Every once in a while, it’s nice to go into a movie and know next to nothing about it. When I saw Morgan, all I knew was that it was about a kid with freaky powers and it was directed by Ridley Scott’s son. I hadn’t seen a trailer. I didn’t know any of the cast. I went in as cold as someone who’s obsessed with movies can.
And you know what? Morgan is all the better for it.
It’s basically Ex Machina, Jr. but without any of that film’s nuance or intelligence. It wants to get straight to the not-quite-human kicking ass. And at just 92 minutes, it wastes almost no time getting there. In fact, its opening scene features Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) eye-gouging one of her doctors (Jennifer Jason Leigh, sadly wasted in her few scenes). The company bankrolling this experiment brings in Lee (Kate Mara) to investigate if this was a one-off incident or if this project is too risky and needs to be shut down.
The problem is the rest of the crew – including Toby Jones, Michelle Yeoh and Rose Leslie – have grown far too attached to Morgan. She’s not human, and appears to be about 13 despite technically only existing for five years. Like Ava in Ex Machina, she’s manipulative enough to get exactly what she wants from the people around her.
To say things get bad in a hurry would be in an understatement. But even as the body count starts to rise, none of the crew are willing to throw away years research and “terminate” Morgan. There’s also a twist here I saw coming a mile away, but that doesn’t take anything away from the film’s cheap thrills.
Labor Day Weekend is typically a lull in the movie calendar. The big blockbusters have all debuted and we’re not quite into prestige season. That’s why this is the perfect time to see Morgan. It’s a nasty little thriller that doesn’t have anything of substance to say. But it’s stylish and entertaining. Get Luke Scott a sharper script, and he could one day be as good as his dad or uncle.