Morgan is a sci-fi thriller with a difference: this one passes the Bechdel test. And it’s really rather good.

Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) is a bioengineered life-form, an experiment in artificial intelligence. But her creators have become too emotionally attached, and are unable to treat her as anything less than human. When she attacks Dr Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh in a disappointingly small role), risk-management consultant Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) is sent in to sort things out. But the odds are stacked against her: Morgan might be dangerous and out of control, but the scientists are on her side.

Okay, so there are some issues. Let’s face it, credulity is stretched at times; it requires a gigantic leap of faith to believe that a being – however special – can jump into a car and drive it without ever having seen one before. And how does Morgan know, just by looking at him, that Dr Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) is married and has two kids? I’m happy to believe in the fi part of the sci, but it’s better when the ‘magic’ is explained convincingly. In addition, there’s a definite slump in the second half, when all the slice-and-dice stuff kicks in.

But overall, this is a lot of fun. Mara and Taylor-Joy are worthy adversaries, both wonderfully kick-ass and convincing in their roles. Paul Giamatti is as compelling as ever, and Rose Leslie (as Dr Menser) adds a quirky naivety to the tale. And the payoff is worth the wait.

Worth watching. So catch it while you can.

4 stars

Susan Singfield



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