“Morgan” – tightly paced thriller about a genetically engineered A.I.

morgan

“Morgan” tells the story of Corporate Consultant, Lee Whethers (Kate Mara) who has been sent to a remote facility to assess whether a genetically engineered intelligent being, Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) should be terminated.

From the beginning, this is an intense, claustrophobic movie, that feels more like a tightly-plotted, character-driven crime-thriller than a sci fi movie of ideas.

The camera work and lighting are masterful, bringing to life both the stark, cold, isolation of a concrete bunker research facility that is a de facto prison for its scientists as well as their “experiment” and the endless, sun-drenched freedom of the huge forest that surrounds it.

“Morgan” delivers strong performances from the entire cast but especially: Kate Mara as the dispassionate but insightful  consultant from corporate who clearly has an agenda she isn’t sharing; Anya Taylor-Joy who combines vulnerability with a clear potential for violence that makes Morgan both very human and very alien; and Paul Giamatti, who’s portrayal of the intensely unpleasant psychologist evaluating Morgan, makes him, perhaps, the most inhumane character in the story.

“Morgan” is filled with secrets and half-truths and undisclosed relationships that drive the behaviour of everyone involved. It is a splendid blend of thoughtful dialogue and violent action. It has more than one surprise along the way but it never cheats, it simply reveals.

You won’t find anything particularly new or deep about the nature of the relationship between and artificial intelligence and those who create it in “Morgan” but you will be swept up in a well-told mystery.

The official movie trailer below, tries too hard and gives too much away for my tastes. I’ve included a second, shorter, trailer which I think captures the essence of the movie much better. It was “made” by Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing suite, which is just a spooky as it sounds.

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