Predictability makes the sci-fi “Morgan” lose its potential
Conforming to the typical expectations for the sci-fi genre, Morgan provides little excitement or creativity. In the science fiction world, the struggle to perfect the human race has been a recycled storyline for countless years and Morgan is no exception. The film lacks originality, and consequently falls short of any surprise. Morgan centers around a project to construct the ideal human, created in a lab and forced to stay confined to the facility located in the middle of a forest. Originally, excelling in the elementary stages, things quickly take a fatal turn for the worst. Despite the intent to come off as both a thriller and a sci-fi, Morgan ultimately fails to actually do so. Due to the easily predictable plot line, much of its potential is lost and is unfortunately unable to be reconciled with its talented cast .
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four), rocking a pixie do and black pantsuit, stars as Lee Weathers, a corporate risk consultant for a biotech company. She's sent to an eerie house sitting atop the remote facility. The company's classified project is the genetically engineered human called Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch) and Weathers must assess the viability of Project Morgan after recent, violent setbacks. The scientists that create Morgan are truly devoted to her, especially psychologist Amy Menser (Rose Leslie, Game of Thrones). She sees Morgan as an actual being with rights and emotions just like everyone else, however Menser's efforts to broaden the project's world only result in a resentment of captivity which ultimately leads to the sudden ferocity of Morgan.
In spite of a great cast, this sci-fi movie doesn't have much to say outside of a vague, cautionary message and, aside from the killings, it also proves unsuccessful in providing any other spine-tingling scenes. Morgan is the directorial debut of Ridley Scott's son, Luke Scott, who has previously only helped his dad in other films and while Morgan does have a few momentarily interesting visual ideas- including the reflective glass cage in which Mogan lives, as well as the ghostly woods surrounding the compound- yet Scott can’t manage to match these when it comes to the plot or its themes. It's implausible to believe that characters, with the intelligence they have, would not recognize the obvious warning signs shown early on by Morgan. Anyone with common sense would never allow the situation to evolve as it does making it difficult to buy into the narrative.
If Morgan has anything going for it, it’s Morgan herself- or itself as Weathers would say. Actress Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance is the only thing that impels viewers to remain seated the entire hour and 32 minutes utilizing her ability to send chills down their spines. Taylor-Joy stays inside her comfort zone of dark and disturbing roles with her character of Morgan and exceptionally embodies the essence of the twisted project. On top of this, her costume design, although very simple, adds a troubling aura to her part that everyone will find intriguing.
Morgan has a few minor plot twists that aren't completely out of left field, however its storyline was pretty basic in regards to other sci- fi films covering similar topics, consequently erasing the possibility of surprise. Bits and pieces of background knowledge are dropped here and there to help give some insight, but it lacked much of the required information that would have improved the film. The entire setting of the film takes place at the facility, leading one to believe that budgetary issues may have been at the forefront for setbacks which could have otherwise been improved, if not avoided as a whole.
Morgan attempts to tell a unique story, but instead faces the same fate as numerous other films, regurgitating similar ideas and visuals. Morgan is just another murder movie in the woods with a sci-fi twist. Despite a solid foundation and brilliant cast, a weak script and subpar directing lead to predictability and in the end, holds Morgan back from reaching its full potential.