Really thought Paul Giamatti was beyond this
An insipid addition to the sci-fi subgenre of ambitious morons admitting they fucked up right before they die, “Morgan” occasionally plays like “Jurassic Park” — if scientists thought the resulting aggression of screaming in a dinosaur’s face indicated an unexpected genetic flaw.
Risk management consultant Lee (Kate Mara) arrives at the obligatory big, rusty old house in nowhere, New York. She’s supposed to evaluate the viability of Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy of “The Witch”), since clearly it takes an expert to consider if a powerful, super-intelligent being with a penchant for eye-stabbing might be a threat. Morgan was created as “a hybrid biological organism,” but if you think you’re at least in for the freakiness of “Splice” or the style of “Ex Machina,” dear god, you are not.
The exposition-heavy, suspense-free “Morgan,” which includes about 20 minutes of people explaining things to Lee that she should have been briefed on beforehand, hinges almost entirely on stiff lines like “For every decision we make, there are consequences” and “We don’t want another Helsinki.” (Sample exchange: “I’m Amy.” “Ah, the behaviorist.”) Mara, Rooney’s less-talented big sister assumedly cast for her blankness, inspires not one second of curiosity about what’s really going on here.
Also, it’s obvious what’s really going on here.
Maybe you simply can’t resist Paul Giamatti slumming it as the dumbest person to ever question a violent, artificial life form, or Jennifer Jason-Leigh following up “The Hateful Eight” with, uh, another movie in which she’s brutally attacked. Obviously, don’t. Even a mere 84-ish minutes becomes a slog as director Luke Scott, who owes Steven Spielberg an apology what with nods to “A.I.” and “Minority Report” as well, foolishly thinks hushed automatically equals intense.
Characters call Morgan “special” about four times, yet she really just seems like an ordinary, moody teenager (who happens to really be 5 years old and have a thing for biting necks). “Morgan” demonizes its lesbian character as unprofessional while totally failing in its attempt to examine anything political about rights of a sort-of human species. At least I laughed at Dr. Cheng (Michelle Yeoh) claiming that the worst thing you can do to someone who you’ve locked in a room is press their face to the window (no, no it’s not) and a moviegoer nearby noting her disbelief in the onscreen idiocy with observations like, “She actually just ate a man.”
A legitimate grumble during yet another movie about a supposedly super-charged brain (“Lucy”) for which thought and reason need not apply.