I saw enough potential for ‘Morgan’ to be a great movie. The way the trailers presented this film were enough to convince me to see something directed by Ridley Scott’s son, Luke Scott; instead, I think Ridley should have helmed his production here. Coming straight from directing the funny, yet tense masterpiece ‘The Martian’, Ridley decided to make this film happen; and while it is a breath of fresh air to see something that seems original, yet clichéd, the problem comes from its confusing and complex script written by Seth Owen.
‘Morgan’ is a science-fiction thriller starring Kate Mara as a corporate risk consultant named Lee Weathers; she is a stoic, yet focused character sent to this facility to study what Dr. Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones) calls “a breakthrough”. The experiment is a scientifically engineered humanoid named Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy); it is a complex study full of intelligence, who is also violent and incapable of controlling instinct. This has caused a problem for the facility when one former consultant (Jennifer Jason Leigh) suffered an incident that happened before Weathers showed up; it also led to Morgan being incarcerated behind some plastic-looking glass with technological video surveillance, communication through the glass, and no chance for it to be free.
It seems that Morgan is the sympathetic character with the way Taylor-Joy portrays her, (She does a good job at it) but with the half-assed direction and confusing script, I had a really hard time sympathizing with her/it and the other characters; there’s really no villain in this movie, unless you get angry at seeing a science experiment gone wrong attack other people. The only person in this movie that seems to come off as really unlikable is Paul Giamatti’s character. During the scene where he’s interviewing Morgan, I just wanted it to unleash its anger and start attacking Giamatti. (Why does he always play such douche-bag characters like this one?)
The only decent performances seem to come from Taylor-Joy, who is trying to provide the right type of emotion to portray for Morgan, and Rose Leslie, who plays its childhood friend/fellow scientist, Amy Menser. Mara has some good moments, but with her stoic expression for the most part, she doesn’t add any emotion. Speaking of which, the score seems to be manipulative by putting piano notes for the sympathetic moments to make you feel the emotion; the only thing I was feeling is how cheap the orchestration tried to be. Almost all expressions in this movie are kind of stoic, as Mara’s is.
I can only say one thing about ‘Morgan’ and that is: I feel not only disappointed, but heartbroken that this film didn’t have the focus to be consistent as a potent sci-fi thriller. I would also like to give a piece of advice to Luke Scott. Let your father direct! As for you, Ridley Scott: Train your son to be as good of a director as you are.