Hot Take: If Ex Machina were a handbag, Morgan would be the cheap knock-off you buy on a street corner in Manhattan. However, there’s still something halfway decent about Luke Scott’s directorial début.
Morgan isn’t a film I’m going to spend a lot of time defending. If you say it’s boring or banal or hackneyed, I doubt I could win the argument against. While the film did lack some originality (thanks mostly to the release of Ex Machina last year and the similarities between the two) and had a few lulls, there were some decent performances including Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular character in her follow up to her excellent performance in The Witch. Seeing Luke Scott’s first effort considering his lineage was also something entertaining. As a fan of father Ridley and uncle Tony, the family roots are strong in filmmaking and it’s a real curiosity to see what son Luke is capable of.
I think Morgan will go down as one of those polarizing films that is absolutely hated by some and revered by others. I find myself somewhere in the middle of those two reactions. There’s no way it is close to the worst movie of 2016. There’s been plenty of unbearable garbage this year that ranks well below Morgan. It’s also not great cinema. If it weren’t for a handful of actors I find particularly enjoyable to watch and the side story of the Scott family continuing to establish themselves as Hollywood filmmaking royalty, I might not have thought as highly of Morgan as I did and even then it’s only slightly above average on my rankings.
With Morgan, it’s enter at your own risk. The film hasn’t done well with critics or audiences and turned in a very poor opening weekend at the box office. Even I who enjoyed the movie can see how someone wouldn’t enjoy it. You’ve been warned.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Cast
Some recognizable faces turn in some compelling performances which takes some otherwise mediocre material and makes it a little bit better.
The film moves quickly and the look of the film sets the mood for Morgan. It feels as cold as you’d expect a Sci-Fi movie about created life to feel. Give Scott credit as the director for this.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Too Similar
Ex Machina and Morgan share plot points but that’s not the only similarities. Unfortunately, the comparisons come with it and Morgan is a vastly inferior movie about cloning when the inevitable comparison occurs.
- The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far
Son Luke shares some of the same directorial qualities of father Ridley. That’s not a bad thing but it is noticeable and it makes the movie a little predictable as you expect him to follow the same path you’d expect his father to and then he does.