With its mind-bending cyberpunk storyline, slick black-leather styles and revolutionary ‘bullet-time’ action sequences, the Matrix franchise remains one of the most well-known film trilogies of all time.
But what would happen if instead of the deadpan and chiseled Keanu Reeves, the film’s protagonist was embodied by one of our very own?
Here’s some ideas.
1. He wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he’s ‘The One’
While Reeves’s Neo finds it hard to process that he’s humanity’s last hope in the war against our new cybernetic overlords, his Maltese counterpart would have no such problem. Like most Maltese men he’s a mama’s boy, and he’s had it drummed into him that he’s The One from… well, day one.
2. The leather would both thrill and repulse him
Tight black leather is the uniform of choice for our team, which would present our Neo with a bit of a conundrum. One the one hand, he realizes that he’s now stuck with a bunch of Industrial Goths who wouldn’t know Tiesto from Tiga. On the other hand, it means he now has a handy supply of Paceville gear he could easily swap around with his girlfriend. However…
3. He would be intimidated by his new colleagues
Svelte, sculpted keyboard warriors who happen to be good at parkour… Our own Neo will soon find himself regretting that regular Maxims diet (and that one time he paid a visit to Fredy’s Diner) and for choosing the ever-trendy Crossfit over an ancient martial art. And also because…
4. He would ask the Oracle for more than just one cookie
When the Oracle offers Neo some cookies at the end of their first, fateful meeting, it makes for a sweet surprise. But this is not the kind of meeting with an elderly lady he’s used to. Malta-Neo would expect a buffet of delicious, fattening stuff… or at least some warmed-up imqarrun. Instead of enlightening him about his destiny with thought-provoking riddles, the Oracle will just leave him confused. Just as he’d be confused about the fact that…
5. His boss is an “orrajt black man”
Not one to indulge in political correctness or even worry about basic social tact, our Neo would find no qualms in describing the team’s leader, Morpheus, in such terms to his friends back home: “Vera iswed, imma jinqala’ ta, miskin…” (‘He may be black, but he works really hard, poor guy’). And speaking of Morpheus…
6. He would want both pills
The red pill/blue pill scene marks a pivotal moment in the first chapter of The Matrix: signifying the hesitation between choosing to either confront the stark realities of life or to retreat back into blissful ignorance.
But on being offered both pills for free, our protagonist is likely to blurt something like: “U ejja man, ma nistax nehodhom it-tnejn?!” (‘Come on, can’t I have both pills?!’)
7. He would have ‘views’ on Agent Smith
Half way through the trilogy, it is revealed that the villainous Agent Smith does not really represent the Matrix as a whole. He was just a rotten egg mucking things up for the otherwise ideologically-neutral artificial intelligence system.
And on hearing this, our Neo will note that, “Kellna wiehed hekk Malta, ta! Konrad kien jismu!” (‘We had someone like that in Malta – he was called Konrad!) But the political comparisons wouldn’t stop there, because…
8. He would insist on referring to The Architect as ‘Il-Perit’
After getting over the fact that the Matrix’s ‘Architect’ looks like KFC’s Colonel Sanders – a process we all went through as we tried to make sense of the series’ baffling final installment – Malta-Neo would insist on referring to him as ‘Il-Perit’. Then he would get really, really (really) annoyed whenever his colleagues refused to follow suit.
9. He would sneak ‘lotsa guns’ to his dad back home
Neo Sr. just got an edge over the competition this spring hunting season.
10. He wouldn’t be at all surprised by ‘bullet time’
Something that’s supposed to go incredibly fast but that’s halted in its progress by a mysterious external force? Yep, sounds like Maltese traffic.
11. He would likely remain single
Trinity’s androgynous figure is a dream for many a fashion designer… and most men out there. Not for our Neo though, who would freely admit to being all about the bass.
12. He would face many ‘Madonna No!’ moments
Malta’s favourite viral meme will start to feel a bit too close for comfort for our Neo. He will likely find himself uttering that remark many times over, like for example:
13. ‘Whoa’ would switch to ‘Il-Ostja!’…