John and Jane Smith, played by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are two sexy master assassins who have been married for years but have somehow managed to remain completely oblivious to each other's status as world-class killers, in one of the most improbable strokes of storytelling convenience in cinematic history. Their respective employers find out about this staggeringly huge oversight and decide to hatch a joint plan to send the two after the same target, knowing they'll be forced to kill each other in the process and save both firms a ton of embarrassing paperwork.
The true bane of any secret agency.
John and Jane try to do the spousal elimination dance several times, resulting in the most glorified display of domestic violence ever photographed. However, they ultimately decide not to kill each other, because they've been married for like 10 years and are actually pretty happy with that arrangement. Instead, John and Jane team up to take on their respective firms in a massive final shootout at a ritzy department store, because that's where attractive people do things.
"I figured our natural habitat would be more easily defensible."
Let's say you have two of the best professional killers in the world. Let's go even further and say that the two of them are a married couple who, by all accounts, genuinely care for one another. If you were trying to rub them both out, they've made it easy for you, right? They live in the same place -- just poison their tap water or hurl a microbus at their house with a trebuchet. Boom, problem solved.
What you should absolutely never do, under any circumstance, is try to get them to kill each other.
Especially if they both look great in their underpants.
Sure, it might work. It might turn out that one (or both) of the Smiths is a cold-hearted hate machine who only married for the sake of a good cover. But that's a pretty big risk to take on "might," and what's absolutely mind blowing is the fact that the firms seem to realize this. They essentially force John and Jane into this situation with the constant reminder that if neither one kills the other, both of their lives will be forfeit. The firms are deliberately pushing Mr. and Mrs. Smith further and further into a corner they'll be forced to fight their way out of in the most bullet-acious way imaginable. If their ultimate plan is the death of John and Jane, why bother with all of this nonsense in the first place? Just put a hydrogen bomb in their mailbox and be done with it.
Whether or not you still love The Matrix may depend on whether you believe that movies can be retroactively ruined by atrocious sequels. Humans in the future are slaves to robot overlords and kept docile by an Internet dreamland called the Matrix that imprisons their minds so their bodies can be used for fuel. Some people have escaped, and they can hop in and out of the Matrix at will through telephone lines, because this movie was made in 1999. All of it is one complex excuse to have actors do awesome zero-gravity kung fu on each other while wearing sunglasses and trench coats.
Because we so needed an excuse.
In the climax, heroes Trinity and Neo have rescued their leader, Morpheus, from the villainous clutches of Hugo Weaving and have safely gotten him out of the Matrix. All they have to do now is answer a ringing telephone and they will be teleported to safety as well. Sure, the robot agents of destruction are hot on their trail, but they've practically already won. They're literally right next to the phone, and we repeat, with all of the emphasis in the world, that their salvation lies in merely lifting it from the cradle.
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"Ew, what's up with that ring tone?"
Trinity picks this moment to say, "Neo, I want to tell you something," and proceeds to awkwardly wrestle with the words "I love you" before deigning to answer the phone.
We understand that at this point of the movie it has been an emotional day of personal discovery for all of the characters. But perhaps inches from safety after being locked in a reality-bending bullet fest with murderous super-bots that are still executing their "bloodthirsty pursuit" programming isn't the time to talk about goddamned feelings.
A quick fondle at most, then it's time to leave.
This is a precise transcript of Neo and Trinity's conversation:
TRINITY: Neo, I want to tell you something ... but I'm afraid of what it could mean if I do.
TRINITY: Everything the Oracle told me has come true.
TRINITY: Everything but this.
NEO: But what?
NEO and TRINITY give each other DRAMATIC LOOKS
[Phone is STILL RINGING]
A HOMELESS GUY turns into A KILLER ROBOT
[Phone RINGS YET AGAIN]
TRINITY picks up the phone
"Pizza Hut? The hell ...?"
The life-saving telephone rings six goddamned times and Trinity doesn't even get around to making her point. We understand that it's tough to tell someone you love them, but for the love of Robot Buddha, you are right now being chased by killer machines that are actively mutating hobos in their war to destroy you while the telephone of live-saving escape is screaming urgently into your face. A better (nay, perfect) time for this stumbling exchange would be after you've answered the phone and are back on your robot-free spaceship. Then Trinity could take Neo aside and spend half an hour Hugh Granting her way through a stuttering romantic speech without the threat of cold mechanical slaughter looming directly over their shoulders.
J.F. Sargent is a workshop moderator for Cracked and takes huge risks all the time on his Twitter and Stupid Blog. Patrick is an aspiring author masquerading as an engineer. You can make fun of him on Twitter @PTatGT or send him hate mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more movie decisions that have us confused, check out 6 Heroic Movie Deaths That Could Have Been Easily Avoided and The 5 Most Easily Avoidable Movie Deaths.