At the end of the movie Neo jumps into Smith and blows him up. Is there a reason he chooses this method to kill him?

  • 2
    The previous answers are great. I would only add that Smith had to die in a spectacular way for the other two agents to be scared enough to run away.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 2:57
  • 25
    He didn't jump in. That's just how your mind presented the impulses to your awareness. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 8:54

6 Answers 6


The scene was a rather neat way for the Wachowskis to visually represent Neo's transformation into a Hacker of the Matrix.

Upon his rebirth, he perceives the programming language that creates the Matrix 'reality' directly, including the Agents. When he enters Smith and destroys him from the inside, the act evokes the real-life techniques of advanced hacking, in which the programmer manipulates the underlying code, rather than the 'surface' interface that simple users see.

  • 24
    I would make two notes here. First, Neo tried to destroy Smith from the inside. Clearly it did not work the way Neo intended, evidence being Smith was not actually destroyed but altered instead. Second, Neo knew that physically fighting and "killing" an agent would not actually accomplish anything. The subway train killed Smith but he just came back. Clearly a radically different tactic is needed to kill an agent. The same thing is applicable at the end of the third movie: only once he stops physically fighting Smith can he be truly killed. Regardless, great answer!
    – user31563
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:26
  • 1
    Excellent answer and great additions @Snowman. I was thinking the death had to be something different (as mentioned in the comment) but Neo "hacking" his code is a great explanation!
    – kjw
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 18:49
  • 7
    @Snowman They made a second and third movie?
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 10:56
  • 3
    @Robotnik They made a first movie?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 14:31
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    what's the source of this interpretation?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 14:31

Neo jumping into Agent Smith is a reflection of how the Agents override the humans in the Matrix.

At various points in the movie, you can see the Agents both exit and enter humans - it's a representation of how they are overriding the human.

Similarly, Neo is rewriting Agent Smith's source code - he is inserting himself into Smith the same way that the Agents insert themselves into the other humans.

  • @N_Soong - thanks for fixing the video link - one of these days, I'll figure it out for myself ;)
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 2:04
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    No worries; I think you just need to make sure it's on a separate line and remove the 's' from 'https' - that normally works for me ;) Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 2:04
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    "he is inserting himself into Smith the same way that the Agents insert themselves into the other humans" oh god no...
    – Petersaber
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 9:26
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    "Video is blocked in your country due to copyright BS" Duh... :-(
    – Konamiman
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:24
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    any (preferably primary) reference to base the interpretation on?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 14:34

Jumping into him was like editing his source code. Since he is a program, he couldn't be killed in a traditional sense. So he was deleted.

  • * altered. Obviously not deleted. Deletion would not be a solution, because he could be restored from a backup.
    – mg30rg
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:43
  • That's true. I wrote this right before bed. Now I regret it. Lol Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 11:54
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    @mg30rg: Well, an altered program could be restored to original state from backup as well. Then again, looking at the Matrix universe from a software engineering standpoint does only gives you headaches anyway. So don't try to push that metaphor, it'll probably shove back. ;-)
    – DevSolar
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:31
  • @DevSolar - Well, look at it this way: If my computer has no firewall software installed, both Windows and most browsers will notify me about it and if I don't actively forbid it Windows firewall gets installed. On the other hand, if my firewall gets compromised and does not perform as a firewall anymore, it could still be detected and the change remains unnoticed. (I'm a professional SW architect in the ITsec business. :v I simply can not leave the SW-engineering standpoint behind.)
    – mg30rg
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:56
  • what's the connection between being a program and couldn't be killed?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 14:32

Is there a reason he chooses this method to kill him?

Yes, Neo failed to 'conventionally' kill Agents because machines tend to be back.

It will be back

Neo tries something new.


  • 1
    Complete lack of supposition; plus one.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 1:22

I don't know what all these other answers are about. As a gamer, it looked to me like a routine "spawn-kill" from an old FPS game, where two people would spawn on the same spot, or one person would spawn on the same spot where somebody else is already standing.

The game physics can't compensate for two objects being in the same physical space, so it immediately terminates one of them. In a game, this is where the ragdoll physics are applied to the killed object/person and it is pushed away or falls down. In the matrix, Agent Smith exploded. Obviously it took a little longer in the movie for dramatic effect. It looked like Neo turned himself into liquid, then after the explosion it seemed like he had pushed outward from inside Smith, bending space itself.

I believe he chose this method because it completely undermined the laws of physics in a world that is based on simulating reality - the other agents would know there is nothing they can do against this kind of threat.

  • could you name some old FPS games that you had in mind?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 14:33
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    @naxa CounterStrike (before Source Engine) and the original Unreal Tournament. Newer versions of Unreal Tournament had a gun that had an alternative firing mode that launched a teleporter hockey puck thing that, when it settles on a hard surface, teleports you to it. If you teleport into someone in this way, they get instagibbed :D
    – vahanpwns
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 20:47
  • Continuity problem: The Matrix was (supposedly) released in March 31, 1999; Counter-Strike (supposedly) June 19, 1999; UT (supposedly) November 30, 1999. Unless the creators were involved in each others' work, the scene couldn't be inspired by these video games. Rather, these games could have been inspired by the movie, chronologically speaking. However other, earlier games could still be sources of inspiration for the scene. Do you know any?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 6:23
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    To make a late addition, @n611x007 AFAIK this dates back to multiplayer DOOM, where you would "telefrag" another player if you took a teleporter to the same location they were at.
    – abathur
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 15:40
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    @abathur Quake was released on June 22, 1996 and had a similar "Telefrag" mechanic. Source: quake.wikia.com/wiki/Telefrag
    – vahanpwns
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 20:47

Neo did not Hack Agent Smith, he merged with Agent Smith and in doing so allowed his code to merge with Agent Smiths. The moment he does that the Machines (which Neo is plugged into) can then rewrite the entire Matrix deleting agent Smith, Rebooting the Matrix and allowing a refresh of the system

It isnt Neo that destroys Smith it is the Machines that do that.

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