Agents are a group of characters in the Matrix series. They are sentient computer programs, displaying high-level Artificial Intelligence, and are representatives, or "Agents", of the main antagonists within the Matrix fictional universe. They are guardians within the computer-generated world of the Matrix. Something akin to the anti-virus of the Matrix, guarding it from anyone or anything (most often Redpill) that could reveal it as a false reality or threaten it in any other way. Agents also hunt down and terminate any rogue programs, such as The Keymaker, which no longer serve a purpose to the overall Machine collective. They appear physically human, but it becomes apparent after observing them for only short periods that they are not. They have a tendency to speak and act in highly precise and mechanical ways.
Agents wear dark green business suits lined with a gold fabric, black dress shoes, a silver bar tie clip to complement the tie, square sunglasses, and a communication earpiece to inform them of any disturbances within the system. These features are copied from the attire for plainclothes agents of the United States Secret Service, as well as those of the Men in Black conspiracy or the stereotypical G-Man/FBI official. They have sideburns, and their hair is either slicked back or side-parted. Matrix Agents carry Desert Eagle handguns in shoulder holsters that are concealed beneath their suits. In addition to proficiency in the use of firearms, all Agents are masters of the martial arts and hand-to-hand combat.
Agents are programmed to be extremely agile, allowing them to perform superhuman feats such as leaping great distances, while possessing exceptional reflexes; on one occasion Smith managed to directly counter a punch from Morpheus with a punch of his own to Morpheus's still-moving fist. They can briefly move at speeds fast enough to evade gunfire, at least in most circumstances; contact shots are effective, as are weapons with an extremely high rate of fire, such as that from a “Minigun” as seen in the first Matrix film. They seem to be impervious to pain, or to have an extremely high tolerance for it; when Neo shoots one Agent with a minigun, he shows no visible reaction to several bullets piercing his arm. They can only be "killed" by wounds that would be instantly lethal to a human; trauma to the head, heart, upper spine, and so on.
However, this "death" is only a minor obstacle. When an agent is killed, it can simply transfer itself to another body, as agents have the ability to take over Bluepill - humans directly connected to the Matrix. Hence, destroying an agent is virtually impossible. They can only possess bluepills, and thus Zion rebels are unaffected (only Smith, as a virus, had the ability to take over redpills by copying himself over them). For this reason, areas with a high population density (crowded apartment buildings, market places, freeways) are usually avoided by the Zion rebels.
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Official Site: Warner Bros.
Links: Wikipedia Entry: Agents Dictionary of Matrix.com Official Site