Monday, August 29, 2016

Movie Review #478: "Morgan" (2016)

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Director: Luke Scott
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

A corporate risk management consultant (Kate Mara) is sent to one of her company's research facilities to investigate an incident involving their experiment, a genetically enhanced artificial human called Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy).

"Morgan" is the first feature length film by director Luke Scott. It is a dramatic sci-fi thriller with a bit little action thrown in for good measure. It stars Kate Mara as Lee Weathers, a corporate risk management consultant who is sent to one of her company's experimental research laboratories. While there, she is tasked with looking into a violent incident involving Morgan, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, an artificially designed and enhanced human who stabbed another employee at the laboratory. Joining them are Rose Leslie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Toby Jones, Michael Yare, Chris Sullivan, Vinette Robinson, Michelle Yeoh, and Boyd Holbrook, who make up the other staff members at this isolated research lab. Upon arriving at the facility, it becomes clear to Lee that many the staff members have grown far too fond of Morgan and treat her more like a child/daughter/sister than the financed experiment she is. When Morgan has a second violent "error," Lee decides it is time to terminate the experiment; however, Morgan is not so willing to go peacefully.

We were not really sure what to expect from "Morgan." The few times we saw the trailer, it never really drew us in or got us hyped despite a solid cast featuring the likes of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti, and even Anya Taylor-Joy, who had quite the breakthrough role in "The Witch" earlier this year. Now that we've seen the movie, we have to say, the trailer is definitely somewhat misleading, and we are not so pleased with the final product of "Morgan." There are some exciting and worthwhile elements here and there. Early on, there are a couple of very tense scenes and situations, as well some excitement to go along with them. The movie starts off as a drama mystery where those behind the camera build up the situation and characters. Unfortunately, the film never gets to the point where you really care all that much about any of them and whether or not they can stay alive long enough to make it to the end of the film. Many of these characters also do inexplicably stupid things, so you don't really feel bad if something terrible happens to them. By the latter portion of the movie, it evolves into full-on action thriller complete with gun-play, car chases with an all too durable Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz that can apparently barrel through objects without so much as a scratch, and fight scenes ripe with a busy, shaky camerawork and 50 cuts in 60 seconds. There are way too many contrivances here for it to be taken seriously as a drama, and it's far too dull to be a mystery.

We are sure there will be a portion of the viewing audience that will be deceived by the flashy sci-fi charm and dramatic intentions of "Morgan" upon first examination (especially if you have seen the trailers), but once you begin to peel back its many messy layers, it all starts to crumble apart a little bit more and more. Provided you don't think about it too hard, you may like this film. While there are some enjoyable moments early on, the film falls prey to predictability and a rough third act. This one is just mediocre for us.

PS: Lolo was right.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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