Any movie featuring a precocious, genetically enhanced super-human raised in a lab who runs amok among her creators, thereby causing considerable unhappiness, is geeky enough to interest the staff of GeekWire. Especially when it’s a free preview.
Seven of us last week saw an invitation-only early screening of “Morgan,” a sci-fi film directed by Luke Scott, written by Seth Owen, released by 20th Century Fox and due out this Friday, Sept. 2.
But we didn’t think much of it. Call us overly critical, but we thought the science was shaky at best, the acting just OK and the ideas not terribly interesting. We gave it a composite grade of C.
Here’s what each GeekWire staffer made of “Morgan.” Important Note: We’ve tried to keep out major spoilers, but for maximum protection, stop reading here.
Co-founder Todd Bishop: It was philosophically sound and theatrically suspect. The acting left a lot to be desired. I didn’t get the big plot twist at all – maybe because I stopped paying attention. It lost me. I was ready for her – I mean “it” – to die. Grade: C-.
Science editor Alan Boyle: I put it in the same category as “Ex Machina,” but that was way better. I liked that it brought genetics into the artificial-intelligence mix — the idea of enhancing humans is going to be a real deal within 10 years. The script was laughable in some parts. And if AI is supposed to have advanced so much, how come the bot voices were so halting and primitive? A wait-for-cable movie. Grade: B-.
Resident tech guru Kevin Lisota: It was watchable, which is about the kindest thing I can say about it. But it was stupid and formulaic and asked no real ethical questions. “Ex Machina” is 100 percent better. There, the life form questions its existence and exhibits a drive toward self-preservation. The emotions “it” exhibited made no sense. “Frankenstein” wasn’t smart, but it asked more interesting questions. Grade: D.
Reporter Dan Richman: It was soul-less, didn’t make sense, wasn’t interesting particularly, didn’t present any interesting ethical or moral problems. It was just nonsense. The minute I saw the lab-headquarters house I knew it was going to suck – the prototypical haunted house. Come on! Grade: D.
Chief business officer Daniel Rossi: I liked it. It was decent. The killings were OK, but you saw them coming. I figured out the big plot twist about half-way through. Little bits started proving it out to me. But the car chase? She’s a 5-year-old—where did she learn to drive? Grade: B-.
Reporter Taylor Soper: I thought it was really entertaining. There were some cheesy moments to it, but overall it was good. It made me wonder, “what if”? I kept thinking that this kind of genetic programming might happen in my lifetime. But maybe not worth a trip to the theater. Grade: B-.
And here’s a bonus review from Tonia Boyle, Alan’s wife: It showed some promise at the beginning. I liked that she was so astute that she could mimic emotions. It was disappointing that she fought like she was made out of titanium when she was really flesh and blood. The downfall was that it turned into a big bloodbath. It would have been so much better if it had been more intellectual. Grade: C.
One point in its favor: It’s pretty to look at, set among great swaths of giant green trees and lonely lakes in Northern Ireland. “Morgan” stars Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Giamatti.