In the scene in the first Matrix movie where Neo is operating a Gatling gun firing at the agents through a window, they return fire. Since the agents are pure code in the Matrix and they know Neo's exact location down to the XYZ coordinates, why can't Agent Smith hit him? Neo isn't moving at all, he's just behind the gun - not pulling any of those sick bullet dodging moves.

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    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for at least one of your questions. Thanks!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 15:15
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    See Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, and more generally: A-Team Firing Commented May 8, 2017 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


For the record, Smith does manage to get off a shot at him, but misses by a few inches, well within the normal range of movement for a hovering helicopter. A few seconds later he's pelted with bullets and 'dies'.

As to the question of why Agents don't have perfect aim, that's largely explained by Morpheus' speech about their skills being rooted in a "world based on rules", one of which is evidently that Agents might well be superhuman, but they're not infallible.

The Screenplay describes the scene thusly, note the extreme confusion caused by the hailstorm of bullets, water and broken glass.

But Neo is too close, the .50 caliber too fast and bullets are everywhere, perforating the room.

Agent Jones is hit first, his body jack-knifing back, blood arcing out with a sudden flash of light--

Then Agent Brown, his gun still firing as his body falls. And finally Agent Smith.

Neo stares at Morpheus, trying to will him into action.

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    ah forgot about the "rules" part ;) thanks, that actually clears up some other questions i had.
    – Alex
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 15:31
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    @Alex And even if they could bend the rules further, that still doesn't make them able to execute anything they wish at any time - they still have to deal with time constraints and other resources (e.g. computing time). Matrix-time seems to be synchronised with real-time, so they can't just pause the simulation to prepare their response. And before they changed to the final script (where people are used as batteries, ugh), the humans were actually the computers running the simulation (and other computing work) - the machines didn't have full control over everything.
    – Luaan
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 23:59
  • I had forgotten about the "rules" part, too. Good question, with a good answer :)
    – Steve-O
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 3:08
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    @Luann - I've read all three versions of the original scripts and both drafts available for the next two and there's nothing about the humans being used as memory for the matrix. Are you getting confused with "Goliath" by Neil Gaiman from the Matrix comics #1 book?
    – Valorum
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 7:36
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    @Valorum If memory serves, the idea didn't make it into a script. It was in an interview with the Wachowskis that they talked about the original idea of having the humans be computers.
    – user54588
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 9:20

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