DIRECTOR: Luke Scott
WRITER: Seth W. Owen
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Lee Weathers is a corporate risk-management consultant who is sent out to a remote compound in the wilderness to assess whether a recent incident involving a company staff member and the artificially created humanoid that they are monitoring needs to be terminated. Morgan has begun showing signs of increased aggression, hostility, as well as intelligence and Lee, will need to stop Morgan before it's too late.
Going into Morgan, I was a little apprehensive about the film. This was because when I first saw the promotional material for the film, I was incredibly hyped for it and the hype was sadly squashed by the somewhat lacklustre critic reviews. I was expecting something great, and the critics, unfortunately, didn't agree. So when I popped this on, I was a little worried that I may leave the film unimpressed. Luckily for me, this was a movie that I enjoyed much more than what the critics did.
Morgan is a movie that takes a little while to really get going and to find it's feet. For the first fifty minutes or so, the film is somewhat slow in building itself up towards its pretty entertaining second half. The first half of the movie is spent getting all of those pleasantries out of the way with the introductions of all of the central characters. The movie also touches on the moral complexity of whether creating artificial human life is right or wrong.
When it comes to the character building in Morgan, I found this to be one of the film's most significant problems. While the movie does its damndest in introducing us to all of the characters. Some characters get more screentime than others which leaves the others underdeveloped. I found myself not caring for many of the characters fates. I think where I should've wanted to see several of these people make it out alive, I just didn't care. This may come down to the poorly constructed character development.
Once we get into the second half of Morgan, this is where the movie really picks up speed. From the moment Morgan gets out of her cell, goes postal on the compound and rains terror down on the scientists, the movie had me from this point on. I was glued to the screen and loving every single moment that Morgan and Lee went head to head. The fight scenes were fantastic in the film. These two take hard hits, and it looked brutal.
Now we come to what can only be described as the twist or reveal. I didn't see this one coming if I'm being honest. So when it's revealed to the audience, I was actually pleasantly surprised and shocked. It worked for me. I had a lightbulb moment when I realised what had happened and how it all tied into previous moments in the movie. While the twist isn't some shocking or groundbreaking twist, I still thought it was a fun little moment to close the movie.
Morgan is rounded out by an incredibly talented cast. Kate Mara is excellent in her leading role. She has a few 'Sarah Connor' type kickass moments in this film that had me cheering her on. Anya Taylor-Joy is also great in the movie as Morgan. Her scenes where she is being interrogated had me feeling for her character. It takes a talented actress to really make you side and feel for a villain. Rose Leslie and Boyd Holbrook are the only other actors to really get a chance to shine.
I think someone as talented as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Toby Jones, Brian Cox and even Michelle Yeoh are underused in the film. I would've loved to see Jennifer Jason Leigh get more screentime. Paul Giamatti who comes and goes in an extended cameo gets to have the most fun and goes out in a rather gruesome fashion. I'm shocked that such a talented cast came in for such short screen times in this film.
Lastly, when it comes to suspense and gore, Morgan is never really scary. The movie has a sense of foreboding dread throughout and gets rather intense in the third act but it never really goes for jump scares. As for the violence, this movie does have a few brutal moments, but the gore is never extreme or over the top. Morgan is a case of the directing being restrained when it comes to delivering the red stuff.
DEATH TOLL: 10
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Camera footage of someone being repeatedly stabbed in the eye.
- A deer's neck is snapped.
- Someone tears out a person's throat out with their teeth.
- People are gunned down.
- Someone is shot in the chest and head.
- Several bloody fight scenes.
- Someone hangs themselves by a belt.
- Someone is suffocated.
- A person has their head bashed in with a gun handle.
- Someone is impaled on a stick.
- Someone gets drowned in a lake.
- Someone is given a lethal injection.
Morgan is a movie that doesn't break any new ground when it comes to the genetic manipulation sub-genre of horror science-fiction. We've seen this before in movies like Splice, and it was done better. The film is slow in it's build up, but once it gets going, the movie was a thrill ride with a neat little twist. We also have some solid acting talent in the film, and the movie looks slick. Not a terrible way to spend an hour and a half.