Ar­ti­fi­cial strife

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 15 | 92 min­utes Direc­tor luke scott Cast Kate Mara, anya Tay­lor-Joy, rose les­lie, Toby Jones

In film­mak­ing terms, the ap­ple may not fall far from the tree (for both good and ill). Luke Scott – son of Ri­d­ley, who pro­duced this – kicks off his fea­ture di­rect­ing ca­reer with some­thing his fa­ther might have made, a close-quar­ters tale of tech­nol­ogy gone awry and a crea­ture that could ei­ther be a boon or a threat to hu­man­ity.

In this case, the claus­tro­pho­bic, con­trolled con­di­tions are a high-tech lab where an ar­ti­fi­cial be­ing, Mor­gan (Anya Tay­lor-Joy), has just bru­tally at­tacked one of her car­ers (Jen­nifer Ja­son Leigh). Cor­po­rate trou­ble-shooter Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) is brought in to de­ter­mine the next step: con­tinue the re­search or ter­mi­nate Mor­gan’s ex­is­tence.

Scott has a good line in mea­sured, care­ful shots and knows how to gen­er­ate ten­sion – es­pe­cially in a scene be­tween Mor­gan and a cranky shrink played by Paul Gia­matti. Though not ev­ery­one has enough to do, the per­for­mances are solid, par­tic­u­larly those of Tay­lor-Joy and Mara, who han­dle the lion’s share of the drama.

It’s when the movie falls back on for­mula and be­comes de­riv­a­tive of other, bet­ter films on a sim­i­lar sub­ject – such as last year’s Ex Machina – that it suf­fers by com­par­i­son. Jim Blakey

For re­search pur­poses, Luke Scott vis­ited the labs at Belfast’s Queen’s Univer­sity. Now we’re won­der­ing what he saw…

She was re­ally re­gret­ting not bring­ing a clip to hold back that hair.

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