Most sci-fi movies rely more on their intelligent concepts than action sequences, but The Matrix films make good use of both. Over the years, fans and critics have praised the cyberpunk franchise for its use of “bullet time” visual effects and the various martial arts techniques in its fight scenes, such as Wire Fu, Bojutsu, and Wing Chun.
Most of the fights revolving around the agents and members of the rebellion are very memorable. However, a few have stuck with audiences thanks to their intensity, creativity, and stakes. With flawless choreography, high stakes, and impeccable visuals, the Matrix franchise boasts some incredible fight scenes.
10 Trinity Vs Police Officers (The Matrix)
Early in The Matrix, Trinity shows her strength and power when she takes on several opponents all by herself. The fight starts with a cliché cop ambush at a dingy motel room, but Trinity entertains audiences by unleashing a flurry of punches and kicks on officers who are trying to arrest her.
The fight is brief and precise, but it has several standout moments. Trinity launches her body and executes a midair kick to a lawman’s chest, all in slow motion. The scene serves as a perfect introduction to the character and prepares audiences for more impeccable action sequences.
9 Neo Vs New Smith (The Matrix Resurrections)
In The Matrix Resurrections, there is a new agent Smith portrayed by Jonathan Groff. While fans will always love Hugo Weaving’s original villain, the new version turns out to be an equally great combatant.
The fight happens after exiled programs attack Neo and his fellow Mnemosyne crew members. It’s an incredibly intense affair because both characters adopt a brutish approach. There is less reliance on visual effects as they throw whatever they have in an attempt to beat each other to submission. In the end, Neo comes out on top.
8 Neo Vs Smith Copies (The Matrix Reloaded)
For Neo, the “Smith problem” never goes away. In The Matrix Reloaded, he has to fight several copies of the villain after an evil program replicates Smith. The sequence takes on the antivirus versus malware formula, with Neo being forced to take down every single copy before more of them get created.
Neo’s tenacity shines during his fight with the Smith clones. Even though the clones outnumber him, Neo still pulls enough one-man-army moves to escape them. In classic Matrix fashion, the fight is full of gravity-defying stunts. Neo frequently hits every clone in one fell swoop, and these techniques enable Neo to deal with the lack of space on the ground and escape.
7 Neo Vs Bane/Smith (The Matrix Revolutions)
Many fights in the Matrix movies don’t add any new information to the plot, but Neo’s unpredictable contest with a Smith-possessed Bane in The Matrix Revolutions gives him some vital information. During their fight, Smith cauterizes Neo’s eyes, blinding him in the process. Neo has never suffered this type of bodily harm before, and it almost spells doom for him.
However, The Matrix Revolutions soon reveals that, as The One, Neo has “Source Vision” and is still able to see Smith’s golden auras. The contest ends with Neo striking the Caduceus crew member in the head with a pipe and killing him, disconnecting Smith from his body.
6 Neo Vs Seraph (The Matrix Reloaded)
Seraph never hesitates to challenge anyone who seeks to meet Oracle. As such, he’s quick to take on Neo in The Matrix Reloaded to prove if Neo is The One, and the fight turns out to be the ultimate show of might and skill.
Neo and Seraph’s abrupt clash is fascinating because it isn’t triggered by any form of malice. Seraph is simply doing his job as a bodyguard, and Neo understands the necessity of the situation, so he is glad to participate. The fight is a brief skirmish that proves both characters’ abilities. Once it’s over, Neo can get to the much more important task of speaking to Oracle.
5 Morpheus Vs Agent Smith (The Matrix)
In The Matrix, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus takes on Smith. After Cypher betrays the team, the selfless and courageous Zion operative buys the others time by confronting the villain, resulting in a brutal showdown.
During The Matrix’s second act, Morpheus fights with Agent Smith, and their brawl shows just how good Smith is. He weakens Morpheus through a combination of accurate punches and kicks. What’s more chilling is how he manages to have a smile on his face while doing so. The fight is so one-sided that audiences take Smith more seriously from there on.
4 Neo Vs Morpheus (The Matrix)
Scenes where a student takes on a mentor in training are common in action movies, but that doesn’t make Neo’s fight with Morpheus in The Matrix any less interesting. At this point, Neo is still confused as he has just learned that he can acquire information by having it uploaded to his brain. As such, he isn’t quite sure whether he is in the real world or not.
Thankfully, Morpheus does a great job of guiding him. He demonstrates a great deal of care and concern while also making sure Neo doesn’t hold himself back. Thanks to Morpheus’s quotes like, “stop trying to hit me and hit me,” the energy of the Kung-fu-themed fight increases. After this tense session, Neo comes out as a much better fighter.
3 Neo Vs Smith (The Matrix Revolutions)
Fighting in the rain can be quite challenging due to blurred vision and slippery surfaces, but Neo and Smith make good use of their wet playground in The Matrix Revolutions. This time, Neo’s emotions give him strength. He has just lost Trinity and nothing else in life makes sense, so he’s prepared to go all out.
The grapple—which occurs inside the Matrix as the Machines cause havoc in the real world—is well-choreographed as both characters start on an even playing field. The use of slow motion also makes every hit impossible to miss, and the inclusion of Neo and Smith replicas makes the fight even more visually stunning.
2 Neo Vs The Merovingian’s Goons (The Matrix Reloaded)
The Matrix Reloaded’s plot might be a little weak, but the action setpieces are just as impressive as its predecessors. One of the best fights occurs at The Chateau where the Merovingian’s vampire-like goons attack Neo with all kinds of weapons, ranging from Japanese sai to broadswords. The choice of weapons changes because of the iconic scene where Neo stops hundreds of bullets at once.
Interestingly, the goons manage to draw blood. Still, Neo is able to hold them off for minutes, and while at it, Morpheus and Trinity do their best to protect the highly sought-after The Keymaker.
1 Neo Vs Agent Smith (The Matrix)
The highly-anticipated duel between Neo and Agent Smith in The Matrix finally happens in a subway station. Everything about the sequence is impressive, from the score to the pacing and dialogue.
Neo and Agent Smith’s fight is entertaining because Neo fully embraces his skills and is more confident. The characters initially use guns before deciding to settle their feud with fisticuffs, but the fight is so brutal that Smith’s iconic shades even break. The sound of the approaching train causes the tension levels to rise, and, eventually, Smith gets caught on the rails.
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