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Matrix, The - Bullet Proof Windows
Check out the "dodge this" scene on top of the building when Neo and Tinity go to rescue Morpheus. When Neo empties his guns on the Agent that emerges from the helicopter, the glass buiding behind the Agent seems bullet-proof (the windows don't shatter) even though the Agent is dodging all the bullets! Maybe the building "freed it's mind"...
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Rated 4.2/10 (1207 ratings) Your opinion?
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Contributed By: foot_corn on 09-29-1999 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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Marcus Spears writes:
A brief science primer: I'm sure most of you know that the sound of a gun is caused by the bullet exceeding the speed of sound. The "effective range" of a gun refers to the point at which the bullet drops to subsonic speeds. The effective range of most handguns is 50 yards or less (under 150 feet). And, of course, the ACCURATE range of most handguns is even less than that. Now, the actual distance required between buildings varies from state to state, but the national average is 20 feet (approx. 7 yards) between businesses, and 75 feet (25 yards) if the buildings have residential dwellings. It's been a while since the last time I watched the Matrix, but I seem to remember that the other building was on another block, separated by four lanes of traffic, and probably with parallel parking on both sides of the street. (If I'm wrong about this, PLEASE correct me.) Each lane is about 10-12 feet wide, plus the parking, so I'm estimating that the buildings are at least 20-25 yards apart. By this point, the bullets would have lost significant velocity. Skyscrapers like the one in question are built with laminated architectural glass, similar to what's used in car windshields (designed to crumble into tiny cubes when broken, instead of sharp shards). This consists of two pieces of fully-tempered glass, with a plastic interlayer sandwiched in-between. Furthermore, the glass could also be INSULATED laminated glass, to provide thermal protection and noise reduction. Insulated laminated glass consists of two layers of laminated glass with a space in-between, sometimes filled with a sealant. Even a single pane of laminated glass can withstand numerous blows from hammers, crowbars, and bricks, before it finally breaks. The outer layer may crack, but any fragments tend to stick to the PVB layer, maintaining the window's integrity. So, the bullets from Neo's 9mm, having traveled as much as half of their effective range, ASSUMING they hit the building, depending on whether it's insulated glass or not (and it probably is), would have to penetrate 2 to 4 layers of tempered glass (each of which is four times tougher than the annealed glass that's used in many homes), 1-2 layers of PVB, and possibly a layer of silicone sealant, before it could endanger anyone within. It is entirely possible, since this glass is designed to withstand hurricane winds, that the bullets would simply bounce off...
144 of 156 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Olethos writes:
You people watch too many movies (Just an observation...I do too). Glass doesn't always "shatter" per se when hit by a can just punch, if you can believe this, a bullet sized hole through the glass. I would also suspect, if you want to pick the nit, that large glass panes used in high rises are probably designed to not case some nut job decides he's going to through his chair through it and jump.
37 of 40 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Forge writes:
Buildings and glass can react very strangely for a few microseconds at time of impact. The rippling glass has nothing to do with the Matrix, real buildings react that way, too. Major impacts of that type, irregardless of the materials involved, create massive shock waves. These shock waves first distorted the glass (the ripple) and then destroyed it when it whipped back (the rippling glass shattering). Glass bends quite a bit before breaking, it just happens so fast that you don't see the incredibly fast stretching/bending in the microsecond before your hands are cut to ribbons. Get a very high frame rate camera, a gun, and a large pane of glass. The bullet will bow the glass out for a microsecond as it blows through, then the glass will rebound towards the gun. It'll then begin breaking as it flexes towards the bullet again (as it returns to original shape).
43 of 64 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
DV8 writes:
Who cares!?!?!? The Matrix is the most amazing movie in the world!! It doesn't matter. But just to settle the argument, It was a big government building, which would most likely have bullet proof glass for the windows. That's why they didn't break. Plus the camera wasn't close enough to the windows to see the bullet marks in the glass.
20 of 28 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
cantc writes:
the gun wasnt powerful enough to make it to the windows...the trajectory prolly sent the bullets down to the street or lower on the building if they did somehow make it there
17 of 23 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
rodent writes:
I just wanted to let you know that if you watch the DVD in one of the features it talks about how they researched for three months to find the right kind of glass to use in that scene to get the nifty rippling effect. that is real glass and Neo didn't bend it to help trinity escape (i don't quite know how that came up)
9 of 12 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Valley writes:
Tall buildings made of large amounts of glass must have glass that can stand up to just about anything. I think bullets are included in this. Think about it would you want to be in a building made up of glass no stronger than the windows in your house?
9 of 14 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Cole writes:
Remember when the little boy is telling Neo how to bend the spoon? The Matrix was a simulated virtual world. Therefore, the building was not actually there, which could explain why the glass did not shatter.
34 of 66 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
defroth writes:
Maybe the Agent dodging the bullets (moving incredibly quickly) disrupted the bullet's path. As with Neo's bullet time the bullets just went over him.
5 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Agent101 writes:
Well, I'm sorry to inform you all, but a 9mm does have the ability to shoot through glass at that distance, and as stated before, if it were bullet proof there would still have been damage done to the glass and visible impact zones. Trust me, it's my job to know these things. It was a slip up in the movie, but I don't think anyone was really paying attention to the glass behind them.
12 of 23 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
AntiPLazmaN writes:
Maybe you all have forgotten; It's a movie, and this is a slip-up web-site, now do you understand why the glass remained intact?
19 of 37 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
garethgazz writes:
I'm sorry but saying stuff like Neo made the building bullet proof??? Come on you cant just make up your own little story lines! I too doubt the bullet would have the force left when it reached the building.
4 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
ftn807 writes:
Pistol ranges are not very far, the bullets would not have been able to hit the windows in that building. Had Neo been using a rifle or some other longer ranged weapon, the bullets would have hit the windows.
4 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Bonzo writes:
Cole: If there is no building, there might not be any bullets, there might not be...
5 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
De_boyz writes:
Morpheus: if because the gun doesnt come from the matrix, it can still interact with the Matrix. I direct your attention to the pillars in the lobby scene, hehe...
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
NEO writes:
Bezelbub: Okay the first, you said, "Also, ya gotta remember: buildings don't act quite right when Neo wants them to." I want to know how i am supposed to remember that when it was never said. Second, if that was true you contradicted yourself because at the end you said, "It only makes sense that Neo wouldn't want to hurt innocent people (who weren't trying to kill him), so he made the building behind the Agent bullet proof!" Those are two opposite things. Anyways the only people who would know if this was a slip up would be the people who actually made the movie. There are way too many things to take into consideration involving this sequence to come out with a sure conclusion, so just leave it alone!
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
defroth writes:
Why would you expect the glass to *shatter*? Maybe the bullets went through it. The camera is way to far to prove that however.
3 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Stacy writes:
First off, I'd like to thank everyone for posting scads of pointless "corrections" or things that will "disprove" the slip-up. Secondly, the reason the bullets weren't seen on the building is because said building in the scene in which Neo dodges the bullets isn't really there. If you watch the special features on the DVD and view the Bullet Time video, it shows the green-screen of Neo dodging and all. And even if I'm wrong, and I have my data mixed up, it's impossible the bullets missed the building from that distance, even if his pistols(That's right, two) were 9mm. If I remember correctly, the average FPS(feet per second) of a 9mm pistol is around 500-1000. Plus, the distance from the camera view to the buildingside itself was at -least- 75-100 feet. Remember people, Neo's on the far side of a rather large building, shooting a good 20 feet away. Anyhow, I think I've solved everyone's problems, I just can't believe no one looked for the FPS. Have a nice day.
2 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Morpheus writes:
Cole is probably right... also, you have to consider that the gun didn't come from the Matrix so it wasn't bound by the same rules. It came from the console.
5 of 12 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
SKiRgE writes:
Bezelbub: Neo was not the one that made the building stretch. If you remember, Trinity was out of the thing before it hit anyway. It was the Matrix that did it, proving to the audience that there really was something wrong with the world. Since helicoptors don't ordinarily ram into buildings everyday, the Matrix had to "improvise" a collision, with nothing to base it on.
11 of 24 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
kidhen writes:
there are many factors which have an effect in a situation like this. there is the window, which may not be saftey glass, which is designed to shatter at slight inpact, so as to to injure anyone or anything. also, the bullet type can have an effect of this too. im no expert on bullets so...
1 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
jakus1 writes:
I have read this entire post and I am a bit amazed that there exists that many misconceptions about bullets. First a 9mm pistol would most assuredly travel the 75 yards between buildings and it would have probably only dropped in trajectory only a couple of inches. Second many bullets fired from handguns including the .45 caliber never exceed the speed of sound but do indeed retain their effectiveness. Third tempering make glass safer not necessarily stronger. Glass that is tempered is superheated and allowed to cool in a way that makes it more likely to shatter on impact rather than break into dangerous shards. Safty or laminated glass which is a legal alternative to tempered galss is a plastic layer between two sheets of glass and lends no strength to the whole. Windshields are made from laminated glass and you know how easy it is to break a car windshield. So, to sum up, the bullet fired from Neos gun would have hit the glass at a velocity high enough to do damage to any glass tempered or not. The only exception is bullet-proof glass which is not glass at at all but a flexible plastic
2 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Will writes:
Maybe the windows were bulletproof....
4 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
MattTheBrave writes:
k marcus spears. the sound of a gun is not from the bullet exceding the speed of sound. a bullet is far too small to make a sound from that speed. the sound is from the primer ingiting the gunpowder causing this cool thing called an explosion and thus sends the bullet flying.
1 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
ultimatefishook writes:
In this scene the windows are high on the building. Due to wind skyscrapers are often made with bullet proof Glass. This makes them stronger and less likely to break. Also that building is probably a lot farther than it appears
1 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Shawn Hillyer writes:
If the bullets would make it to the building with enough force to break through the glass, then it's a simple slip-up. Otherwise, it wasn't a 'slip-up'. Regardless, I don't think that the special effects team (or anybody else working on the movie) was particularly concerned with that. They were probably doing something more important, like creating the slow-motion bullets and the other effects. I would guess that the bullets would make it, so I think this is a pretty good slip-up.
1 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
CheckSumDigit writes:
I have read all the comments here and am quite dissapointed. How many people actualy put the movie in and watched this scene? I replayed this scene a few times (even in slow motion at 1/32 speed) and don't think this can even be considered a slip-up. When the agent steps out of the helicopter and Neo turns around, time slows down to show the agent dodging the bullets. Since Neo is shooting directly at the agent, the trajectory of the bullets would make their impact directly behind the agent (Assuming he dodges them all). Since the agent does not move from the position where he is standing, how can you reasonably asses the windows condition from the cameras angle? From that angle the impact of the bullets (if any) would be hidden behind the agent. To further debunk this 'slip-up', even if the bullets had enough velocity to hit the other building the scene only lasts about 19 seconds, and you can only reasonably see the impact area for less than two seconds at a range of 100ft or more. Watch the scene again, in slow motion if you can. When the agent starts firing at Neo and the camera does the fly-around, you do get a view of the impact area. However, it's so far away and the glass is reflecting the color of the sky. How can anyone make an assesment of the glass in such a short time frame at that distance (Unless you analyze the entire movie in slow motion)? Whats really going to bake your noodle later on is why you spent so much time thinking and researching this without even watching this scene.
1 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
hawkeye_apprentice writes:
Since the bullets are just a creation of the system, it can be determined that they can be destroyed at any time. As to not create any attention to civilians, it's likely the bullets were terminated before they hit the windows. Remember, it's the matrix, rules can be bent, others can be broken.
1 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Alric writes:
Look at your subject line. There's your answer: Bullet Proof Glass!
2 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
JamesBondWannabe writes:
cantc is right, it's just a 9mm pistol, it won't go that far, and if it did, it would probably have about enough force left to bounce off the glass :-) Also, bullet-proof glass is an unrealistic interpretation; bullet proof glass is special, because it doesn't shatter. However, it does show that there was a bullet shot at it. for example, watch "Goldeneye" when the russians shoot up the glass in the begining scene. Instead of shattering, it gets little white marks, a result of impact, in which the glass is pushed, but doesn't shatter.
2 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Gandolf2k1 writes:
Its not the console, its the construct
2 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Ur MaStEr429 writes:
Did you ever think that the bullets didn't go that far and fell before they got there?? common sense people...
3 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Slurpy The Frog writes:
In response to the long, scientific answer to this, about the sound of a gun, i was under the impression that the sound of a gun was gaused by the forceful explosion that actually expels the bullet. Seeing as the bullet travelling through air is not actually making any noise besides the whizzing of its air displacement, a sonic boom should not occur.
0 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
DrRPepper writes:
Ever heard of GRAVITY, the building with the glass windows was far away from the agent so the bullets would have fallen somewhere between the two buildings.
6 of 25 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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