Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica reboot series taught us humans will inevitably keep trying to engineer superior versions of themselves. Such is the case in Morgan, a sci-fi thriller from Luke Scott whose ambition to deliver a giant twist ending is outweighed by its overbearing familiarity and predictability.
If you’ve seen Ex Machina, Hannah or even Stranger Things then Morgan will feel like a measure plucked from the same song. For that matter if you’ve seen a decent portion of Ridley Scott’s film catalog then you’ll recognize more than a few shots his son has composed for Morgan’s action and horror sequences.
From the moment test-tube child Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) is introduced the film’s trajectory becomes strikingly clear. Literally grown to become a perfect human and adored by her handlers, a violent incident puts Morgan on the watch list of a corporate risk/loss analyst (Kate Mara) while a second pits the two against one another with life-or-death stakes that escalate into a third act bloodbath.
The twist involving these two is openly telegraphed from their first interaction and many times after. Spending more time after the eventual reveal to explain the twist through additional exposition is an unfortunate eye-roller.
What works best in Morgan is the performance by Anya Taylor-Joy. She holds her own against a cast of veteran actors and steals the screen against Mara whose character is cold and heartless by design. Like Millie Bobby Brown’s portrayal of Eleven in Stranger Things, Taylor-Joy is able to equally pull off lovable, innocent child one moment and explosive terror the next.
The Blu-ray edition of Morgan also includes a DVD and digital copy version of the film. There are no complaints from the 1080p video transfer or 7.1 DTS-HD audio mix. Both are sharp, crisp and clear, the earmarks of a modern release that leans on digital presentation.
Morgan’s bonus features are fairly shallow albeit interesting and can be breezed through relatively quickly, save for the director audio commentary.
- Audio Commentary by Luke Scott
- Modified Organism: The Science Behind Morgan
- Loom (Luke Scott short film with commentary)
- Deleted Scenes
- Stills Gallery
Morgan is a prime example of a decent film to watch and easy to forget. You can’t go wrong with the Blu-ray presentation, but it’s impossible not to feel a nagging sense of déjà vu at the numerous nods to films that already blazed a trail through the same narrative. Humans can’t stop trying to engineer superior versions of themselves and Hollywood won’t stop trying to regurgitate the story.
Morgan was released on December 13th, 2016 and is available on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.
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