly have been around during each incarnation of The Matrix. None of them seems to have learned anything from their interaction with Neo, and Agent Smith is radically changed in this incarnation. If each incarnation led a similar path to The Architect (with the only major difference being Neo's reaction to the nature of The Matrix and his choice of saving Trinity or restarting the whole process), then Agent Smith should have been somehow been able to retain his power from one incarnation to another (after all, it's implied in Matrix Reloaded that he's no longer part of The Matrix, but is outside of it).

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    On point 2 - this is a very deep plot inconsistency when you really start to look at it, why should the image of Neo match his physical self at all. Prior to being extracted, he has never seen his own image, so why does his projection of his image in the matrix match his physical self. Perhaps the prior Neo's that meet the Architect are different people, and that the 'real world' is in fact just another layer of the matrix.
    – iandotkelly
    Dec 11, 2011 at 16:09
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    Maybe the 'current' Neo sees the 'prior' Neos as he sees himself because he is told he is the seventh 'copy' and figures copies should look alike... or something like that...
    – Shawn
    Jan 17, 2012 at 7:16
  • Indeed, the hypothesis that the "real world" is just another level of the matrix would be the only reasonable explanation why Neo could gain powers in the "real world" at the end of Matrix 2. Actually that's exactly what I thought would be the explanation when I saw that scene, and that Neo suddenly got those powers because he realized he's still in the Matrix. I expected Matrix 3 to be about him leaving that level of the Matrix, too (with again some completely different world waiting for him).
    – celtschk
    Jun 14, 2012 at 9:21
  • @barry Neo suddenly gaining power in 'the real world' at the end of the second film is not an inconsistency.Read : movies.stackexchange.com/questions/8370/…
    – Mistu4u
    Dec 2, 2012 at 18:20

Well, let's think about this, why are only humans used for the harvesting power?

Where are all the organisms? You know the ones that don't need the sun.

Morpheus: A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. We don't know who struck first - us, or them. But we know it was us that scorched the sky. At the time they were dependent on solar power and it was believed that they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun.

One could say that all organisms became extinct? But that's stretching it. The machines must have been smart enough to take some organisms with them and mass produce. Just based on logistics, you would be able to save on computing power to run the simulation. Seriously, the amount of 3D rendering that goes on in the Matrix must be a lot

Next part, everyone is all on the ship training Neo to be the one and all that so after Cypher talks to Neo and gives him the drink on the ship how in the world did he boot into the Matrix for dinner with Mr.Smith?

Was it someone else? No, because Cypher was on shift that night to monitor code on the Matrix. So let's say he managed to get in. Who got him out?

There are many more holes, I will have to watch it again to remember. Notice, this is all based on the first movie.

  • The harvesting of energy produced by humans isn't an inconsistency, just a stupid plot point. There would be more credibility to it if the excuse for keeping captive like that was harvesting the computing power of the brain.
    – tshepang
    Dec 30, 2011 at 22:30

The biggest one that springs to mind is the fact that he is 'all powerful' within the matrix by the end of the first film, and actually stops it from running. Then in the next film he's just quite good at fighting, but not really omnipotent like in the first film.

  • I disagree about "actually stops it from running" - he just started to hunt the Agents down - the Matrix is bigger than those Agents though. Dec 1, 2011 at 10:11
  • at the end of the film, the screen says 'search running' and then it freezes with an error message implying the whole system has frozen. Dec 1, 2011 at 10:59
  • Hmm.. I missed that one. Guess I have to see the movie again to see for myself. Thanks! :) Dec 1, 2011 at 11:10
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    @SirYakalot: Only because one (search) program crashed doesn't mean the whole system is down.
    – jfs
    Dec 13, 2011 at 14:50
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    I think it was implied that the whole thing froze Dec 13, 2011 at 19:13

For me, the greatest inconsistency is the Neo with superpowers at the end of the second movie in the 'real world'. It's a cheap trick that breaks the matrix own rules with the universe showed in the first movie.

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    Or it could be (as some people theorize) an indication that the Real World is just another level of the Matrix. Dec 1, 2011 at 17:37
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    "The Thirteenth Floor" have a good script. "The Matrix I&II" hasn't.
    – Zhen
    Dec 7, 2011 at 13:19
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    It's not an inconsistency. Check my answer on a related question. :)
    – Alenanno
    Dec 2, 2012 at 11:06

Well, I was very much convinced with the first part and even the second part for that matter where the version of matrix gets upgrading. In fact the Viral concept of Agent Smith could not have been depicted more appropriately. But hell broke loose in the third part. I personally prefer they never took it.

Neo being blind and having a vision in the live world is totally out of context and can be called as "nuts".


Well I think this trilogy suffers from many problems that stem from the fact that it was never "planned" to be a trilogy. Like many other movies (Back to the Future, Pirates of the Caribbean etc.), the first movie was written as a standalone story without any purposely created plot holes for future explanation. What this means is that additional story telling based on the first movie will have to be then "made up" on the spot and tacked on to the original story. While there aren't any severe inconsistencies, many viewers can tell that many sequel story elements might not necessarily fit with the tonality of the the original. This in itself could "turn off" many fans to the sequels of these films.

This of course isn't specific to just movie though. The same can be found in TV shows, comics and books as well.

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    Everyone loves a dollop of retcon on their nachos ;-) Feb 28, 2012 at 1:37
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    @Christopher - +1 for using "dollop," "retcon" and "nachos" in the same sentence. Aug 1, 2012 at 15:50

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