December 8, 2016

VOD Review: Morgan (2016)

"Underrated and Underseen."
Morgan bombed at the domestic Box Office, earning only $4 million.

Given that this was the first film by Luke Scott, son of all-time great filmmaker Ridley Scott, I was hoping that it would fare better, because having another Scott in the director's chair is a good thing: Dad's in his 80's, and his uncle Tony, who was also a hell of a director, died a few years back, so I'm all for that bloodline continuing to make movies that put butts in seats.

I'm honestly not sure why Morgan failed to garner much of an audience in theaters, but I do know that Luke Scott knows how to make a slick Action/Sci-Fi flick, and this won't be the last we hear from him.

After an incident at a remote research facility where Morgan, an artificially created life form, attacks a scientist, the company sends risk-assessment specialist Lee Weathers in to check things out. Lee is icy and all about business, so she's up to the task of deciding whether or not Morgan, who she sees as property as opposed to living being, needs to be put down or not.

The scientists at the facility are of the viewpoint that Morgan, although being an AI life form, is indeed a living being who deserves respect and love. Of course Lee is having none of that crap, realizing that with such advanced intelligence and physical power, that she's extremely dangerous... which is proven when she attacks a psychologist and rips out his throat with her teeth right in front of them all.

When the decision is made to put Morgan down for the dirt nap, the tree-hugging idiots who think she's a part of their family decide to help her escape instead, which leads to NOTHING good for any of them.

As pretty and slick as Morgan is, it's clear that director Luke Scott has the touch that his dad and uncle do behind the camera... or at least hints of it. This is not a perfect film, but for a first effort from a guy who only has one TV episode and a short film to his credit, it's a pretty solid debut.

The way that Morgan played brought to mind movies like Ex-Machina, Splice, and even Hanna. It's all about the science of AI, the morality involved in creating it, and the inherent danger people face while trying to play God. Morality play aside, the movie has its creepy moments, but it was far more brutal and bleak than I expected it to be.

For the most part, Morgan is one of those movies where you're just waiting for shit to pop off and get crazy, which it does, and in some unexpected ways. The fights between Morgan and Lee were the highlights of the movie for me, as I wasn't expecting anything that kinetic and brutal to be found in a flick like this. Then again, the whole third act was pretty brutal. The scene with Paul Giamatti was entertaining as hell too.

The cast in this one is great all around. Aside from Paul Giamatti's crazy cameo, it was Rose Leslie that turned in the best work here, as the girl can show emotion and make it believable. She plucked our heartstrings in this one. 

Kate Mara though, as much as we love her, felt off here. Her performance way too devoid of emotion, and even though it was for good reason, it didn't really make us root for her. It also telegraphed a pretty big plot point early on, which was a bit of a bummer. She also looked like a boy with that short hair, which kinda creeped us out.

The reveal was given away far too early in this one.

Did she really have to look right into the camera in the very last scene? From the moment that we saw her sitting there, and the camera began to pan while the voice-over "explained" everything for us, I said "Please, just don't look directly into the camera." Because I knew that she would, and then the movie would cut to black and the credits would roll, because it's a cheap-ass gimmick that filmmakers just can't resist using, because it's so dramatic and intense.


Morgan makes messy work of plenty of people throughout the movie, and while some of the bloodletting is impressive, it's not overly-abundant.


Both times that Lee faces off with Morgan.

As far as I'm concerned, Morgan was an unfairly overlooked movie when it was in theaters, and one that deserves a bigger audience now that it's hitting VOD and Blu-ray. It's a cool flick, and it's definitely worthy of a rental.


Morgan is available now on VOD, and will hit Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 13th.

Kate, Anya, and Rose.


  1. OK.....

    So it seems that Luke has been hanging around Dads movies for a long time, he was credited as a production designer or something all the way back in 1992, IIRC, for one of his dads movies. So he should know his shit...

    First off, the women were crazy hot in this, and I dont mind short hair so word...

    Second, there was a part about 2/3 of the way through where I guessed the twist, and once the fighting began I was like Fuck Yeah...
    It reminded me of the fight scenes in T2 in the back hallways of that mall. They really step those up. It was hard to tell if there was even stunt people swapped out, I didn't see anything. I did not know the Mara could do that well in this role. She needs more rolls like this. Also I didn't mind the coldness from her, she was there to do a job, and that's what she did. She was all business....

    There is a movie that this reminds me of. I just thought of it, "Soldier", with Kurt Russell. Where old and new have to battle it out to the death. That was a good movie. Remember how Russell played that part? Total Ice.

  2. Last Rose Leslie photo is a fake

  3. I guessed the twist the moment Mara was being a cold dick to the first guy she encountered and her dumbass hair cut just assisted in coming to that realization. I gotta disagree with Horror Club's review on this one. I thought it was pretty bad overall, formulaic and even Giamatti's scene (which I liked) couldn't save it from mediocrity. Oh well, taste is all subjective regardless. The Witch is still my favorite Horror film of the year and we all know how polarizing that shit is. Blackcoat's Daughter is my 2nd fav and I know people that HATE that flick.

  4. This was one of my favorites this year, although granted I think last year was better for horror movies. Morgan's actors and action were awesome. I think the main reason it flopped at the b.o. is the studio didn't market it much. I hadn't even heard of it until 3 days prior to release. They could've done better, as I think there is a bigger audience for this. In response to the above post I liked Blackcoat's Daughter a lot, but wish they hadn't changed the title.

  5. Morgan was one of my favorites of the year. I thought the actors and action were awesome. One of the reasons it flopped at the b.o. was lack of marketing. I hadn't even heard of it until 3 days before release. They could've done better because I really think there's a bigger audience out there for this who haven't seen it or maybe even heard of it.