Picture it, flashing lights, eerie music and images of an artificial life being created on a giant screen. Paints the idea of a science fiction horror movie right? Yeah that’s what I thought when I saw the trailer for Morgan. However, Hollywood is known for fooling us with their editing and therefore I return to my viewing spot once more. Let’s get started
- A true science fiction plot
- Decent acting
- Twist in the end
To quote a friend, “We seldom get a true science fiction movie that isn’t drowned out by CGI action scenes and grotesque monsters.” Fortunately, Morgan defies that trend and dives deep into the core of the genre, focusing on the scientific process in all its details. In a script laden with scientific jargon, one will return to a college biology course sprinkled with a genetics topping. But the natural science pales to Morgan’s primary focus of the ethics involved with creating life and trying to control it. Much of the film revolves around the small band of scientists arguing about Morgan’s role in life and what the future holds for their creation. It’s another black and white debate between parties, with some slight character development thrown in to add some depth.
As mentioned the film centers on scientists trying to rationalize the ethics of their creations. So it’s probably important to have a good cast to bring the roles to life right? In my opinion, the team did okay, but it wasn’t the most earth shattering performances to grace the screen. Kate Mara led the team playing a monotone role that while flat, held some mystery to it. While she certainly was able to look mean and perform stage combat, I wanted to see more of her character to round things out. Anya-Taylor Joy as Morgan certainly has the sociopathic role down and could easily play the next serial villain in a crime drama show. The other assembled casts did a smashing job on their part, both looking and playing the part of obsessive scientists to quite impressive levels.
But perhaps the biggest like of the movie was the twist in the end. In terms of the plot, there is more than meets the eye to some of the characters and the mystery begins to unravel as things heat up. You’ll have to get to the end of the film before the pieces fall together, but those with open eyes may pick up hints if they watch carefully. In addition, the movie actually gets a twist in genre at the end, turning into a part action movie with surprisingly violent stunts. While certainly cheesy this change of pace makes for a semi-exciting climax that relieves the movie of its drab pace.
- Boring, slow pace
- Not a horror movie or suspenseful
- Graphic Torture
Morgan’s message about the mistakes made when playing God are beaten over the head, but the package it’s delivered in was so dull at times. Sure scientific minds may get caught up in the jargon and scientific ideas, but the team focused too much on the scholastic and not enough on the entertainment. Surely the mystery element could make up for it, but I found little mystery in this movie other than when Morgan would go nuts, what would happen to her, and of course the twist I don’t want to ruin. If you’re into the moral dilemmas and high grade vocabulary this won’t bother you, but you might want to bring a pillow in case science wasn’t your cup of tea.
When the monotonous discussion eventually stops and the system begins to fail, I thought the suspense would pour in. Wrong again. Despite the dark hallways painted in red, there wasn’t much outside of Morgan’s creepy close ups that one would find unsettling. I apologize for sounding like a broken record, but this movie lacks in thrills or suspense until the final fifteen to twenty minutes. When it finally rears its head, the suspense comes in the form graphic torture, that involves brutal mauling, mindless shooting, and a little kung fu to sweeten the wet meat deal. I’ll admit some of these moments are fitting, however it also felt hastily wrapped up into an anticlimactic ending (like the ending to American Horror Story Season 4).
Morgan held a lot of potential, but this reviewer felt much of it was lost in the direction it took. While I appreciate the attempts at being a true science fiction movie and preaching the importance of morals in discovery, it certainly failed to deliver the promised thrills. Such a shame considering they had a decent cast and setting to bring those horrors to life, but you can’t hit a home run all the time right? I can’t recommend this film for the theater, but you might give this one a shot at home when it hits Redbox in a few months. Instead find your local showing of Don’t Breathe and get your thrills from that.
Movie Overall: 5.0