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‘The Matrix’ Was Awesome Because of Jet Li?! Say What?!

A new video was brought to my attention that shows a handful of films that inspired were lifted in The Wachowski Brothers’ The Matrix.

Clearly, the concept behind the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller is a wonderful and fresh take on an age-old conspiracy theory, but that’s not the only thing that made it so revolutionary.

While the story arc and shocking finale (that’s on par with Planet of the Apes) created the icing on the cake, the incredible action put on display is what cemented it as an instant classic.

But, who knew that most of the action was lifted from the great Jet Li‘s catalogue? Fist of Legend is one of my all-time favorite action films, and yet I failed to notice the similarities between the fights in that and Matrix. That’s just the tip of the rip-off iceberg as Culturegraphy breaks down some of the biggest offenders – from scenes lifted from Total Recall all the way to Once Upon a Time in China!

Does this take away from The Matrix‘s legendary status in sci-fi cinema? I don’t think it’s that big of a deal; if anything, it shows that the Wachowski’s are huge fans of some of the best films ever made, and felt inspired to create the same kind of impact in their film. What do you guys think? It’s interesting food for thought, that’s for sure…



  • u-man

    I can only speak for the both pictures here. If you say Matrix was inspired by Jet Li, than i would say that Jet Li on the other hand, was inspired by Bruce Lee, especially the “come and get some” gesture, was often seen in Bruce Lee movies. To make it right, you would need to say that Matrix, was inspired by the Martial-Art-Master himself… Bruce Lee and not Jet Li. Hack even the Jet Li title is similar to “Fist of Fury”. Do your homework better Dude 😉 .

    • Jon Zila

      The reason the title is similar in both movies is that Fist of Legend is a remake of Fist of Fury. Both Bruce Lee and Jet Li played the same (fictional) character, Chen Zen. Zen is a student of Huo Yuanjia (a real person), who Jet Li also plays in the movie Fearless. Both versions of the movie are the same plot, Chen Zen wants revenge on the Japanese for poisoning his master and killing him.

      Legend of the Fist is the sequel to said movies, where Chen Zen is played by Donnie Yen.

  • Chamber

    Let’s broaden the scope a bit; the Wachowski’s are fans of Martial arts films, Anime, and nerd culture, which in turn inspire many of their films. They are very overt with thier love of various art forms, and never try to hide it. This is not news, nor is it something that has just been discovered.

  • mrsatyre

    What is this “shocking finale (that’s on par with Planet of the Apes)” you speak of? I have watched the Matrix trilogy and Planet of the Apes (both original and remake, as well as having read the book) many times and have seen no such similarity. Please explain.

    • Iam_Spartacus

      Took the words right out of my mouth. I certainly don’t recall any shocking revelation in The Matrix.

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