The Matrix opens with a shot of a computer screen, indicating that a phone call is being traced, as we overhear the voices on the phone line discussing whether they have found “the One.” Policemen enter a motel room and confront one of the parties to the phone call: Trinity, a leather-clad, renegade computer hacker. Trinity dispatches them all with gravity-defying kung-fu moves. Reinforcements arrive in the form of Agents, men in business suits with ear radios and sunglasses, who commandeer the scene and try to capture Trinity. They pursue Trinity through a nameless city, and both the Agents and Trinity reveal themselves to be more than human. They sprint over abandoned rooftops and leap over city blocks, and Trinity dives through a window across streets. The chase ends inside a phone booth on a secluded street. Trinity answers a ringing phone and disappears. The Agents remark on her mysterious disappearance and discuss the next target, Neo. Next, a garbage truck, driven by an Agent, destroys the booth.
We next see Keanu Reeve’s character asleep at his computer desk. He wakes up to messages flashing across his computer screen. The messages, from an unknown source, call him by his hacker name, Neo. Neo sells illegal software, and just before a client knocks on Neo’s door, Neo receives a message on the screen saying “Follow the white rabbit” followed by “Knock, knock, Neo.” Delivering his goods to the client, a confused Neo notices a tattooed rabbit on the shoulder of the client’s girlfriend, and so, heeding the message, he follows them to a techno Goth club. There, Trinity approaches Neo. Neo doesn’t know who she is, but Trinity explains that she knows all about him. She knows he’s searching for something called the Matrix and that he’s suspicious of what it is. Abruptly, the club scene gives way to a ringing alarm clock. Neo wakes with a start, back in his own bed. He’s late for work.
At work, Neo’s boss reprimands him and reveals some vital information—Neo’s real name is Mr. Anderson, and he’s a successful computer programmer. A cell phone is delivered by FedEx to Neo’s cubicle and rings immediately. On the line, a deep-voiced man identifies himself as Morpheus. Morpheus tells Neo that Agents are after him and, directing him by cell phone, helps him navigate through the labyrinth of cubicles in his office and escape to a ledge outside the building. Neo doesn’t have the courage to walk across the ledge to some nearby scaffolding, and Agents capture him, then take him for interrogation. Neo demands his rights from the creepy lead Agent, Smith, who renders Neo mute by magically sealing over his mouth so that it nearly disappears. Agents hold Neo down and forcefully insert a metallic insectlike device into his stomach.
Neo jolts awake at home. Soon after, he receives a phone call from Morpheus, who explains his belief that Neo is “the One”he’s been searching for all his life. Morpheus and Neo arrange a meeting. Trinity, along with two other renegades named Switch and Apoc, pick Neo up under a bridge on a stormy night. Unsure of what’s happening, Neo decides he wants to get out of the car, but Trinity calmly empathizes with his confusion and his desire to know more, so he stays. Trinity then removes the bloody, wriggling, mechanical “bug”from Neo’s stomach with a terrifying spike and tube instrument, and Neo is shocked to realize that the episode with Agent Smith actually happened.
In an old room in an abandoned building, Neo finally meets Morpheus. Morpheus tells Neo that Neo has always been a slave and offers to reveal the Matrix to him. Morpheus presents two pills, red and blue. If Neo selects the blue pill, he’ll wake up again at home and remember nothing. If he selects the red pill, Morpheus will allow him to see the truth. When Neo chooses the red pill, a mirror near him liquefies. When he touches it, its mercury-like substance oozes over him, threatening to envelop him. His world dissolves in front of him,…