Thursday, September 01, 2016



From IMDB:


A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

52 Metascore From
Reviews 8 critic

From Rotten Tomatoes:


A corporate troubleshooter (Kate Mara) is sent to a remote, top-secret location, where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident. She learns the event was triggered by a seemingly innocent "human," who presents a mystery of both infinite promise and incalculable danger.

Rating: R (for brutal violence, and some language.)
Genre: Drama , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Luke Scott
Written By: Seth W. Owen
In Theaters: Sep 2, 2016 wide
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: Scott Free Films

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

WANT TO SEE 92% want to see
User Ratings: 2,825


See that little girl in the hoodie? She's only a few months old. ©20th Century Fox

From the man who was the Second Unit Director on such films as Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) and The Martian (2015)...

So this is the directorial debut for Luke Scott who prior to this has worked as a Second Unit Director on his father's projects whom you can probably guess by now (if you hadn't read about it somewhere) is Ridley Scott. Those are pretty big shoes to fill. And considering how people/fans remember Ridley Scott more for his Sci-fi work e.g. Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) than his other stuff e.g. Thelma & Louise (1991) and Gladiator (2000), I guess it isn't all that surprising that his first feature length film would be something Sci-fi then something period and epic like Gladiator. 

And that's Morgan about five years later trying to creep people out. ©20th Century Fox

Anyway, Morgan. What is Morgan? If you haven't read about it or seen the trailer then let me briefly try to clue you in without giving away the whole movie. Morgan is an artificially created human. She is the ninth iteration of the artificial human project created by a corporation for purposes which you will eventually discover at the end of the film. The difference between the L9 a.k.a. Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) and the others is how she is raised. The project helmed by Dr Lui Cheng (Michelle Yeoh) takes place in what appears to be an abandoned mansion in a desolate area surrounded by forest. She is assisted by Dr. Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones), Dr. Amy Menser (Rose Leslie), Dr. Darren Finch (Chris Sullivan), Dr. Brenda Finch (Vinette Robinson), Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Ted Brenner (Michael Yare) and Skip Vronsky (Boyd Holbrook).

Their first meeting. This mirroring thing happens quite a bit and it means something. ©20th Century Fox

The facility and the project runs smoothly for several years until one day approximately 5 years into Morgan's upbringing that she does something that raises questions at corporate headquarters. This is where the story begins. We are introduced to Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) who is making her way to the facility and as she drives there we hear her being briefed by Jim Bryce (Brian Cox) regarding her tasks ahead. 

Meet Amy and Ted. They've been there since the beginning and have done the one thing that scientist shouldn't have done. Get too emotionally involved with their subject. ©20th Century Fox

When she arrives she meets first with the scientist as the day progresses and discovers of course that they see no reason for her to be there and that they can handle and sort out what corporate headquarters considers a problem. But things quickly deteriorate when during a psychiatric evaluation with Dr. Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) and after being provoked to reveal her emotions to certain hypothetical situations she jumps up from her chair and lunges towards the doctor and kills him in cold blood. Weathers watches all this with a clinical expression and soon after reports the events to headquarters. Headquarters instructs Weathers to oversee the destruction of the L9 and the closure of the facility. 

The decision is met with quiet disagreement with most of the scientist except for Dr. Cheng and they begin to hatch a plan. Little do they know that what they were planning to do isn't what Morgan wants to do. 

This is Dr. Shapiro, he's the last to arrive to the party but boy does he make things exciting. ©20th Century Fox

Hopefully that didn't reveal too much and now here's the list of likes and not likes. 

The likes.

  1. The story. It's intriguing and unfolds very nicely. You're given enough to go on and the characters you meet give enough about what's going on and about themselves to move things along and a nice pace. You're not spoon fed everything and nothing comes in big chunks of exposition.
  2. The visuals are beautiful and keep the story dark and tense. The camera work and composition of certain scenes and shots add to the complexity of the situation and probably tries to say something else as well. 
  3. The performances. Kate Mara is brilliant. You don't know who she is and what she's about. She's cold and methodical but there's something else about her that just doesn't fit. You find out why at the end. Anya Taylor-Joy does a pretty good job as well considering this is her first major role in a feature length film. Her transition from almost robotic to a child unsure of what's going on is pretty good. Then there's Michelle Yeoh, it's been a while since I've seen her on the big screen and although she doesn't have many scenes she does each of her scenes beautifully. 
  4. Seeing for the first time a movie in the Sci-fi/Thriller genre with a few huge fight scenes not involve a single male person was pretty awesome. Kate Mara finally got to kick some ass which she didn't really get to do properly in her role in that horrible Fantastic Four movie last year. And she did a really good job at it. Would love to see her in more roles like this. 
In The Martian directed by Ridley Scott, he had her running on a treadmill in a space ship. Luke decided to have her run in the forest instead. ©20th Century Fox

The not so likes.
The story is tense and gripping from the get go but about two thirds of the way in you can begin to guess what's in store in the end and what the little twist might be. And because of that it sorts of fizzles out in the end. It's not a bad end to the film but it's sort of predictable and not the building crescendo that you were probably hoping for. 

When you've been a bad experiment you have to be strapped down on a metal bed and then... ©20th Century Fox

All in all I thought this was a pretty enjoyable movie. It had an interesting and gripping story that kept you wondering about the characters and what was going to happen. Kate Mara was impressive as was Anya Taylor Joy especially when you consider that most roles like these don't go to young female actors and especially not to new ones. As for Luke Scott, I think he did a commendable job. The directing was tight and each scene added something to the story, the characters and the film. I think that he's got a pretty good future ahead. But and there is a but here, I don't think this movie will please everyone. But then again what movie ever does. I'm going to give Morgan a solid 3.5 out of 5. Interesting story, good cast, excellent first time out by Luke Scott.

Have a look at the latest trailer for Morgan here. 



Post a Comment