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The Matrix Scene That Went Too Far

To say that 1999's "The Matrix" was a game changer in the cinematic landscape is a massive understatement. The film follows Neo (Keanu Reeves), a mild-mannered cog in the machine of daily life and work who is awoken to the fact that the reality he lives in is not what it seems and that a secret war is brewing just underneath the surface.

Not only did "The Matrix" perfectly tap into the technophobia of the late 1990s, but it also spoke to an entire generation of people who felt like they didn't fit in, just like Neo. Its blending of high-concept science fiction and crypto-religious allegory is something that had never really been done that successfully, if indeed at all. "The Matrix" brilliantly acts as a wholly satisfying action film yet goes deep down a rabbit hole of philosophical metatext, with co-director Lilly Wachowski going so far as to call it a "trans metaphor" (via the BBC). Of course, who could forget the then-groundbreaking "bullet time" effect that seemed to be the subject of countless parodies?

With the 2021 film "The Matrix Resurrections" sparking renewed interest in the original "Matrix," one scene seemed to have gone too far by today's standards.

The bug extraction scene

"The Matrix" was certainly ahead of its time in terms of cutting-edge special effects and a more thoughtful exploration of sci-fi action. But it could be a little stomach-turning at times as well (for example, when Neo is reborn in a pod of pink goo). However, there's one scene that may have been too much for some viewers. 

In a memorable moment, Neo is summoned by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Switch (Belinda McClory), and Apoc (Julian Arahanga) to meet under a bridge, the reasons for which being very mysterious until we learn that Neo has something "living" inside him. In a scene that had us all squirming in our collective seats, a device is used to violently extract what we later learn is an implanted bug. It's a credit to the film's brilliant pacing, special effects, and acting that makes this an engaging yet completely disgusting moment.