"A Humanist, Violent Thriller that Fails to Thrill"
What You Need To Know:
The best science fiction stories have profound things to say about society, humanity, the universe, or religion. Even movies with nothing profound to say can be effective by purely telling stories in entertaining, engaging ways. Sadly, MORGAN fails at both. The worldview is primarily humanist, claiming that behavior is conditioned. However, the movie cops out and doesn’t blame the conditioners for Morgan’s bad behavior; instead, it makes the true villains the corporate overlords, who, of course, only care about money. Ultimately, the movie’s violence is excessive, and MORGAN is dull and unwatchable.
(HHH, PCPC, AcapAcap, LL, VVV, S, A, M) Very strong humanist worldview about behavior being conditioned and scientists trying to play ‘god’ by creating life, with strong politically correct anti-capitalist elements; eight strong obscenities and six strong profanities; some very strong and strong violence includes synthetic human is very strong and bites man’s neck out (blood sprays all over), stabs woman in the eye (though not directly seen), snaps bones, suffocates a woman, shoots multiple people in the head, and impales a woman with a branch, and brutal fist fights, and a man hangs himself; a reference to sex, plus light kiss; no nudity; light drinking of wine and whiskey; no smoking or drug use; and, greed and power motivate the movie’s true villains.
MORGAN is a humanist science fiction thriller that struggles to rise above mediocrity.
A corporate consultant, Lee Weathers (played by Kate Mara), arrives at a compound in the woods to determine whether the company’s investment/experiment is worthwhile. The investment is Morgan, a synthetic human created in a lab with incredible abilities. Though only 6-years-old, Morgan has the physical appearance of a 15-year-old girl and a vast intellect. Raised by the scientists and behaviorists on the compound, Morgan was treated just like a little girl, and she felt like she had a family. When the head scientist determines Morgan should spend more time in her underground room instead of outdoors, Morgan becomes depressed and brutally stabs one of the scientists in the eye.
This is why Lee has been sent to the compound with a physiologist, to determine whether Morgan should be terminated as an experiment. The team living on the compound love Morgan, however. They view her as a human.
During her psych evaluation, Morgan expresses sorrow for hurting the scientist friend. However, the psychologist, played by Paul Giamatti, asks Morgan tough questions and [SPOILERS] pushes her to the point where she attacks and kills him. Even though the scientists still haven’t given up on Morgan, she turns on them and makes her escape. Lee must stop Morgan at any cost.
The best science fiction stories have profound things to say about society, humanity, the universe, or even religion. Even movies with nothing profound to say can be effective by purely telling stories in entertaining, engaging ways.
Sadly, MORGAN fails at both. Luke Scott, son of legendary Director Ridley Scott, shows his lack of experience in his directorial debut. Bad casting and embarrassingly dry dialogue doesn’t help what are already uninteresting characters. To make matters worse, the movie can’t decide if viewers should feel terrified of Morgan or feel empathy for her, leading this reviewer to feel neither. Finally, the ending is a bit predictable. The result is a cold, emotionally stunted movie.
MORGAN’s worldview is strongly and primarily humanist, because it claims behavior is conditioned. However, the movie cops out and doesn’t even want to fully blame the conditioners of the behavior. Instead, it takes a politically correct, anti-capitalist attitude, making the story’s true evil the corporate overlords of the scientific project, who are, of course, only looking for monetary benefit.
Ultimately, the violence is excessive and the movie dull, rendering MORGAN unwatchable for many reasons.