Morgan, directed by Luke Scott, is a film that is wholly unoriginal, and worse, completely predictable. This is a film that does nothing new and has nothing unique or interesting to say. The film had a chance, if it had only made the effort to build out its cast of character, well then maybe there would have been something worth remembering. Let’s get this review on the move, and break down a film that leaves no discernible trace.
Lee Weathers – played by Kate Mara – is sent to an off-site laboratory where a group of scientists have created an artificial Human – which is partly her reason for being there. The A.I. Morgan – played by Anya Taylor Joy – just attacked one of the scientists and left her blind in one eye. A full assessment must be made on if Morgan is a failure and if termination is the only solution. As you can imagine, Morgan won’t take too kindly to such actions.
I think the thing that harms the film the most is the total lack of depth to anything. From the plot, to the characters, to the overall world that the film brings you into; everything is void of exploration or understanding. What would have helped ‘Morgan’ massively is if the film actually took the time to develop its decent sized cast of characters. There are around 9 separate characters that carry screen time, and not a single one is developed in the slightest. A part from maybe a passing comment about two people’s relationship status, or a past event that slightly connects to what the scientists are doing now; we are left with a group of people who are none people.
It’s almost an accomplishment that in the films 1 hour and 40 minute runtime, it was completely unable to explore or flesh out any of the elements that it had on hand. It makes it even more frustrating when you consider that there is a talented group of actors at the films disposal; Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Toby Jones, Paul Giamatti etc. Every single one of the actors I’ve named and even more that I haven’t, are all left with nothing to do. Perhaps the only actor who gets a worth-while scene to work with is Paul Giamatti. He is in an intense scene along with Anya Taylor-Joy (Morgan) in which he is conducting a Psych evaluation on her. The scene builds and builds, keeping you fully focused on its tense situation. It is perhaps the only time I found myself sitting up and paying my full attention to the film. The film needed more scenes like this; ones where the tension is used to propel the characters and the plot forward in a stimulating way.
What the lack of characters then does is begin to affect the feeling of watching the film. Without the audience having any reason to invest in the characters, without the audience being given any opportunity to connect with the characters – what you get is a moment of realisation. I had this moment kick in suddenly, and it played a big part in causing me to fully disconnect from ‘Morgan’. What was that realisation? It was the realisation that I didn’t care about anyone in this film. What did that result in? It resulted in the film losing any sense of tension, all of the stakes disappeared and I entered into a passive watching experience. “Well, he’s about to die. Yep, there he goes, onto the next scene.” That’s just a small example of what was running thorough my head as I watched this film. It might kick in for you, I don’t know, but what I do know is that when I had the revelation in my head, the whole experience of watching ‘Morgan’ completely changed, and not for the better sadly.
So while the film is completely failing to build out its characters or keep you emotionally engaged, it is also failing to bring something new to its story. This type of story has been done so often, and it has also been done with much greater results – the most recent example that immediately jumps out is ‘Ex Machina’. That film had something to say, it not only explored the morality of humanoid A.I. constructs, it also explored the mind-set of the people behind such experiments. In ‘Morgan’ there is none of that; a bunch of flat, emotion-less scenes in which you know the outcome because nothing about the film so far has indicated that it’s going to do anything different. Frustration and boredom are staples in this film.
That lack of doing anything that we haven’t seen before resulted in me being able to suss out the films twists and turns before they happened. I was able to near enough predict every outcome of every character in this film, and I did all that quite early on. I’m not saying that from a big-headed standpoint; if you see this film you’ll also see where it’s all going. But the predictability of the film isn’t only within the plot, it’s also within the overall look and tone of the film. So not only are you seeing a plot unfold that you’ve seen before, you’re also looking at a film that looks like so many other films – except it is so much blander and void of life in this one. I’m really confused as to why this film exists; I’ve seen this type of film a hundred times over, and I’ve seen it done a hundred times better.
So by the end of ‘Morgan’ I had completely checked out. I was only ticking off the last of my predictions in my head as they played out. I had lost any sense of caring about the outcome of the characters, and I had lost any caring for how the story would end. ‘Morgan’ is a film that completely fails to accomplish anything; emotionally, intellectually, simple entertainment – it is a nothing film.
I will definitely not be recommending Morgan. Don’t waste your time, you’ve technically already seen this film before, except it was better and it was worth your time; whatever is the first film to come to your mind when you think of the plot synopsis for this one, that’s the film that is better than this, go watch that instead.
What are your thoughts on ‘Morgan’? I’d love to hear them. If you like what you read here, perhaps give my blog a follow, or follow me over on Twitter – @GavinsTurtle. By taking the time to read this you are now someone who I appreciate wholeheartedly, thank you.