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.