Morgan is a horror sci-fi flick that looks at first blush to be another spin on an Ex Machina kind of story. It’s not. It’s quite different, and the journey is an entertaining one, even with a distinct lack of finesse and pedigree as compared to Alex Garland’s under-the-radar gem. Morgan has a similarly stellar, though far more broad cast, but even they cannot save the film from a script that falls short on logic.
Kate Mara and Anya Taylor-Joy lead the cast as a corporate risk manager tasked with determining whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being and said humanoid being, respectively. The film takes its name from the latter and cements Taylor-Joy as a significant emerging talent. On the heels of leading The Witch, she pulls off an eerie performance as Morgan, a role that demands a blend of innocence, distance and manipulation. Kate Mara is always interesting to watch, and she doesn’t disappoint as Lee Weathers.
Morgan also features all-in turns from Paul Giamatti, Rose Leslie and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It’s undeniably fun to watch, but Morgan is a decided popcorn movie, any deep thinking begins to unravel the thin plot details. Though some of these wheels come off quite naturally, particularly at the moment of the big reveal.
It seems to a certain extent that Morgan knows it is a bit silly and a bit thin, and so just endeavors to have fun, even acting on the urge to force in a 2001: A Space Odyssey reference via dialogue. There’s nothing here that’s understated, but there is a lot that’s underdeveloped. Still, Morgan is an entertaining diversion if you’re in the mood to see some fine talent chew on scenery.