The creation and evolution of artificial life and artificial intelligence has been a topic of many great movies– the Terminator saga, Ex Machina, The Matrix and Blade Runner just to name a few. All of these films have explored the potential pit falls behind playing god, and Morgan is just another example of why we shouldn’t fuck with the creation process.
Morgan tells the story of corporate risk-management consultant Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) who has been sent by headquarters to investigate the company’s latest asset, Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy)– an artificially created humanoid. After a routine psych evaluation goes terribly wrong, what was once a breakthrough of modern scientific engineering has now put the lives of the entire staff in mortal danger.
Morgan was a neat flick. The concept was nothing original, but the execution along with the third act made this movie quite entertaining. It started off a little bumpy due to the poor characterization in the first act of the film– you begin to question what’s wrong with the scientific staff– but then their actions and emotions are explained later on, which adds some clarity to their characters. The whole cast ended up doing a solid job. Kate Mara’s character Lee Weathers was pretty awesome. From the get go, you get that her character is some corporate bad ass whose main responsibility is to clean up messy situations for the company. There’s a lot more than meets the eye to her character, and as the movie rolls along, we get to witness how awesome her character is. The titular character Morgan was also quite interesting and somewhat complex. As a state-of-the-art artificial being, Morgan was the first A.I to develop and display a range of emotions that comes super close to what a human being can project. Actress Anya Taylor-Joy, of The Witch fame, does another great job with her character. She was able to successfully give Morgan the human quality that the scientists engineered into it.
The rest of the supporting cast was not too likeable honestly. Rose Leslie’s character, Dr. Amy Menser was one of my least favorites. She has a strange relationship with the artificial being that will make you question her role on the scientific team. Other characters I disliked included Ted Brenner (Michael Yare), Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Dr. Cheng (Michelle Yeoh). I flat-out didn’t like their characters’ development, and was actually quite glad when their experiment backfired on them. Dr. Simon Ziegler, portrayed by the great Toby Jones, was a breath of fresh air in comparison to his colleagues. He showed passion for his work that wasn’t borderline weird throughout the entire movie. The very awesome Paul Giamatti shined in a very brief but pivotal role as Dr. Alan Shapiro, who is brought in to do the psyche evaluation on Morgan.
The blood and gore in the movie is very minimal but effective. Morgan manages to stab someone’s eye, bite someone’s throat out, break a couple of necks and shoot a couple of heads off– all-in-all, a good day. There wasn’t an excessive amount of gore, but as I mentioned, it’s effective when we do get it. For a first directorial feature effort, director Luke Scott did a pretty good job. It’s nothing to write home about, but he was able to make this story cohesive. He took a concept that’s been explored quite heavily in Hollywood, and managed to give the audience something a little different, so good job on him.
Morgan was a good movie that managed to take a tired concept and freshen it up a little bit. Like I mentioned before, it’s nothing spectacular or original, but it accomplishes in keeping things interesting. The lead characters are dope, but the supporting cast come off as a bunch of scrubs– all except for the cook, Skip (Boyd Holbrook), he’s great. I recommend Morgan, and with a run-time of just over 90 minutes, it’s worth the watch. //Arturo Padilla