[Artificial Intelligence] MORGAN Film Review: Humanoid With Soul

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MORGAN Film Review: Humanoid With Soul - Photo credit: liveforfilm, edition by Amber255 via bitLanders

Humanity was always guided by the desire to move closer to the Almighty as close as possible, taking over from him some of the functions that create civilization. As soon as we realized ourselves and began to reveal our true position on the planet, we decided that we own too little opportunities. If you reread the old chronicles and legends, then you can see that people of the distant past tried to create their own kind, subjugate them and thus become the truly dominant force on Earth.

But if the bygone days' experiments playing with the universe left a big question about its success, then with the onset of the technological revolution's era, the idea to grow a person from a test tube gradually turns into reality.

But where truly incredible opportunities are revealed, comparable to the power of God, completely unhealthy desires are born, the consequences of which are very difficult to assess. 

Morgan is a film that grabs your attention and makes you question whose side you want to be on.

Credit: thebloggingbanshee

Even in the Renaissance, the genius of scientists and the creator Leonardo Da Vinci created a model of an artificial mechanism capable of becoming in the service of man. And since that time, disputes have not stopped on the fact that once people really will create assistants for themselves, shifting some of their responsibilities to them. Only the place of steel mechanisms with limited possibilities is gradually occupied by creatures made of flesh and blood, with the unique advantages of the human body, strengthened by the achievements of genetic engineering. Or humanoids with synthetic DNR - biosynthetic creatures.

And the film MORGAN in the naked form speaks on the subject of risks associated with the obsessive desire of people to play a role that was previously completely dominated only in Heaven and Nature itself.

Luke Scott shot a chamber thriller mixed with science fiction, and it turned out to be a very good idea, in connection with the plot and good actors. 

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The Plot

Somewhere in deep, deep forests, in complete wilderness, scientists decided to conduct an experiment. 

Judging by the film, we are shown the not so distant future. Among the dense North American forests, behind a deceptive facade of a seemingly outdated estate, a secret laboratory is hidden, where a group of scientists is working on the formation of a synthetic person - by synthesizing artificial DNA and a living cell, they manage to create an individual genetically close to a real person - an android named Morgan, who externally has the gender characteristics of a young girl.

The fruit of the painstaking efforts of scientists is developing by leaps and bounds and shows amazing results, pleasantly surprising its creators with remarkable strength, intelligence, and a tendency to telepathy. Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) is smart, strong, self-learning. 

After an accident occurs in the laboratory, the company involved in this project sends a crisis manager Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) to the laboratory to determine the possible consequences on the spot. The trouble is that emotional problems and mental stability of Morgan are big problems. The object of research is out of control. A crisis manager's task is to evaluate the feasibility of the experiment and the further fate of the creation of the offspring, which has recently shown a clear tendency to aggression 

And in a good way, she goes under the write-off. But everything is complicated because the scientists who created Morgan, consider her a real person. 

bitLanders AI-Themed Blogging: MORGAN - Photo credit: data.edisk

The Idea

MORGAN - the debut work of Luke Scott. Not anyone, but the son of the legendary British director Ridley Scott and such a circumstance makes the viewer with particular attention and zeal to turn his attention to the result of his works. Almost immediately it becomes obvious: Scott Jr. decided to follow in the footsteps of the illustrious father, devoting his film to the problems touched by the cult futuristic Blade Runner, shot by an eminent parent in the first half of the 80s. 

And again we are witnessing the confrontation of artificial and human intelligence, their possibility of mutual coexistence, and adaptation of the artificial creation of human hands in modern society.

The classic dilemma: does a creature created by man, conscious, and able to recognize itself as a person, can be completely self-sufficient and independent?

Well and, of course, will the person eventually not suffer the inevitable reckoning for his games of God?

bitLanders AI-Themed Blogging: MORGAN  - Photo credit:sacredwall

As you know, people are not the first dozen years trying to create artificial intelligence, not inferior to their own. The motives for this are different: your own defense, the conquest of other planets, research activities, military power, or elementary help in everyday life. In a word, something that will greatly facilitate our life and make it easier.

Every year, science and technology make more and more new breakthroughs, machines literally coexist with us, we see them every day and what yesterday seemed like fantasy and a reckless fruit of the most insane imagination, is already becoming a reality today. This alone at least provides a genuine audience interest in this film.

The film touches many moral dilemmas of varying degrees. First of all, the problem of the creator, the self-identification of a being created in the image of a human being (to the question of whether a person can in principle create something that is not cruel) and human nature. What makes you human? Is it always best to be yourself? What love can be and much more. 

Film about artificial creatures MORGAN - Photo credit: .tv-archiv.sk

Important questions are raised about life and death, human morality, terrible, correct, or necessary decisions. It makes you think about whether we have the right to solve certain issues. And what are the consequences of this or that choice?

Humanoid With Soul - Morgan

The film is built around a bio-robot, whose name is Morgan. She looks like a human being, and she has intelligence and strength, and even, oddly enough, the ability to experience feelings. But after an unforeseen failure, an emergency situation expert arrives to determine the suitability of Morgan for further research. 

 Unlike many other movies that tell about various secret experiments and even experiments with people, Morgan has an emotional part that allows the viewer to empathize with the young lady Morgan. An innocent child, who grows unwillingly the way he grows and can do nothing with his nature, with his instincts.

On the one hand, we see an ordinary handsome teenager imprisoned in a concrete location without the possibility of escape. The girl dreams of seeing the forests, the fields, finally the blue sky, but by the will of the scientists, she has to be supervised, only dreaming about how to get rid of them.

Science fiction film MORGAN  - Photo credit: imdb

On the other hand, interference with the DNA structure, leading to doubled intellectual abilities and amazing strength, is in itself alarming, since in most science-fiction novels we know, man-made artificial creature rebels in most cases against its mentor and leaves him no chance the rescue.

And Luke Scott does not miss the opportunity to demonstrate all the nightmares emanating from Morgan, albeit in an overly frank action-form.

Anya Taylor-Joy performed the role of Morgan. A sort of artificial being having synthetic DNR, exploring the world and trying to understand what it was created for. Anya showed all the facets of her emotions in a short hour and a half, and sometimes you do not understand how her heroine will react to this or that word, maybe she will kill you because she really can, or she will just nod in response.

It was precisely such moments that did not allow us to break away from the screen; the acting data of this girl surprised me very much.

Artificial Intelligence films: MORGAN  - Photo credit: io9.gizmodo

Anya Taylor-Joy plays a complex character, and the girl had a really hard time, because at one point she had to play a humble teenager, and on the other turned into a frenzied beast driven by the desire to bite off someone’s neck and rip out a juicy piece of meat.

Playing such opposing emotions is very difficult to even for experienced actors, but Taylor-Joy was able to prove that in addition to her attractive appearance, she has a talent that takes her to the position of one of the most sought-after actresses of her generation.

The efforts of Ani Taylor-Joy must also be appreciated because, in most of the episodes, she only had to play with facial expressions and looks, which is very difficult.

MORGAN, official Trailer - Video credit: youtube 

Lee Weathers

The second memorable role - Kate Mara, who played the role of Lee Weathers. She is the peculiar inquisitor on which the fate of Morgan depends. She is very strange. Her logic prevails over emotions. A robot, not a man. Here is the whole essence of the film.

The cold, calculating, and decisive girl, clearly following job descriptions and ready to do anything to fulfill the order from the above.

Arriving at the destination, Lee begins to realize that the long work on Morgan in conditions of voluntary recluse led the team of scientists to an impermissible eccentric, but the real interest is not the nurses or doctors, but the experimental girl herself, as the company’s management places special hopes on her. 

Science fiction film MORGAN - Photo credit: imdb

Step by step, investigating the situation in the complex, Lee eventually comes to difficult conclusions, and they must be solved without unnecessary sentiments. However, there is no doubt about her professionalism, because her tough and, at the same time, balanced decisions - this is exactly the reason why she was sent on a business trip.

Kate Mara becomes the connecting link of the plot, but the actress on the set didn’t show anything special, acting as a kind of attractive props with a chilling glow in empty eyes.

It was a pity, of course, to see her not with lush red hair, but with a short haircut.


Artificial Intelligence films: MORGAN - Photo credit: toomar

 Overall Impression

The film does not have any terrible moments and, therefore, MORGAN does not fit the horror genre. But here are many murders showed. What is most interesting, they are all different: there is strangulation, there are broken necks, there are people shot and drowned, there are poisoned ones. In a word, in this component, director Luke Scott decided to show off his imagination.

The fundamental flaw in the entire film is as follows: taking the interesting idea as a basis, the authors, instead of developing it comprehensively, thereby making the tape deeper and smarter, on the contrary, considerably simplified it, reducing the on-screen narration towards an ordinary thriller.

Of course, this does not go in plus the overall achievement, as well as an element of some understatement - this applies to certain skills and abilities of the experimental hero, the nature of which has remained unknown. And as a general result - initially tempting with its plot, the story turns into a channel of banal denouement.


Artificial creatures in film MORGAN - Photo credit: twitter 

But in this case, the form prevailed over the content, and it was the director's instincts and the presentation that pulled the outwardly predictable spectacle to a new, more advantageous height. Here it’s important not how the idea is implemented, but how it is presented to the viewer. The storyline is built so it attracts from the very first seconds, and it is evenly divided into two parts, observing a clear and distinct rhythm. 

This film, despite its slow pace, is interesting to watch from the first to the last second. The first thing that catches your eye is, of course, the quality of the video sequence: the film is very beautiful, saturated with deep, dark tones, which allows us to immediately note that Luke Scott, like his father, is a talented visualist.

MORGAN, Lee Meets Morgan scene - Video credit: youtube 

On A Final Note

Many worthy films were shot on the danger of experiments with the universe, and to tell the truth, MORGAN cannot offer the audience anything really revolutionary, but the film can cause quite serious interest, as it has a number of advantages. 

Director Luke Scott paid special attention to the development of the image of Morgan. So the viewers could see in this experiment, the light and dark sides of genetic research that raises many difficult questions. Genetic experiments equal biosynthetic experiments shown in the film.

Of course, MORGAN cannot be called an exemplary discussion on the rule of people over the forces of nature and vice versa, and yet the tape of Luke Scott can cause a certain interest. She is intriguing, has attractive visual merit, worthy actors trying to play, and not just in the frame, good action, and the beginnings of philosophy, which causes the thinking process.

MORGAN Film Review: Humanoid With Soul - Photo credit: edgeoftheplank

I don’t argue that in some scenes that are critical to the dramatic development of events, Luke Scott went too far with cruelty, literally reveling in the opportunities provided to him, but in general, Morgan causes mostly positive feelings.

Summarizing what he saw, it can be stated with confidence that Scott Jr., having an interesting idea, could not properly implement it, but thanks to the impeccable style, expressed in high-quality technical formulation and the plot principle, which draws the viewer's eye almost instantly, the drawbacks of the picture do not catch the eye too much. In any case, for the debut - very good.

Anchored by Mara’s rigidly controlled performance and Taylor-Joy’s tremulous yet quietly menacing work, Morgan is an effective tension generator that unfortunately falls apart at the end.

Credit: seattletimes

My rating: 6.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 37/100
Metacritic: 48/100
Critics average: 30/100
IMDb: 5.8/10

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