The rating of 8 is for the story which basically has a military wi-fi system controlling the minds of a small community. When this movie came out, Wi-fi was in its infancy... so the implications of the story are much more profound if you watch this movie now that the antennas can be seen swallowing up hundreds of communities. This gives the movie a lot more impact and credence.
However, Sweeney was a very poor choice to portray the main character role of Scott. In this episode, the character of Scott learns that his brother was killed by a community under the control of a computer. Instead of portraying the role of Scott in a sympathetic manner as had been written in the script, Sweeney's portrayal was a belligerent, hateful, angry bully. He did not garner the sympathy from the viewers as the brother of the victim. The actor's bullying attitude was totally destructive to the role.
If you watch this episode, listen to the words Sweeney says from the script and imagine those same words being spoken by a more sympathetic actor with a more gentle approach. The audience should have been feeling sympathetic toward the character Scott about the loss of his brother and his quest for the truth behind his brother's death... yet, when we saw the illusion of Scott being "drawn and quartered"... the audience felt like Scott deserved what he was getting. This is NOT the reaction this role should have created.
Throughout the entire episode, Sweeney stormed through every scene with hateful belligerence in every word he spoke. Even his facial expressions were filled with anger and hate from the onset.
Perhaps the actor was instructed to portray the character in this manner, but it seemed a bit too natural for Sweeney which gave the impression it was the actor's own personality getting in the way. Whatever the case, the audience was supposed to be on the side of the victim... instead, Sweeney's portrayal had us hoping for the character's demise. Sweeney's twisted portrayal of Scott as a belligerent bully made it seem that the character of Scott was getting exactly what he deserved... instead of garnering the audience's sympathy for him as the brother of the victim seeking the truth behind his suspicious death.
Again, the story was great. It is too bad that the actor's inappropriate, hateful portrayal of the main role was in complete conflict with the "intent" of the character in the script.
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