'The Matrix' Fans Are Only Just Noticing This Very Obvious Mistake in the Movie

Film fans are only just noticing a very obvious mistake that made it past the editing process in the cult classic, The Matrix.

The first movie in the franchise, released in 1999, stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, alongside Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne, and Trinity, portrayed by Carrie-Anne Moss.

The plot tells the story of computer programmer Thomas Anderson, aka Neo, who discovers he is living in a virtual simulated reality, known as the Matrix. He eventually awakens in the real world, which is a dystopian future where robots rule the barren landscape and humans are their slaves.

Neo battles the Matrix, led by Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving, a personified AI program designed to keep order within the systems.

Both sides carry an impressive arsenal of weapons, with all the agents packing Desert Eagles, while Glocks, Berettas and even machine guns feature in the fight scenes.

And while hundreds of bullets fly during the two hour, 16 minute long blockbuster, needless to say the actors weren't shooting live rounds at each other. Instead blanks were used as ammunition, and there is one scene where they can clearly be seen.

Movie buff Glt23 spotted the error and shared a snap on Reddit on Thursday, captioned: "In The Matrix (1999) you can see a full blank coming out of the pistol as Neo is shot the second time."

They added: "I've seen this movie many times and [it's the] first time I had caught this."

The scene he's referring to comes near the end of the movie, when Agent Smith believes he's finally killed Neo, before he is resurrected and embraces his destiny as The One.

The clip shows Smith firing his Desert Eagle twice initially, with slow-motion footage of the first bullet casing falling to the floor. He shoots Neo again in the chest, with the camera angle now above the gun as it's fired, seeing the casing being ejected.

But both shells are clearly identifiable as blanks, owing to the tell-tale crimping around the end.

The error was also noted by website IMFD (Internet Movie Firearm Database), which shared a grab from the same scene, saying: "Here we see the Desert Eagle cycling through crimped blank cartridges."

Numerous people commented on the Reddit post, making jokes about Neo's power, while others sought to explain the mechanism used.

Otheraccountisabmw quipped: "Neo actually turned the bullets to blanks."

Fan Half-giant wrote: "I've watched this movie a million times and never made that connection. Wow. Thanks for pointing it out!"

Seemingly pointing out a similar error in another scene, Mdh1776 noted: "The brass falling from the mini gun in the helicopter is the same, all crimped blanks."

Lanreix reckoned: "I mean to be fair, they probably never expected that there would be a release with high enough quality for it to matter (i.e. If you paused a DVD at that time would you even be able to determine that the cartridge is a blank)."

And sharing the most comprehensive explanation for those unfamiliar with guns, Easyhopper wrote; "It's worded kind of weirdly, but basically a real cartridge (what people call bullets) consists of two parts: the shell, a brass cylinder which holds gun powder, and then the bullet, a small metal 'pellet' on the end of the shell. When fired, the gun powder within the shell detonates and the bullet is fired through the barrel of the gun meanwhile the shell—which is now empty—is ejected from the top of the gun (it's the thing you always hear in movies when a gun is fired that sounds like a coin dropping on the ground).

Movie poster for The Matrix
A movie poster for the original 1999 film The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves. Film fans have been discussing an error they spotted in the film. Warner Bros.

"Blanks are 'prop cartridges'. Used for movies, plays, and other live performances. They are basically just shells without the bullet. To keep the gunpowder in, they are 'crinkled' at the end where the bullet would usually be attached. This way when you fire the gun there is still an explosion and a sound and you see something pop out of the top of the gun where the shell is always ejected, but there is no bullet flying through the barrel and being extremely dangerous.

"NOTE: Blanks can still be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Long story short, whereas a real cartridge is essentially split into two parts when fired — the shell (that holds the gunpowder) and the bullet (which is dangerous) — a blank cartridge is just the shell, just one piece. So when it's ejected, it's the "full blank" cartridge. You'd never see a "full cartridge" from real ammunition be ejected from the top of the gun, because with real ammunition the bullet is launched by the exploding gun powder through the barrel.

"Anyways, this distinction never really matters in most movies, because you barely see the ejected shells. But The Matrix's use of super slow motion puts them front and center. The only way to get accurate looking shells being ejected would be to either use live ammunition for these close up insert shots, or to use CGI."

The original film won a host of accolades, including Academy and Bafta awards. It was followed by two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003. A fourth film is currently in the works, and is scheduled for release later this year.

Screenshot from movie The Matrix.
A screenshot from movie The Matrix, released in 1999. Movie buffs have just noticed a glaring error in the film. Ronald Siemoneit/Getty Images