After the overwhelming success of the original Matrix, fans wanted more. Warner Bros commissioned not one, but two sequels and the Wachowskis got to work plotting and planning out the next two installments of the metaphysical and philosophical cyberpunk saga. The through-line for both movies was very simple. A swarm of Sentinels is approaching the last human city, Zion getting ready to reduce it and everyone who lives there to ash. Morpheus believes that Neo can save them all. Other captains and leaders believe otherwise.
But what’s happening all over the film and in every scene is a lot more than just trying to put an end to a robot army trying to kill everyone. Here are 10 Hidden Details Everyone Completely Missed In The Matrix Reloaded.
10 Real Hacking
In order to help get Neo to the source of the Matrix and destroy it, (which is the original plan), several teams working in unison have to hack into the security system to get Neo past the guards and straight to the door. Despite Neo’s dreams and misgivings, Trinity makes her way past guards and hacks her way through the security system. According to real-life hackers, the device she uses is actually used for hacking. To get into the system, she uses a Nmap Version 2.54Beta25.
9 Cheat Codes For Enter The Matrix
The Wachowskis didn’t just expand the world of The Matrix to a few sequels. The siblings created a mass multimedia platform involving anime, movies, and video games. One of those games took place in between the first movie and Reloaded – Enter The Matrix.
Blink and you’ll miss them, but the movie features at least one cheat code that you can use in the game. During the freeway chase, many of the signs on the road have strange-looking hexadecimal that you can use in the game to decipher certain cheat codes.
8 The Much-Maligned Dance Number
"This is Zion and we are not afraid!” Morpheus says before the last human city commences with a giant dance party. One of the most anticipated sequels ever quickly got a bad rap because of this sequence. If you’re one of the people who feel that way, just remember that it’s barely a few minutes of screen time. Not to mention, each movie of the Matrix trilogy actually has a big rave scene. Perhaps if Laurence Fishburne didn’t give such a rousing pre-battle speech for what was just one big dance party, it wouldn't be so heavily criticized.
7 The Much-Adored Freeway Chase
While there are plenty of moviegoers divided over The Matrix Reloaded as a whole, no one seems to be divided on the Freeway Chase. It’s not only one of the most impressive chase scenes in a movie, but it was also one of the most impressive undertakings ever filmed. There is literally no freeway like this in the world. To film at an actual freeway would constantly have to reset cars and halt traffic. The creative team constructed a massive set-piece at an abandoned Naval Base in California. Just one of the many secrets of this sequence.
6 The Acting Wounded
Some claim actors give their blood, sweat, and tears for their art form. The Matrix Reloaded had just about all of their actors leave some of their bodies on the set. Laurence Fishburne fractured an arm while training, Carrie-Ann Moss broke her leg for one of her wore stunts, and Agent Smith has a disc yanked out of his back while performing a stunt. Yikes!
5 Another “Prisoner” Reference
In the first movie, while Neo is running for his life, he runs past a reference to the cult TV series, The Prisoner. On the show, a British intelligence agent tried to retire but instead was taken hostage and dumped in a town called The Village. He was also just referred to as Number 6. Plenty of fans have drawn comparisons between the TV series and The Matrix and the show’s influence is not lost on the Wachowskis either. In Reloaded, Neo learns that he too is Number 6 - the sixth version of The One.
4 Possible Casting Choices
Once the filming started, several people were eyed and even cast for several roles. Jet Li was considered for playing Seraph, the Oracle’s guardian. But when he wanted as much money as Keanu, the Wachowskis briefly considered Michelle Yeoh for the role before casting Colin Chou.
Another casting decision that was forced to be recast was Zee, Linc’s girl. The role was originally played by pop legend Aaliyah until a plane crash tragically took her life, leading the way for Nona Gaye to take the role.
The Matrix Reloaded does what a lot of sequels should do by expanding the world that the first film established. Two fairly well-known people from very different walks of life made small but memorable cameos. One of the best boxers to have ever been the ring played Captain Ballard - Roy Jones, Jr. Councilor West was played by himself, the famed academic and social commentator, Cornel West.
2 The Burly Brawl
In one of the movie's perfect mixes of philosophy and action, Smith interrupts Neo and the Oracle to not only show off his new skill but to take Neo out. The sequence is commonly known to fans as The Burly Brawl, Neo versus dozens and dozens of Smiths. The sequence is one of the centerpieces of the entire trilogy, much less the movie.
It’s filled with several different tidbits ranging from the plethora of actors and stunt workers they hired based on their resemblance to Hugo Weaving, other than digitally altering their faces, most of the action on-screen is real (except for several total CGI scenes). Also, some of the sound effects are a little wonky for a computer program designed to create realism - the Smiths getting bowled into each other literally sound like bowling pins.
1 Tearing Down Beliefs
For all of the philosophical mumbo-jumbo about what reality was in The Matrix, it was still a fairly straight forward film filled with action and those aforementioned ideas. The Matrix Reloaded subverts all of them to move forward in the discussion. This time, the philosophy is based around purpose, cause and effect, and understanding why we make the choices that we make. It’s pretty heady stuff for a tent pole summer blockbuster, but it’s one that the Wachowskis were able to pull off perfectly. Rewatch it if you don’t agree, (just move past the 4 minutes of dancing).