Morgan kicks off with video footage of the title character (Anya Taylor-Joy; see her in the amazing The VVitch if you haven’t already) springing across a table, fork in hand, to take out the eye of Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Morgan isn’t human, her DNA and cells have been spliced with bio-mechanical parts created by a group of Ph.D’s, and her purpose is to be launched as a weapon of minor destruction for the prototypical evil corporation. So, yes, there is absolutely not a single original idea in Morgan. On the other hand, the solid acting, suspense, and immersion in Greek Mythology make it incredibly good.
With Kathy’s eye gone, she is an automatic allusion to the Cyclops in Greek Mythology. According to the tales, the Cyclops only had one eye because they had sacrificed the other eye in order to see the future. Similarly, when Lee Weathers (a mouth watering Kate Mara) arrives on scene to assess both the incident as well as Morgan’s future value to the corporation, she stands before the “Cyclops”. High on pain meds, the loopy doctor tells Lee, “You’re from corporate? I know what you are. You’re a god. Damned. Assassin!”
Is she loopy? Is she able to see the future and know what is to be? I’ll say no more.
In the meantime, Morgan is becoming increasingly despondent. Her privileges of dialy interactions with nature have been taken away. She spends her time in an isolated room, constantly recorded and monitored, while the “gods” or Ph.D’s figure out how to deal with her tantrum that created the Cyclops. The Ph.D’s are trivial like the Greek gods and with one video message to the corporate heads, Morgan could be terminated.
How will the gods who created her determine her fate?
The debates of morality and just consequences, in addition to the overly creepy Morgan, who is 5 years old but resembles a teenager, provide a thick fog of paranoia throughout the film. Again, we all know this story, and one almost is disappointed when the outstanding twist doesn’t reveal it as a sequel to 2015’s Ex Machina. Hell, if the Terminator franchise were interested in making good films again, then this would have fit in as an overly decent seque.
Regardless, by the end of the film we have our first solidified female version of Jason Bourne. The rich allusions to Greek tragedies transition seamlessly into this sci-fi setting, thanks in no part to Ridley Scott’s production- the guy who made the common slasher flick into Alien. Thus, if you want the film that succeeds where countless others failed (the latest Bourne, the latest Bond, Spliced, Salt, Species, et al.) then go with this one. The common story has painted a ton of others critics sour, but when was the last time they got a review right?