Sunday, 11 September 2016

'Morgan' Review


Last year, 'Ex_Machina' hit the big screen and its story featuring Artificial Intelligence was one of the best of the year. This year 'Morgan' looks to take a slightly different look at this sci fi sub genre whilst looking to make a similar impact. It's safe to say that 'Morgan' is no 'Ex_Machina', but it is still an effective thriller in its own right.


Morgan (Anya Taylor Joy) is a bioengineered child who exceeded the expectations of her creators by learning and adapting to the world in her first few years. However, Morgan has a very aggressive side to her and when she attacks one of her handlers, corporate risk assessor Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) is sent to the facility to make a decision on whether she is safe to keep alive or not. Things turn south as Morgan breaks free and now the staff and Weathers have to deal with a murderous synthetic human.

What really holds 'Morgan' back from being a great movie as it seems to not know what it wants to be. At times, it shows potential to be a sort of Frankenstein like story as a creation has turned bad and is running amok. On other occasions, it showcases the film to be a very effective drama. The film continuously bounces between the two ideas and doesn't decide on one until late on, This does cause a problem with the film as it can't choose which way it wants to go and never settles on where it's going with its story.

However the films biggest strength does come with its drama which the talented cast have to take a lot of credit for. Kate Mara and Anya Taylor Joy are two of the standouts as they appear most in the film and play vital roles in the ever-growing tension and unpredictability that the film holds. The two do very well with Joy giving a chilling performance as Morgan and really gets to show her range of acting, all performed to a very high standard. In fact, the best part of this movie has Morgan come face to face with Paul Giamatti, as Giamatti interrogates her surrounding her recent behaviour and the consequences that may be a foot. This scene is fantastic as Giamatti shows just how good he is in an incredible scene. This is the highlight of the film by far and is one of my favourite scenes of the entire year.

As the film progresses, the tittle character becomes a ruthless killer and is on the loose. This leads to some very brutal scenes with Morgan acting like Hannibal Lecter and brutally clubbing one of her handlers to death with a handgun. Morgan was shown to be ruthless and showed no remorse but only towards those she considered "friends". This was very bizarre for me as she didn't keep this level of ruthlessness the whole way through which was clearly just to prolong the film. This hurts the film as you sit and are baffled by the fact that she was so clinical in some cases and nowhere near so in others.

The action film is very hard-hitting with some really good fight scenes, again with Joy and Mara standing out once again. The pair do fairly well with some tough fight scenes where they don't hold back and you can clearly see the effect that it is taking on each other, especially with Mara's face being bloody and broken by the end of the conflict. After coming out of the cinema, some of my friends were not impressed by how much of the action that they seen. To an extent, I agree with them as there is an abundance of cuts that does really hinder the action. At some points, it does work by not showing exactly what is happening. There are some moments that would probably be genuinely hard to look at and the film uses beautiful sound editing to make sure you know what is happening and what effect it is taking. The film really shows that action featuring female characters can be just as brutal and hard-hitting as they do with male and hopefully opens the door for more like it.

There is a pretty huge twist at the end which really is hit or miss. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't a huge fan of the twist. Looking back, I can recall a moment where it may hint at it but a second watching would be needed to fully see if it was hinted clearly throughout the movie. It seemed very abrupt and left me puzzled as it happened and I couldn't quite understand how it was possible. The film does explain it a little at the end but it just didn't fully impress me unfortunately.

Overall, 'Morgan' has some great moments, especially from its talented cast. Anya Taylor Joy builds on from the 'The Witch' to show that she is one of Hollywood's finest young actresses. Kate Mara also shines with Paul Giamatti doing fantastically well. Some problems such as undeciding on what story to go with and inconsistencies with the tittle character really hold this back from being a great movie. Entertaining throughout with an intriguing premise but the excecution wasn't quite perfect.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Morgan'? If so what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie! Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor