Thursday, 22 December 2016

Morgan


AI is a big topic at the moment. It’s making its way into our home lives and our jobs, so seeing it in the media is particularly relevant right now. There have been some memorable films about AI as well, such as the aptly-named ‘AI’ (Steven Spielberg) and ‘I, Robot’ (Alex Proyas), and ‘Morgan’, directed by Luke Scott, is the latest attempt to show what could potentially go wrong with an android race.

Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) is a risk management consultant – her job is to assess the risk of certain situations and environments and then report back. Her latest task is to visit the home of Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), a 5 year old android genetically engineered and born to be as similar to a human as possible. Her creators can’t contain their excitement at what they have created but, after a serious incident leaving one member of the team, Kathy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), losing an eye, Weathers has to come in and assess how much risk Morgan actually is.
Now, the subject matter itself is very interesting, as we’re presented with this small child who isn’t really a child at all, but a machine that is capable of some very dark things. Unfortunately it’s a tad predictable – the machine isn’t as safe as we thought, the creators will protect her no matter what, and so on and so forth. There’s nothing that makes this film stand out. Although it’s shot wonderfully and created with some careful precision, it just really isn’t that engaging.
I found the first half of the film to be better than the second, as the dialogue scenes are actually a lot more enthralling than the fighting scenes that counter them. Sadly, once the halfway mark is hit is becomes a strange rush of feistiness and anger as we see the physical problems that Morgan can cause. Being an android she’s a lot stronger than your average human child (though I did find myself questioning whether a child of that age could be that powerful, android or not), and so the result is lots of guns and fists and general turmoil. I found the fighting scenes to be unrealistically staged, and some scenes such as a car chase towards the end just felt unnecessary; it was as if they had included it simply because they’d heard that car chases make great action scenes.
This was the real problem with ‘Morgan’ – it had a clear direction, but it didn’t seem to know how to get there. While the acting was generally very good (particularly Taylor-Joy, who made a sinister robot child), the characters themselves didn’t make me want to root for them, and so any deaths involved felt pretty uninspiring, if I’m honest. There was also a big twist at the end that could have been great, except it was so blindingly obvious that I didn’t really react to it.

I wish it could have been better, but I didn’t get that adrenaline rush, or that feeling of curiosity that you’re supposed to get with films of such a topic. It’s a shame, really – ‘Morgan’ definitely had some potential, but the execution just wasn’t strong enough. 2/5

★★☆☆☆


Hannah Read




Morgan at CeX




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