Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Kate Mara, Rose Leslie, Toby Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti.
NOTICE* I try to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible but there may be some references to plot points that may be considered mild spoilers, reader discretion is advised.
On paper, this film sounds damn impressive. Produced by Ridley Scott, directed by his son Luke, the cast is pretty darn awesome and the story sounds intriguing. Can the young Scott follow in his fathers footsteps?
In a word, no, well not quite yet anyway. Morgan starts off quite well, a story that seems like it may be interesting, taking a tried formula of film in possibly new directions. It quickly devolves into fairly standard action fair that we’ve all seen many times before. There is promise of something interesting or different happening that just isn’t followed through with, Morgan is apparently in possession of extraordinary powers & superior intelligence, none of which are actually displayed. There is a wonderfully tense psych analysis scene with the amazing Paul Giamatti which starts brilliantly, Giamatti flexing his acting chops admirably in a quite tense back and forth with Anya Taylor-Joys Morgan, soon you become aware this isn’t actually going to lead anywhere remotely interesting when it devolves into cliched action when it could have done so much more.
The assembled cast do the best they can with the under baked characters they have to portray. The only halfway interesting character is Morgan, played by the fantastic Anya Taylor-Joy who also wowed me earlier this year in the brilliant ‘The Witch’, this is a young actress with a very bright future ahead of her. Paul Giamatti, Toby Jones, Kate Mara, Rose Leslie & Jennifer Jason Leigh are all criminally underused in roles that feel like they were only part way written before the writer went ‘ah, sod it’, not one of them delivers a bad performance, they just don’t have much to work with.
Luke Scott certainly does show some promise, he has his fathers flair for capturing a scene, it’s just a pity he didn’t have better written material to work with for his first time out.