Trent: I should be all vexed at Blurbarella for trying to replace me with an android last week. But I can’t stay mad at that cutesy coppery face, so let’s peace up with Luke Scott’s “Morgan.” Much like Blurbarella, the Morgan in the title is a five-year-old robot (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) that has attacked one of its caretakers (Jennifer Jason-Leigh) for no good reason. In order to figure out whether this “L-9” prototype is gonna ruin the reputation of its manufacturing company by jabbing pencils into people’s eyes whenever the Wi-Fi goes iffy, the big wigs send Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) to the sweet lake house that contains Morgan’s Hannibal-Lecter-ish cellroom.
Lee tries to figure out what motivated Morgan’s random rage-o-rama by interrogating the scientists: (a geek squad made of peeps like Leslie Rose from “GoT,” Boyd Holbrook from “Narcos,” Michelle Yeoh from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and Toby Jones from “The Hunger Games”; he’s also the voice of Dobby, that Elf with no self-esteem in the “Harry Potter” movies.) Not long after Lee gets to know the scientists, Paul Giamatti (from “Billions”) shows up to do a “psych evaluation.” This isn’t no clever “Blade Runner” Voight-Kampff test: he pretty screams at little Morgan to see if THAT pisses her off again. Non-Plot Twist: No f*****g duh, of course it does! At the end of the day, whether we’re stuffed with guts or wires, we can all agree that it would be upsetting if Paul Giamatti gave us his aggro crap.
Beatricia: Anya Taylor-Joy is good; between this, “The Witch” and “Split,” she’s clearly going to be big. Kate Mara is good, even if her androgynous haircut is doing half her work for her. Rose Leslie, (the woman who sold the world the “You know nothing, Jon Snow” line) is also good. Paul Giamatti is usually better than good, but here he’s too much and his “psych evaluation” scene is lively- unless you stick to kosher and don’t like ham. Mostly, the cast is over-qualified for a boring, predictable movie. And I was confused by one moment. At dinner, while getting to know the team of scientists, Lee addresses project leader Cheng (Michelle Yeoh) and reveals herself to be fluent in Chinese. The others at the research center react with shocked admiration at this development. The thing is, these aren’t what Philip K. Dick would call “chickenheads.” These are highly educated scientists, their boss is Asian, and Chinese isn’t Azerbaijani or something. It’s only the #1 language in the planet! Why is everyone so gobsmacked at hearing the most common of foreign tongues?
Cousin Franz: “Morgan” shows off the dominant traits from genetic progenitors like “Blade Runner” (an efficient agent is sent to retire an android who tends to get sentimental) and “Alien” (a shady corporation is callously interested in a potentially profitable “other” that turns out to be a threat.) The real replicant here is Luke Scott, Ridley’s son, a competent stylist who’s assisted his father in “The Martian” and “Exodus.” But Luke is limited by the movie’s inability to surprise at any level. How many cans of oil would it have taken to silence the creaking that emanates from this machine’s ancient joints? It doesn’t help that “Morgan” rolled in soon after Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina,” which was much better. It’s closer to Caradog James’ “The Machine.”
Tracey: I love how kick-ass women are front and center at this lab, without making a big deal about it.
Hank: Enjoyed “Morgan” while it was happening, so Cherry, but if someone brings this up a year from now, I’ll wonder if they’re talking about a new installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
Grandpa Felicius: I hoped for Morgan Freeman, I got yet another dumb rumination on “being human.” You know what makes you human? Not having the words “Google” stamped on your right butt-cheek from birth.
Blurbarella: “It is stamped on my LEFT Butt-Cheek,– Decaying Flesh-Bag! All Other Picksherry Peoploids– Agree: “Morgan” is the Culmination of Human Achievement– Many, Many Cherries.”
3 out of 6 Cherries