Morgan (2016) Review

morgan

A woman is sent to an isolated lab where a group of scientists have created an artificial human being. She is there to investigate a recent incident where the prototype reacted violently. As she inspects Morgan closer, she finds that there is much more to her than her creators anticipated.

Morgan is film that was highly mis-marketed. The trailers made it appear as if it were a horror film. This is not the case at all. It has it’s moments of suspense, but it is definitely more of a sci-fi film. It is also a shame that it didn’t find an audience after opening a #17 at the box office opening weekend after being released in over 2,000 theaters. For a Fox production, as well as Ridley Scott-produced film, disappointing is an understatement. At its core, Morgan has a great story that explores the themes of the power of emotion, as well as what it means to be human. Last year’s hit Ex-Machina explores some the same themes, but I will be in the minority here in saying that I liked the approach Morgan took with it more. Ex-Machina definitely took a more artistic and more dramatic approach with the idea and stretched it out more, but Morgan made the themes apparent within the story while still keeping the film going. The themes definitely become more apparent when the final act twist is revealed. It is revealed at a perfect time too that gives audiences that chance to think about and discuss the themes while it is fresh in their minds. Although the script is fun and interesting, it suffers from a very rushed script at the same time. I felt that there was a lot more they could have explored in terms of what these scientists were trying to accomplish by creating Morgan. As a result of the rushed script, there definitely didn’t leave enough time to get to know our characters very well other than Kate Mara’s character Lee, and the title character Morgan, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. The supporting characters came off as boring and uninteresting to the point where you can’t really feel anything for them even though the characters came off as kind or nice. Going back to Mara and Taylor-Joy, they both delivered fine performances. Kate Mara I always preferred over her actress sister Rooney. This role was a nice change for Mara in the sense that we get to see her kick some ass (I’m sorry but I’m trying to forget the Fantastic Four reboot happened). Don’t let the wooden performance by Mara fool you, this is very much a part of the character. Finally there is Anya Taylor-Joy who provided a knock out performance in this year’s indie horror The Witch. I knew she was one actress to look out for after that film, and I was right in that assumption. Taylor-Joy is even better in this role, and it made me want even more of her in it. She’s an excellent emotional actress, but it’s her expressions that really make her incredible. This was evident in The Witch, and even more so here. This talented young woman doesn’t need much dialogue to turn in an amazing performance. She can give you chills from a cold stare, make you feel sympathy with the slightest sign of sadness or innocence. It would not surprise me if she went on to become an Oscar-nominated actress at some point in her life.

Despite a rushed, and sometimes uneven script, and very underdeveloped characters, Morgan easily has more strengths than bad in terms of it’s very thematic story, gorgeous cinematography, and a fine performance by Kate Mara, and even better one by Anya Taylor-Joy.

4/5

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