Before I begin, first let me tell you there will be some spoilers ahead for Dark City and The Matrix. Most of us have seen, or at least heard of, the movie The Matrix. But one movie that might not be as familiar to you is Dark City.The reason for that is when Dark City was first released it was not as popular since it was mislabeled as a teen horror movie, when in fact it is a sci-fi noir (or technoir as some call it) that does more than just make the time pass like a teen horror movie.
The reason why I bring up The Matrix and Dark City is because they are so similar that the Wachowski brothers must have watched this movie and taken notes before writing The Matrix.
In this article I’m going to show you these similarities so I can answer the question, what is the matrix?
The first element of Dark City, which was “borrowed”, is the antagonists. The antagonists are human-like aliens that are studying our kind so they can be more like us. These alien beings, with names like Mr. Hand, Mr. Book and Mr. Wall, are similar to the antagonists or the agents (the lead named Mr. Smith) in The Matrix.
This is so because of their names, but they also have powers that enable them to fly (Neo could fly in the first and second Matrix movie, not the agents) and control the city using “the machines”. That is another element explained later.
The protagonist, John Murdoch, gains the power of the aliens, ala Neo. John is the one person who can stop the creatures and Dr. Daniel P. Schreber is the only person who can teach him (i.e. Morpheus). The Matrix is so similar to Dark City that they both even have a scene were Dr. Daniel P. Schreber calls John to tell him that there are people after him.
It’s not exactly like in the Matrix, Neo was called on a cell phone delivered by a FedEx deliveryman, but it’s still the teacher guiding the one person who can save everyone.
Another similarity is that machines are in control in Dark City. In the Matrix the machines give power to our bodies and take power from us so we can live our lives in the matrix.
The city in Dark City is like the matrix, it’s not the real world it’s a world where the humans serve the creatures and the machines.
John becomes one with the telekinetic powers and is able to control the machines and kill the agents, I mean the alien creatures.
There may not be so many similarities that the Wachowski brothers are liable for copyright infringement, I just feel it is important that people realize there was a movie made before The Matrix, and it’s not better than The Matrix, but it just goes to show that the idea was possibly taken and inspired from, Dark City. Or, it just goes to say great minds think alike.
In my opinion the Wachowski brothers should have given Dark City some kind of recognition in The Matrix, even if it was a Dark City movie poster in the background. That would have been pretty cool.
If you’re a fan of The Matrix then go check out Dark City, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a fan of Dark City and saw The Matrix then ask yourself, which did you like better?
So what is the matrix? It’s Dark City.