Is it safe to create life without the aid of any natural processes? What is the purpose of creating artificial life? Is it to accomplish something, or just to say, “We did it?” While the purpose of creating artificial life is still a mystery, it certainly has become a popular story element in the world of science fiction. The newest entry in this sub-genre is Morgan. While lots of movies about artificial life are about creating a sentient computer program, this movie is about creating an actual person from a test tube. So, how does it hold up with the others in its category?
Morgan follows a corporate risk-management consultant named Lee Weather (Kate Mara). She is sent out to a secret lab in the wilderness where the scientists are working on a project involving the creation of an artificial being named Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy). While it is reported that Morgan is a gentle girl, she begins to develop violent tendencies. Lee must decide whether Morgan is an investment worth keeping or if her outbursts warrant termination.
Let’s start with what I liked about it. I thought the concept was a very interesting idea. It had some interesting twists that brought some originality to its story. I also enjoyed the performances, especially from Kate Mara and Anya Taylor-Joy. I felt like they were very committed to their roles and had fun with the project. I also felt the twist at the end was unexpected, but kind of average.
Despite what I liked about it, it wasn’t that good of a movie. It chose to avoid any attempt at being an original story in favor of overused, science fiction tropes. There were a lot of points where it could have done something different than it did. I really feel like they could have done something great with the idea if they had chosen to avoid tropes.
I really feel like it could have been a lot better if it had been made as a found footage movie. It’s not just because I’m a huge found footage fan boy. This movie hit all of the beats of a found footage movie. It had similar plots points, elements, and even characters talking to the camera when the time was right. I would have been way more entertained if it had been filmed in that style.
Overall, this movie is really just a mixed bag. It has some really good ideas, but they were all lost in an average science fiction formula that has been used too many times. I feel bad for debuting director Luke Scott (the son of director Ridley Scott), because I want there to be another really good filmmaker in the Scott family. If he had a better script to work with, it could have been a great film. Maybe the next script he works with will be better. In the end, this movie was just 50/50 and I can’t decide whether or not I want to see it again.