Director: Luke Scott
Writers: Seth W. Owen
Starring: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Paul Giamatti
A review by Ryan M. Holt
Morgan is the directorial debut of Luke Scott, son of legendary Science Fiction director Ridley Scott. It follows the story of a nano-bot infused genetically grown person named Morgan, and what happens after she lashes out against her keepers.
Lee Weathers, played by Kate Mara, is dispatched by the often used and vaguely evil sounding ‘company’ to assess damages. The company itself is named probably twice in the entire movie, so the world feels a little flat. The reason for Weathers visit is simple: Should Morgan be terminated or should the project continue despite the safety of the staff?
The film jumps into the pool of philosophical and ethical conversations of motherhood, rights of created beings and more. Given Luke Scott’s father and the themes he has played with throughout his career, it often feels like the film is traveling through the Scott’s family’s greatest hits. Unfortunately, the film never quite settles on one note, instead going for a stew like consistency of themes. The individual elements are fine, but combining the ingredients provides mixed results throughout, but overall a satisfying meal.
The stand out performance of the film is by far Anya Taylor-Joy in the role of the title character, Morgan. She plays the role of the other incredibly well, and your eyes are always on her eerie figure. She sulks through scenery well, dancing between innocent child and brutal weapon. The makeup and character design creates a sense of unease, but Taylor-Joy sells the character.
Once Morgan escapes her confinement, the action escalates to an amazing final act between the leading ladies. The build up in the first half of the movie makes the second half sing as Mara and Taylor-Joy throw down. The stunt work is brutal and incredibly well shot, with every blow being easy to recognize, yet still filling forceful. You don’t know who to root for, and it creates a polarized ending that had people buzzing as they left the theater.
See it! It is a energetic thrill ride from start to finish. Kate Mara plays cold and calculated well, and Anya Taylor-Joy steals every scene she is in with her creepy and tense movements.