Neo from 'The Matrix' could stop bullets, but he couldn't even kick during martial arts training for the movie! Learn more
Keanu Reeves, the actor who played Neo in 'The Matrix' underwent surgery for a two-level fusion of his cervical spine before filming the movie. The fusion was slowly paralyzing his legs and due to this, he couldn't kick for half of the pre-production training. This resulted in him not kicking much during the film.
Although Reeves was still recovering from his surgery during pre-production, he insisted on training. The martial arts choreographer for the film Yuen Woo-ping let him practice punches and lighter moves, but Reeves was physically unable to kick for two of the four months. Despite the setback, the actor trained hard and even requested training on his off days.
During the dojo scene, Reeves was required to perform a triple kick but was unable to do so at first which frustrated him greatly. He tried again a few days later and succeeded in only three takes. During that scene the actors made significant physical contact with each other which resulted in bruising.
There were other physical injuries during the filming as well, such as Reeves' stunt double Chad Stahelski who received broken ribs, knees, and a dislocated shoulder while filming the subway scene. Another stuntman was injured by a hydraulic puller during a shot where Neo was slammed into a booth. Carrie-Anne Moss, who played Trinity, injured her leg during a scene where she runs along a wall as well.
With all the fast paced fighting that goes on in the movie, it's a marvel that Reeves was able to do so much after receiving such a major surgery. It shows the dedication he had for the role. But really, who needs to kick when you can stop bullets?