The Matrix may be best remembered for gunplay, existentialism and terrible sequels, but the first movie’s finale came down to the one on one battle between Neo and Agent Smith. Neo represented the hopes of all mankind, and whilst Agent Smith represented the oppressive machines, the fight was as much about Neo’s personal battle with self-belief. Neo faces Smith, the previously unbeatable ‘agent’, but as they battle in the subway, Neo begins to beat Smith back, and realises that maybe, just maybe, he can win.
The tightly choreographed, visually impressive fight has now aged somewhat, but is still thrilling. When Neo gets the upper hand, it’s impossible not to feel a thrill of triumph. Neo’s victory appears hollow, but later on he realises his true potential, and he owes this triumph to the self-confidence he gains from his initial success in The Matrix’s iconic subway battle.
A Fighting Man in out on DVD Monday the 9th of June.