I thought I would treat myself to a movie last night, as a little bit of an early Christmas present, since I don't have much of a demand for Christmas presents these days. So I went looking for a movie at the local video store, and after a little while I found "Morgan", the latest sci-fi release that tries to be more of a horror movie than sci-fi. So I checked it out, took it home and watched it. Unfortunately, it wasn't what I had hoped for. Starring Kate Mara as a company "risk management agent"(really, that's what her title is), she goes to an isolated lab in some unnamed place that we never hear the name of, where she's to determine what to do about an incident that took place. Always being someone looking for a new movie to enjoy, and a new approach to a good story, I was a sucker for this, in hopes of enjoying it. The problem is the story has too many open holes that are unanswered, especially as to whatever Corporate is or represents. As Mara reviews the incident in question, she gets to meet the staff there and tries to finish her job so she can literally finish her job(and that is exactly what it implies), and we find ourselves with an unfortunately wooden and one-dimensional group who don't fully invest themselves, whether that's the director's fault or not I'm not quite sure.
Toby Jones is badly wasted as one of the three major talents in this movie, the others being Hollywood legend(sorta) Jennifer Jason Leigh, who has such a small role she almost doesn't exist in the movie, as actress or character. The lovely Michelle Yeoh, one of the great Asian actresses, puts in her two cents, but even she's wasted(figuratively and literally!) in a kind of walk-on only role before she gets killed. I'm not saying that Kate Mara is a bad actress, the fact of the matter is she isn't. I like her pretty good, but she could use a much better chance to do something than this. Yeah, I know, it's a job, but it hardly seems like a job worth doing when you have this crap you have to put up with. And Mara's had a couple of successful movies, but this is not one of them. Her performance is even more wooden and one-dimensional than the others, which seems to reflect her character.
When we finally meet the title character herself(or himself, whatever. The kid seems completely androgynous somehow), Morgan is a remote and shut off character who gives a very plain performance that is too easily seen in movies like "Ex Machina" or the universally hated "Hannah", which only succeeded in pissing off every major and minor LGBT group in the known world.
We come to find that Morgan is the product of repeated failures of genetic experiments over the years, and is the only success in her project group. However, what the other scientists don't realize is that she's a lethal force to be reckoned with once she becomes agitated, and she does not play well with others after that. Only Mara's character seems to fully understand what Morgan's true nature is, a fact that anyone watching is kept completely in the dark about for the most part until the almost the very end, which is unfair to the viewer. It's because of this by itself, and other problems, that the story seems unrealized and unimaginative, and the filmmakers are held responsible for making something that demands too much explanation, and too much need for more story development and dimension.
If you've seen a lot of sci-fi movies, and I have, then the ending is near predictable...not quite, but almost. One of the story arcs that's been somewhat popular is the idea of genetic splicing and experimenting, and the question as to whether it's a truly ethical idea is thrown out the window, as usual. But hey, this is Hollywood! Everything that has any idea of ethics gets thrown out the window, so what the hell? What's humanity to a bunch of major studio assholes to begin with? Right?
I can only hope the next sci-fi movie will be a lot better than this. But at the rate Hollywood throws away money on junk filler like this, I really don't know. At the moment, I'm not sure I want to know. Of course, it is also completely possible that I am just way too fucking jaded for Hollywood movies anymore. Just saying.