What many people forget when comparing The Matrix to its own sequels (or the Star Wars prequels, or any other maligned sci-fi epic) is that this 1999 original has bad dialogue too. In fact, search the entire trilogy for a line more cringe-inducing than "Buckle up, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye," spoken by poor, wonderful Joe Pantoliano. I don't care how silly you think it is when Neo (Keanu Reeves) calls Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) "Trin" in Revolutions -- Wizard of Oz references "updated" into snarky baby-talk are worse. Series masterminds the Wachowski Brothers, like George Lucas, are aces with yarns and anything but light-fingered as writers.
Some of the grumpier nerds also love to point out that The Matrix rips off a bunch of anime; I usually can't care less about anime, but I would point out that its story has a lot in common with Dark City, which came out over a year earlier.
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