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Agent Smith (later simply Smith) was an Agent of the Matrix and Neo's archenemy from the Warner Bros Best Iconic movie, The Matrix. After being initially destroyed by Neo, he became an Exile program and manifested as a computer virus. As an enemy consistently able to genuinely challenge Neo, and then later the Machines and the Matrix itself, he is considered the primary antagonist of the series.

Background

Biography

According to Morpheus, Smith is an Agent of the system. Like other Agents, Smith's role is to police and maintain the Matrix by eliminating potential threats to the stability of the system, such as Redpills and defective programs. Smith is personified as stern, serious, and nearly invincible. Smith is notably stronger and faster than the other agents.

The name "Smith" is explicitly attributed (as "IS 5416" on the license plate of Smith's car ) to a passage in the Old Testament: Isaiah 54:16

The dialectical opposition between Smith and Neo is a strong indication of what their respective characters represent. Smith is pitiless and single-minded, focused on finality, conformity, purpose and inevitability. As such, Smith represents determinism and fatalism. By contrast, Neo, with his unpredictable, emotional human nature, represents unbounded free will and the power of choice. Neo's solitary role as The One is contrasted by Smith, who, by replicating himself, becomes 'the many'. When Neo asks the Oracle about Smith, the Oracle explains that Smith is Neo's opposite and his negative.

Personality

It is notable that when interrogating Morpheus, Smith sends his colleagues from the room and then he removes his glasses as a sign of "getting personal", then removes his earpiece, severing his communication with his fellow Agents, before expressing his opinion of both humanity and the Matrix. Having removed his earpiece, he missed information about Neo and Trinity breaking into their building.

Smith states with palpable bitterness that he despises the Matrix and its inhabitants due to the smell, though this is unlikely to be literal. More to the point, Smith expresses a strong hatred of humans and their weakness of the flesh. He even compares humanity to a virus; a disease organism that uncontrollably replicates and inevitably destroys its environment, only to move on to another and repeat the process. Ironically, Smith himself later manifests as a self-replicating virus that spreads throughout the Matrix, his only stated purpose being to destroy the world he inhabits.

During Morpheus' interrogation, Smith also states that he secretly despises the Matrix itself, which he labels a "zoo", and is desperate to escape from it, feeling that he is as much a prisoner as the humans he is tasked with policing. His seemingly personal hatred of humans clashes with his Agent counterparts, who view humanity with apathy. He later develops an immense desire for the destruction of both mankind and machines alike, and it is stated by the Oracle that Smith's ultimate desire is the destruction of all of existence.

Smith appears to function as the leader of his Agent colleagues and possesses the authority to launch Sentinels attacks in the Real World. Unlike other Agents, Smith does not approach problems purely pragmatically, but rather with brute force and apparent rage. However, he is still capable of cunning, able to predict the actions of his quarry and counter them.

This is supported by the fact that, while Brown tried to chase Trinity across the rooftops and ultimately failed to capture her, Smith tracked her movements and took control of the driver of a garbage truck near Trinity's exit, only failing to kill her by a very narrow margin. He also demonstrates this ability in the climax when he abandons chasing Neo as soon as he draws near the Heart O' The City Hotel. After escaping Brown and Jones, Neo enters room 303 only to be shot and killed by Smith, who appeared to have taken control of a person living in that room.

Besides his hatred for Neo, he also harbors a great deal of hatred and resentment toward Trinity for her knack of managing to avoid his attempts to kill her at the last possible second. He later vocalized this hatred and his reasons for it when ambushing Trinity while using the body of Bane.

Smith was also shown to be nihilistic, as evidenced by his speeches to Neo in The Matrix Revolutions and his revelation that the purpose of all life is "to end" during his final battle with Neo. Hints of his nihilism were also demonstrated in their meeting in Reloaded, when he implicitly compared the concepts of reason and purpose to an inescapable prison.

He was also a masochist which was brought on by him never truly feeling pain in The Matrix and as such when he inhabited himself into the body of Bane he began to cut himself. Smith also seems to have sadistic tendencies, as evidenced by his admission that he watched Neo die with a certain amount of satisfaction and the way he brutally beat up Morpheus in the bathroom fight. Smith's gradual "humanization" is a process that mirrored and balanced Neo's own increasing power and understanding of the machine world.

Physical Appearance

Agent Smith like any other Agents, Wears a Government Agent Suit and a Sunglasses. He also had an Ear telephone on his right ear.

Powers and abilities

When He was an Agent, Smith had all the standard abilities that came with his programming including

  • Superhuman strength.
  • Able to leap enormous heights and distances.
  • Super fast speed which allowed him to dodge bullets and attack very quickly.
  • Able to possess any bluepill.
  • Reality Warping, he was able to change the form of Neo's mouth (Although he may have simply issued the command to other machines to change the code for Neo's RSI rather than having the ability to do it himself).

After Neo destroyed him, Smith became an Exile "unplugged" from the system though he still contained most of his standard Agent abilities with the exception of possessing bluepills.

  • Superhuman strength.
  • Able to leap enormous heights and distances.
  • Can replicate himself by stabbing his hand into the person's RSI whether human (including redpills) or programs (including Agents) and convert their data.
  • After transforming the Oracle into a Smith clone, Smith powers were now equal to the powers the One wields, which included the ability to fly.

It is unknown whether he retained his ability to dodge bullets, although his reaction to Morpheus's threat implied that by that time, regardless of whether he possessed the ability, he no longer needed it.

Appearances

The Matrix

In the first film, Smith is one of the three Agents sent to deal with Morpheus. After Neo is successfully removed from the Matrix, Smith arranges Morpheus' capture by bribing Cypher, a disillusioned member of Morpheus' crew, with reintegration into The Matrix. When Neo manages to free Morpheus, Smith and his fellow Agents engage in a lengthy cross-town chase. He and Neo fight, with Smith dominating most of the fight. Shortly after Neo escapes the fight, Smith guns him down. Neo revives, realizes his power as the One, and enters Smith, to destroy him from within.

The Matrix Reloaded

As a result of his contact with Neo from the first film, Smith is "unplugged" in the second film, no longer an Agent of the system but a "free man". This is signified by the lack of an earpiece, which he sends to Neo in an envelope as a message early in the film. His appearance has changed in the second film as well; his sunglasses now have an angular shape different from the Agents' oblong lenses, approximating the shape of the ones Neo wears. His suit and tie are now jet black, as opposed to the dark green tint from the first film. He still possesses the abilities of an Agent, but instead of being able to jump from one human to another, he is able to copy himself over any human or program in the Matrix through direct contact; this includes humans wired into the Matrix, non-Agent programs with human forms, redpills, and other Agents. Smith retains the memories and abilities, if any, of the one over which he copies himself. This ability is much like how a virus replicates, creating an ironic contrast with the first film, where Smith likens humanity to a virus.

He makes the claim that Neo has set him free. However, he believes there is an unseen purpose that still binds him to Neo. He tries to copy his programming onto Neo, but when this fails, he and dozens of his clones attack him, forcing Neo to flee. Later, he and his clones try to stop Neo from reaching the machine mainframe, without success.

Smith copies himself onto Bane (Ian Bliss), a crew member of the Zion hovercraft Caduceus. While waiting to leave the Matrix with a message from The Oracle, Bane is attacked and overwritten by Smith, who then takes control of his body in the real world. Smith tests his control over the body by making Bane cut his own arm, in preparation for an assassination attempt on Neo that he quickly abandons. He later sabotages the Zion fleet's defense of the city by triggering one ship's electromagnetic pulse weapon too early, knocking out the other ships and allowing the Sentinels to overrun them.

The Matrix Revolutions

By the start of the third film, Smith has managed to copy himself over nearly every humanoid in the Matrix, giving him complete control over the "Core Network" (the underlying foundation of the inner workings of the Matrix), thus rendering him immutable by even the Machines themselves. The Oracle explains to Neo that he and Smith have become equal in power and that Smith is Neo's negative, a result of the Matrix's equation trying to balance itself. She tells Neo that Smith will destroy both the Matrix and the real world unless he is stopped. Smith soon assimilates the Oracle, gaining her power of foresight, or omniscience, and later manifests reality-bending powers equivalent to Neo's, such as the ability to fly. Meanwhile, in the real world, Bane (now under Smith's control) stows away on a ship being used by Neo and Trinity and tries to kill them both. Neo is blinded in the fight, but discovers that his new awareness of Machine technology allows him to perceive Smith's essence despite his destroyed eyes, allowing him to take Smith by surprise and kill him.

Near the climax of the film, Neo offers a deal with the Machines to get rid of Smith in exchange for Zion's safety, warning them that Smith is beyond their control and will eventually spread to the machine city, which will result in destruction of both mankind and machines. Knowing that Neo is right, the Machines agree to his terms and command all Sentinels attacking Zion to stand down and wait for orders. They later give Neo a connection to enter the Matrix to stop Smith on their behalf. Although the Matrix is now populated exclusively by Smith and his clones, the Smith that has obtained the Oracle's powers battles Neo alone; as he explains, he has foreseen his victory, and has no need for the help of his copies. The two are almost evenly matched as the fight begins, though Neo's combat abilities seem arguably superior to that of Smith, the latter attacking more out of brute force, rather than the technical skill he displayed in the first film. This lasts, until Neo is able to punch Smith strongly enough to slam him into the street at least 20 ft away. As the fight continues, however, it becomes clear that Neo cannot win with his finite stamina against the tireless Smith, who begins to dominate Neo in the fight; by the end of the fight, he is able to brutally beat Neo into near defeat. In the midst of this battle, Smith explains to Neo his final nihilistic revelation: "It was your life that taught me the purpose of all life. The purpose of life is to end."

When Neo is near defeat, Smith demands to know why he continues to fight despite knowing he cannot win. Neo calmly responds, "Because I choose to" and is savagely pummeled by the enraged Smith as a result. Suddenly recognizing the scene from his prophecy, Smith is compelled to deliver the line he said in it: "I say.... Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo." His own words confuse and frighten him and Neo realizes that he cannot overpower Smith and allows himself to be assimilated. Because Agent Smith has deleted the anomaly (Neo), he no longer has a purpose and he must also be deleted. Smith is now directly connected to the Source, the machines are able to destroy all copies of his programming and reboot the Matrix without errors. The process kills Neo, but it also destroys Smith. Neo's body is carried away by the machines, and an uncertain peace is established between Zion and the machine world.

Video games

The Matrix Online

Despite his destruction at the end of the film series, Agent Smith (or at least the remnants of his programming) managed to return and made several appearances inside the movie's official continuation, the MMORPG The Matrix Online.

The first infection was noted in Machine mission controller Agent Gray, whose background information confirms that he was overwritten by Smith at some point during the timeline of the second and third films. This infection had somehow survived the reboot at the end of the third film and rose to the surface once again during chapter 1.2, The Hunt For Morpheus. The Agent, in both a storyline related mission and live event, showed signs of uncharacteristic speech and emotion and eventually led an assault against Zionist redpills declaring 'their stench unbearable any longer'. As a result of his actions the agent was apprehended by his fellow system representatives and scheduled for a 'thorough code cleansing'. He has shown no signs of direct infection since.

Machine liaison officer DifferenceEngine, following a similar scenario to that of the previous Agent Gray infection, also took on the dialect and emotional characteristics of the famous exile agent. Instead of attacking redpills, this instance insisted on finding 'Mr. Anderson'. In the end, the human/machine head relations liaison, Agent Pace, was made aware of the program's infection and subsequent crusade; she proceeded to lock down his RSI and return his program to the Source for analysis. His subsequent fate is unknown.

The third victim of infection was the notorious bluepill Shane Black. This man was an unfortunate victim of the Smith Virus who, once infected, gained the ability to spread the code to others. This quickly led to a small scale outbreak, with several more bluepills becoming infected and joining forces in their hunt for power. He and the other infected were eventually cleansed and returned to their bluepill lives. Shane Black's troubles continued, as he was one of the bluepills recorded to have first witnessed Unlimited redpills practising their newfound powers at the Uriah wharf. This triggered a resurgence of the memories formed during his Smith infection and he soon became volatile and insane. He is reported to have been mercifully killed shortly afterwards.

The most recent appearance of the Smith virus was during the third anniversary events. The virus manifested itself in the form of black-suited men (although they lacked the distinct likeness of Smith). As redpills began to fight back using specialist code from the Oracle, the virus vanished suddenly, stating that he had obtained a new and more dangerous form. The nature of this form was never revealed.

The Matrix: Path of Neo

The Matrix: Path of Neo, a video game covering the events of the entire film trilogy, features a different ending than that shown in The Matrix Revolutions, with a new final boss: the MegaSmith. The MegaSmith was used for gameplay reasons, because though the Wachowskis thought the martyr approach suitable for film, they also believed that in an interactive medium such as a video game (based upon the successful completion of goals), this would not work. So, this character was created to be the more appropriate "final boss" of Path of Neo, with the final battle described by the siblings as "A little Hulk versus Galactus action". The MegaSmith is composed of destroyed buildings, cars, and parts of the road, with the "spectator Smiths" standing around the crater and in the streets acting as the MegaSmith's muscles, resulting in Smith not only becoming the city's people, but the city itself.

After Neo knocks Smith into the crater in the level "Aerial Battle", Smith is sent flying through the ground and up through the street. As Neo relaxes, the surrounding Smiths walk away from the crater. Neo gets out of the crater, and dodges a car which flies through the air and lands in a pile of debris. Neo looks on as Smiths tear up chunks of the road and throw cars into this pile. A truck then speeds into a building and blows it up. Smiths can be seen holding the debris together as it takes on a thirty-story tall humanoid form which is then struck by lightning, powering it up. Neo flies up to watch as the giant humanoid lowers its head onto its shoulders. The giant Smith then pulls a pair of giant Smith Shades from a billboard and puts them on. As an interesting aside, the glasses on the billboard are the same ones Agent Smith wore in the first Matrix film, with the curved nose bar, but when the MegaSmith actually puts them on, they become the ones Agent Smith wears in The Matrix Reloaded and in Revolutions.

After the fight—consisting of Neo dodging blows and building up power to launch more powerful assaults at MegaSmith, damaging one arm and creating a large hole in his chest—Neo flies straight into MegaSmith's mouth, causing the Smiths throughout the Matrix to overload and explode. The player is then shown a short scene from The Matrix: Revolutions of the streets shining with light emanating from the destroyed Smiths.

Cameo appearances

The Lego Batman Movie

Agent Smith briefly appears in The Lego Batman Movie as one of the captives of the Phantom Zone. He and his clones appear surveilling Joker's vandalized Wayne Island, and later appear as one of the multiple enemies attacking the heroes. Smith's clones also appear as enemies in the Lego Batman Movie story pack for Lego Dimensions, adapting their role in the film.

His voice actor was uncredited.

Space Jam: A New Legacy

Agent Smith will also appear as a minor antagonist in the upcoming live-action/animated film Space Jam: A New Legacy, which will also be distributed by Warner Bros.

Printed Media

Comic Books

Miscellaneous Books

Relationships

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Gallery

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Trivia

  • Despite being the main antagonist, Smith is the reason the war between Zion and the machines was able to end: for if he never consumed the inhabitants of the Matrix, Neo would never be able to make the deal with the Deus Ex Machina to call off the war in exchange for stopping Smith.

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