Sci-fi thriller ‘Morgan’ borrows heavily from themes which may be familiar to fans of the genre: after a terrifying accident, a risk-management consultant (Kate Mara) is dispatched to a remote facility to determine whether an artificially created being should be terminated. While the exploration of humanity as seen in artificial beings is fertile ground for philosophical discussion, as seen in ‘Ex Machina’ recently and more famously in ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Morgan’ pales in comparison to its predecessors.
Part of the problem with the film rests in how bland and uninteresting the characters are. This isn’t a reflection on the cast, for the most part; they performed adequately, given the material. The characters as written are one-note, with thin motivations that seem to shift based on the whims of the plot. This makes the first part of the film particularly difficult to watch, as it devotes a good portion of the first act to conversations that serve more as narrative drops than as character-defining moments.
When the action kicks in, things don’t get much better. To her credit, Anya Taylor-Joy does a solid job with Morgan both as a creature of pathos and as the ass-kicking stuff of nightmares, but it isn’t enough to make the climax of the film any more enjoyable. The film telegraphs its twists and turns in a way that makes the ending predictable from a mile away. In some cases, this can be overlooked; often, it is the execution that matters more than the surprise of the twist itself. In this case, though, the predictability of the film is a distraction that left us impatiently waiting for the inevitable ending.
We wanted to like ‘Morgan.’ We’re fans of science fiction films, and we were hoping for a better first feature from director Luke Scott, son of filmmaker Ridley Scott. Unfortunately, what we got was a disappointment. Our recommendation is to skip ‘Morgan,’ and maybe just rent ‘Blade Runner’ instead.
Written by Will Lindus, Movie Bears Podcast.