Release Date: September 2, 2016
Director: Luke Scott
Writer: Seth W. Owen
Cast: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Michael Yare, Toby Jones, Christ Sullivan, Boyd Holbrook, Vinette Robinson, Michelle Yeoh, Brian Cox, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti, Crispian Belfrage, Amybeth McNulty, Jonathan Aris
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 92 minutes
Production Company: Scott Free Productions, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
I’m sure you’ve heard of the name Ridley Scott (Gladiator) before. Well he didn’t direct Morgan, but his son Luke Scott did. And he performed quite well for his directorial debut. It’s recommended you stay away from as many trailers as you possibly can before viewing this. Due to the context, it seems necessary to get the full experience of the film without viewing trailers if any enjoyment is to be had. Of course that all depends on what you’re looking for. Morgan can’t decide on what you’re looking for. So it gives you multiple forms of storytelling, and to be honest I wish it hadn’t.
Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) is a synthetic human science project that’s trying to tear down the walls of all we know. The introduction to her character is frightening and sets the stakes for what’s to come. Once those stakes are set in, you become so eager for the outcome, but the film takes a detour to cater to a different audience and never comes back.
The film sets itself up to be a fun-riddled mystery that dances on the lines of morality when it comes to how far one should go to achieve one’s dreams. This would be a great notion to discuss or see in a film, but the characters surrounding this premise drag it down. No one in the film, besides Morgan and Lee Weathers (Kate Mara), is interesting. They’re all consumed or brainwashed by Morgan, not knowing how dangerous she could be. Imagine knowing that your sibling is a lunatic murderer, but you ignore it and say nothing because you love them. These are the characters the film wants you to get behind. They took no responsibility and let emotions cloud their judgement. Lee is smart enough to look past all that, and even though her character is set up just for exposition, she keeps the content grounded. You’ll be able to relate to her solely based off her common sense.
Being entertaining enough towards the third act the film takes a dive head first into a pool of knives pointed up with its hands tied behind it’s back. Once Dr. Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) shows up everyone decided to throw their brains out the door. I wanted to walk out the theater due to the insanity unfolding. Suddenly characters forget how to walk, talk, or subdue a subject. Plot holes begin to unravel, and life itself is treated as if it’s nothing. Basic cognitive skills like holding a syringe or running from danger is lost. It’s really like stupid kicked in for everyone simultaneously.
Morgan had so much potential and was headed into a place where it could leave a lasting impression about life and how important it is to sustain it. Then in the end it abandons all of it to give you a pseudo action piece of crap that no one is asking for. It sold its soul for an unknown reason, and it’s disappointing. The ending may save the film for you as it did for me, but the outcome is still lacking.