Morgan is a new Science-Fiction horror/thriller film. It is also the directorial debut of Luke Scott, son of the great Ridley Scott. It revolves around a fairly common Sci-Fi story of Artificial Intelligence going wrong, which is always difficult because how much new can you really add to that.
Morgan has an extremely talented cast, including Kate Mara as the lead Lee Weathers, as well as Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, and young actress Anya Taylor-Joy as the AI Morgan. I think the young actress gives a great performance as Morgan, and is one of the highlights of the film. The rest of the cast also put in good performances. But the characters they play, for the most part feel very thin and get almost no character development and we never really get to spend any time getting to know or care about them. Morgan and Lee are the only two characters that the film really gives a lot of love to, which Toby Jones and Rose Leslie’s doctors also get some fleshing out. For the most part the rest of the characters in the film were just there.
That’s a big issue with the film, especially when the film is so slow and not an awful lot happens. Often times a horror or thriller film use a slow build can be to build the tension in the film. However there just wasn’t that tension in the film to warrant the slow pacing. There were some moments that were absolutely fantastic, and really showed that Luke Scott does have potential as a director, he just needs to bring it together for a full feature film. The scene between Taylor-Joy as Morgan and Paul Giamatti’s psychologist is exceptional. The performances from the two actors are superb, and the way that Scott builds the scene to its climax is masterful. It’s just a shame that the rest of the film couldn’t live up to that and deliver the same level.
There’s also a big revelation towards the end of the film, obviously I won’t reveal the nature of it as I don’t want to spoil it. But it is something that the film builds to throughout, however it’s also something I expected to be the case from the first few minutes of the film. And that really speaks to the main issue with the film. Scott does show flashes, but for the most part lacks the deftness of touch and experience as a director at this stage of his career.
But if you want to watch a truly great modern film about Artificial Intelligence then you should skip Morgan and just watch last year’s Ex Machina, which delivers on a similar premise far better than Morgan manages to.