Sunday 9 July 2017

Movie Review: Morgan (2016)

A science fiction horror flick, Morgan has no new ideas and quickly runs into braindead territory.

In a secretive research facility located deep in the woods and operated by the SynSect company, an experimental human hybrid called Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) unexpectedly attacks and injures Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh). The company dispatches risk management expert Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) to assess the situation. She finds a tight knit team of scientists who designed, conceived and nurtured Morgan under the leadership of Dr. Lui Cheng (Michelle Yeoh).

The other researchers include Dr. Ziegler (Toby Jones) and Dr. Amy Menser (Rose Leslie), who has befriended Morgan and allowed the hybrid to explore the surrounding wooded area, which is perhaps contributing to Morgan's sense of rising anger due to the otherwise confined surroundings. Also at the facility is cook and marksman Skip (Boyd Holbrook). When Dr. Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) arrives to aggressively test Morgan's ability to tolerate taunting, Lee has to quickly decide what action is needed to contain the damage.

Directed by Luke Scott (son of Ridley, who co-produced), Morgan is an irritating and derivative Frankenstein-type effort, falling far short of 2014's similarly themed Ex Machina. Despite starting with a premise that may have held some promise, Scott and writer Seth Owen make all the wrong choices as they somehow concoct to steer the film towards characters literally running around the forest whacking each other with all available weapons.

Prior to the outbreak of bloodshed, precious little is offered in terms of engagement. Neither the science nor the characters are remotely interesting, the team of researchers remaining shallow stock personalities and the protagonist Lee Weathers a coldly calculating and less than emotive presence. Paul Giamatti heats things up with his singular over the top scene, but departs too quickly to leave a mark.

There is one twist in the film, it arrives late but is easy to guess early. Despite the talent in the cast, Morgan is an experiment absolutely not worth saving.

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