When scientists successfully artificially build a humanoid being, the corporation they work for sends in a risk-management consultant to determine whether or not it must be terminated. Starring: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Paul Giamatti, Boyd Holbrook, Toby Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Sullivan, Vinette Robinson, Brian Cox, Jonathan Aris and Yare Michael Jegbefume. Directed by Luke Scott and written by Seth W. Owen.
Artificially created beings have appeared in cinema for countless years, they create a threat that can be both futuristic or plausible, depending on your point of view, and film-makers don’t seem to stop trying to make films about it, unfortunately in this case. Despite the minimal intrigue created at the beginning of the film with Kate Mara’s Lee Weathers arriving at a secluded facility, surrounded by security measures, again not anything new. Mara presents herself well and certainly has a strong handle on the idea of being cold and calculated as her executive role requires but it’s nothing to make her stand out. In fact the only character to stand out amongst the entire film is Rose Leslie’s (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, The Last Witch Hunter) Amy, quite possibly the only character with an actual personality, as well as being the only character to be really tried and tested emotionally throughout the film.
As we are introduced to the humanoid Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), of course there’s the immediate reaction of how human she is and how protective the group are of her and yet there’s little to no attempt to make the audience feel this way at all, not even to begin having thoughts that maybe Morgan isn’t a threat. If anything the few human qualities that Morgan resembles make her an irritating character which stops any possibility of sympathy dead in its tracks. And from there, things don’t get any better, the story goes exactly where you know it will, it’s entirely predictable, almost perfectly so; quite possibly caused by the fact that the plot is incredibly simple and yet takes its time to unfold, during which it creates very little suspense to hold your attention.
It’s not difficult to see that the film is simply of a lesser quality than most of the box office, in almost every way, demonstrated by the fact that at several moments the colour of Morgan’s skin and eyebrows change, the make-up isn’t even consistent. It’s bleak visually, you can see the finale a mile away and it adds absolutely nothing new to a sub-genre that’s massively overused in modern film. The only positive aspect being that it isn’t inherently unwatchable, it can hold you attention at the basic minimal for its just under 90 minute running time but it certainly isn’t a satisfying watch.