Proving The Matrix “Dodge This” Scene is Wrong, with Math
To say that the third Matrix movie was disappointing is an understatement so massive other statements get sucked into its immense and understated gravity. And here at Gunaxin, we hated it just as much as everyone else, nay more so, because we hated it so much we sat down with a pen and paper to work out why the “dodge this” scene was stupid… with math! Because math rocks.
In the first and perhaps only Matrix movie, Neo and Trinity gleefully slaughter two dozen SWAT officers with bitchin’ gun play and an almost unnecessary amount of neck slaps.
After the last officer comes down with an unfortunate case of knife stuck in face disorder, an Agent takes over a nearby helicopter pilot to finish the job loads of heavily armed men couldn’t. What follows is one of the most iconic scenes in recent cinema history.
While Neo is reenacting the solo version of the Kama Sutra, Trinity sneaks up behind the Agent, coolly says, “Dodge this,” and shoots him in his stupid face before he can react. But here’s the thing: the Agent should have been able to dodge Trinity’s shot, and here’s the math to prove it.
In that scene, Neo is using a Beretta 92FS which has a noted bullet velocity of 1250 ft per second. To stay on the safe side, let’s say the Agent is standing 50 feet away from Neo.
In that scenario, it would take about 0.04 seconds for Neo’s bullets to reach the agent. This sets the standard Agent’s reactions times at around 0.04 seconds. Now, Trinity is holding a Beretta 84FS Cheetah which has a noted bullet velocity of around 1000 ft per second, and makes cheetah noises every time you pull the trigger, probably.
Taking into account the size of Trinity’s gun, it would take 0.004 seconds for the bullet to reach the end of the barrel, which you may notice is 10 times faster than the agent can realistically react. But she didn’t shoot straight away, she just had to give that smart ass one-liner to really rub it in. So let’s take that into account. In this video we see that Trinity quite conveniently puts her gun to the side of the Agent’s head at the 1:00 mark.
And doesn’t pull the trigger until a full 2 seconds later.
The Agent is fully aware that Trinity is pointing the gun at his head. Even if you say he didn’t feel it being pressed to his temple, he certainly heard Trinity speak. By our calculations the Agent had 50 times more time than he needed to dodge Neo’s bullets.
Considering that we see that same agent move his entire upper body to dodge those bullets, it’s safe to say that in 2 seconds he could have moved his head out of the way. Sure Neo may have proven he can move as fast as an Agent, but Trinity didn’t. After the Agent is nursing his new head wound, Trinity even says, “You move like they do. I’ve never seen anyone move that fast” right to Neo’s face. Which pretty much cements that Trinity couldn’t do the same thing in the same situation.
So why doesn’t the Agent do something? Anything instead of just standing there like a complete lemon while Trinity calmly explains exactly what she’s going to do. He could have punched clean through her chest before she even finished speaking — we’re not exaggerating here. The first thing Morpheus ever says about Agents is that he once saw one punch through fucking concrete. We’re all for strong female role models, but there’s no way Trinity has a chest harder than concrete.
Even if you say that Trinity would have pulled the trigger on reaction if the Agent moved, what did he have to lose? He can’t die. Also, the fastest recorded reaction times are close to one tenth of a second; even if Trinity had a reaction time of half that, the agent would’ve still come out on top. Because he’s the one wearing the cool suit.
So technically, the first Matrix movie should have really ended with an Agent tearing off Trinity’s arm and beating Neo to death with it as Morpheus was slowly tortured to death by Agent Smith. And the worst part is, that’s still a more satisfying ending than the third movie.