There were some really cool things about the first Matrix, but they seemed to get left on the floor for more flying spin-room kicks. The cat was neat. The Oracle was cool too, a bit of a sledgehammer with the symbolism, but neat nevertheless. And like Phantom Menace, I'd like to have seen more of the kids in training. But I insist there is one thing that would have made that move TEN times better: The "real world" people should have been played by different actors than the "matrix" people. I have a lot of trouble believing that anyone who looks like Keanu Reeves is a computer-dork shut-in. If you looked like Carrie-Ann Moss, why would you bother yourself with an alternate universe? The regular world would probably offer plenty of opportunities for you to manipulate the people and places around you.
Thomas Anderson should have been played by a fat, greazy computer-dork shut-in. Carrie-Ann's probably got a hairlip and a grudge. Morpheus would probably be a skinny white guy who always wished he had the balls to put "bad mother fucker" on his wallet. No, he doesn't really want to be Sam Jackson, but badass brother is good enough. With the exception of Ralphie Cifaretto, I rewound the Matrix the first time wondering to myself why any of these people were motivated to even try to *find* the matrix in the first place. What does Keanu Reeves need in an alternate universe?