Morgan 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
It didn’t take long to get into MORGAN before I started to feel like I’d seen this movie before. I felt like I knew exactly what the big “twist” was going to be, I knew the fate of each character, I knew what was going to happen when Paul Giamatti’s character showed up and I knew how it was going to end. I was practically mouthing the words, so I say this to point that there’s nothing here that’s going to surprise you and if you’ve seen a Sci-fi film involving AI before, then you’ll probably feel the same way.
Lee (Mara) is sent by the corporate office to audit an artificial intelligence project in a remote area lead by a small science team. She’s there because the being, named “Morgan” (Taylor-Joy), had a violent outburst and stabbed a researcher in the eye. Basically, Lee is there to determine if the project should be shut down or if this was an isolated incident and the research can continue. The science team is very weary of Lee because they have clearly put in a lot of time and effort on Morgan, but more than that, they’ve grown to love her like a real person. Their personal feelings make everything even more tense, especially when Morgan has another outburst, basically sealing her fate.
The filmmakers shot the film in a manner that creates a lot of tension, slowly driving the audience towards the surprises or reveals. But like I mentioned earlier, there are no real surprises or reveals and that means the film felt tedious and laborious rather than tense and exciting. At only 92 minutes, the film wasn’t long by any means, but it somehow felt much longer. Everything just took a long time to get going and once it did, the payoff was minimal. The research team consisted of about eight people and none of them had any character development. The only thing we got for anyone was that they were attached to Morgan. That made their fates irrelevant, but I think the filmmakers knew that. I think they were intending the big “twist” to be what everyone remembered about the film, but I don’t think they realized how obvious it was.
There are two pseudo-action scenes that felt a little awkward. Kate Mara has grown exponentially as an actress since her days on ’24’, but she can’t pull off an action scene. Her younger co-star, Anya Taylor-Joy did much better, but the fast editing was clearly used to make up for the action deficiencies of everyone involved. So the few opportunities we did have for some excitement were a little disappointing.
Aside from being overly familiar, there’s nothing inherently wrong with MORGAN. It definitely feels like straight to video fare, but it might not be a bad option for a midnight cable TV movie. We’ve seen this movie before (I won’t name references for fear of revealing the “twist” ending) and we’ve seen it done better.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: MORGAN is a very dark movie, with the majority of the scenes taking place either inside a dark room or outside with overcast conditions. Blu-ray transfers usually struggle with these types of films because the blacks and grays start running together, making for an oversaturated film transfer. The ability to handle deeper contrasts of colors is just one of the many beauties of 4K and it pays off with MORGAN. The scenes in Morgan’s room are elevated with more detail and wider ranges of gray and black and the closeups show off rich detail that was lost in the Blu-ray. This is a very nice transfer and a decent upgrade over the Blu-ray.
Audio: The same DTS track from the Blu-ray is included on the 4K.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no 4K exclusive features included on the 4K disc, but it does include a copy of the Blu-ray, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with Luke Scott: Being his first film, Luke is clearly proud of what he accomplished, which is very respectable and infectious at times. He gives a good commentary that covers just about everything you’d want to know about the film.
Modified Organism: The Science Behind Morgan (19:18): This was an odd featurette that tries to relate the film’s subject matter to actual science, which of course does not exist.
Deleted Scenes (6:00): A few scenes with optional commentary with Luke Scott. There’s nothing here that changed anything in the film.
Loom (20:25): A short film that was used to promote a certain type of camera.
Gallery and trailers