Director: Luke Scott. Starring: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Michale Yare, Toby Jones. USA, 2016. IMDB: 5.8. My rating: 1/4. Sci-fi thriller about androids and stuff.
– Do you know the cruelest thing you can do to someone you’ve locked in a room? Press their face to the window.
(one of the scientists)
”Morgan” will surely provide you with some powerful insight about which tales Ridley Scott told his kids before sleep. It is another take on androids in the recent wake of independent A.I. science fiction and a debut feature of Luke Scott, whose father directed several movies we all adore. But “Morgan” is too immature to tell a complex story and the movie admits this quickly by itself, as it quickly abandons any attempts of being smart and tries to compensate it with some action. Not really good action.
It has decent premise and the beginning of the movie gives you some hope, but… it just didn’t work out. “Morgan” was supposed to be a delicate observation about human nature and emotions, a story about an evil corporation and scientists who decided to play God. Somewhere as far as 20 minutes “Morgan” chooses an easy path of gore and murder. Well, that’s a reasonable way to deal with wooden performance of the cast and illogical characters with zero common sense that for no visible reason are keen on suicidal behaviour, isn’t it?
On other hand, “Morgan” teaches us several lessons. Firstly, a good actor can illuminate even the biggest trash ever – Paul Giamatti appears barely for several minutes just to get silly killed by the android girl (what is funny is that you can see it even in the trailer), but he literally lights up the screen with his neurotic energy. He is a great actor indeed, my favorite movie with him is ”Sideways” (2004) – it’s a wonderful tragicomedy with some adult reflections about life of two losers who are trying to have a journey of their life.
Secondly, don’t play God… if you don’t know the rules. This applies not only to the scientists, but directors and screenwriters as well. “Morgan” doesn’t work as a smart and sharp observation like “Ex Machina” that it is trying to copy, because it doesn’t have its style, script and grace. It doesn’t work as a good thriller neither, because it’s totally predictable – it is clear even from the poster (trailer shows almost all the plot) that the experiment has gone wrong and it’s just a matter of time when characters will start to die like in a bad slasher.
Thirdly, hire some reliable screenwriters for the dialogues, not first year students.
Worth watching? No. Absolutely. ”Morgan” is not only simply boring and dull, it’s serious and pretentious to such an extent that last 30 minutes will make you laugh rather than thrill.
Watch instead: ”Ex Machina”, ”Inquest of Pilot Pirx” (1979, Polish-Soviet production).
1/4… of which 0.5 for Paul Giamatti