Hugo Weaving | Image: Warner Bros.
Art imitates life in that just as man has a healthy interest in artificial intelligence and the way its various forms may shape our future, our media presentations reflect that interest. As such, movies and television are filled with portrayals of artificially intelligent beings. This article looks back at A.I. representations in film, evaluates and rates them. See what you think of this writer's choices. On his best-of list is a performance by a favorite actor of mine, Hugo Weaving. Here's what he has to say:
"8. Agent Smith in The Matrix (1999) Forget about the sequels for a minute—it shouldn’t be hard since everyone else has—and just focus on Hugo Weaving’s performance in the 1999 original film. Delivered with a thin veneer of monotone indifference that hid his boiling contempt underneath, Smith’s cadence and line readings have a lyrical quality that purely make him a wonderful villain.
On top of that attribute, however, is that Smith is a program that exists solely to execute hackers that have figured out the system. He is not supposed to be able to develop feelings like revulsion, disgust, and perpetual hostility for all humanity, but he does. The Matrix might be a reworking of Philip K. Dick and James Cameron tropes, but for such a personal and vindictive personality to unpredictably manifest among sentient programs was a fun wrinkle that gave this action film a supremely entertaining antagonist that is literally reinventing the cyber world and cinematic clichés around him into something special."
Disagree with the list or feel it's missing something? Comment away.