The sad thing about the movie The Matrix is that the filmmakers didn't convey the ideas they were trying to convey properly and mixed up concepts so sloppily.
A good read for anyone try to understand the present world around them, is "Simulacra and Simulation" by Jean Baudrillard. Everything about it is relevant to places like this forum and it's topics but most of all it is important to the essence of the philosophical message that The Matrix was attempting to convey.
It's a book I'm fond of for many reasons and only later on did I actually discover that Neo actually uses that book in the opening scene of the movie to hide his keys (so it's a direct influence on the movie).
People who focus on the technological element of The Matrix miss the message entirely and actually become the ones 'in the matrix' ironically.
However the writers of The Matrix did loose their grip on the message as the series went on and of course they conflated what Plato taught in "The Republic" with his cave allegory, for being similar in message (when it's the diametrical opposite). However though, metaphysics still does have implications on everything and various Postmodern ideas relating to the consumption of information and loss of identity do in many ways reflect more ancient philosophical concepts - by inevitability. So in a way their conflating, while completely incorrect, does have an ounce of truth to it.
However, again, focusing on technology is completely missing the point. But the nature of technology itself is another form of simulacra, being that we are three (or more) steps removed from reality itself if we started getting actually serious about VR. It represents not progress but fundamental alienation from nature and an attempt to recreate nature through the alienation from actual nature, by creating a poor, lesser fabricated idealization of what nature already is in the most superior way. Being that the most complex technology cannot hold a candle to even the most simplistic things in nature, and then afterall technology itself is a byproduct of the manual reconfiguration of things found in nature (like stone, oil, etc).