Morgan (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

Director: Luke Scott
Writer: Seth W. Owen (as Seth Owen)
Stars: Kate Mara,  Anya Taylor-Joy,  Rose Leslie

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

Running time:1 hour 32 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes score: Critics 40%   Audience 30%

Why I watched it: Mostly the cast, the trailers looked not bad and they did a good job of marketing.
Random thoughts: When the film was first being marketed they were using the tag line “What is Morgan” which was cool but then it became clear this was about a robot, or an A.I and the film became a little less interesting.  The film is directed by Ridley Scott’s son so we know at least through his father and some of the other film’s he’s worked on he would be could in the sci-fi world.

What I liked: The film opens with a bang, we see footage of some attacking another person and stabbing them in the eye.  Decent start we find out that Morgan was the “thing” who attacked one of the people who look after her and she’s now being locked up to see what can be done.

So a risk-management consultant comes to decide what should be done.  Easy parallels about being arrested and being locked up.  The age old question can robots, computers thing, can they feel, is shutting them off or unplugging them like killing them?  That part of the film is fine, we’ve seen it before but they set it up well and we get to see the team around Morgan and how they have become a family.

The film is lean at your over 90 minutes and it moves pretty well. The one thing I liked about the character of Morgan is that it’s clear she doesn’t know what she is, she’s not just a victim she is actively trying to control her own destiny.

A good performance by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy.

What I didn’t like:This film has a lot of problems the biggest is they waste a very good cast, let’s be clear Jennifer Jason Leigh is in like three scenes and the only important thing is she’s the one who gets stabbed in the eye and basically is in bed the whole movie.

Paul Giamatti has one scene and to be kind he’s terrible, his character acts like an idiot and really it seems like Giamatti came in and said look it’s one scene I’ll just do a parody of myself and get it over with.  To say that a doctor would be this dumb is really stretching it.  Boyd Holbrook wh seems to be on the rise is wasted to the point of yeah if we cut his character out altogether it wouldn’t effect the plot.

Toby Jones and Michelle Yeoh try to bring life and a sense of character but they’re not on scene enough, the plot eats all these performances.

Kate Mara is the lead here and to be kind she’s very, very miscast, a don’t buy her at all.  She’s a decent actress but she doesn’t have the kind of presence needed for this role, she’s not badass, Emily Blunt would have been a better pick.

Now I have two main problems with this film the main one is every character who is part of the team that has created and looks after Morgan seems to love her blindly, they seem more like cult members, Morgan jumps a table and stabs someone in the eye three times, why she wasn’t allowed to go outside, now person or machine that’s a huge red flag but at least 5 characters are like no no Morgan is a good person, she’s a her not an it but we don’t see why we don’t see Morgan than anything other than a machine gone wild.

Now there’s a twist and I will say this without spoilers, I saw this 15 minutes in, it’s badly played, the fact that the film and how this is acted is a spoiler, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and if you add that Kate Mara is a risk-management consultant that carries a gun, do all of them?

I was like what is going on here. There’s also the lost point of what Morgan was made for, or what they were hoping to do with her, is she a weapon cause if she is, then stabbing people in the eye would be useful.

The film is full of half ideas that never get expanded or talked about in an intelligent way.

Final thoughts: This was never a thought provoking study about machines being human or a good old fashioned thriller about a robot gone out of control.  They had an idea and a good cast and they didn’t use either one well.

Rating: 3/10

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