The summer movie season has come to an end and different movie options aside from blockbusters are now opening up. This weekend the two releases Morgan and The Light Between Oceans couldn't be more different. One is a sci-fi, horror-thriller with the son of Ridley Scott making his directorial debut, while the other is an adaptation of a popular romantic drama. I was able to see both during the last two weeks, so let's start with my thoughts on Morgan.
Morgan is all about the titular character (played with finesse by The Witch's Anya Taylor-Joy,) a "woman" who was created by scientists. She is the first successful version of artificial life....until she becomes not so successful after attacking of one of the members of the research team. Enter a risk management member of the corporate team (Kate Mara) to decide whether or not project Morgan should be terminated. We'll leave the plot at that because it's best if there's a way the movie can surprise you with the few tricks up its sleeve that it has.
Paul Giamatti arrives midway through the film and his scene with Taylor-Joy is absolutely the highlight of the film. So much tension is built that I was so excited to see what came after this point...but unfortunately, this was where the film kinda fell back on the thriller genre formula instead of kicking the horror up a notch. Really that's the problem with the film is that it's caught between too many genres. As a fan of horror, I kind of wanted this to be more on the side of Alien...where Morgan is a silent, relentless stalker...but the way it plays out, they don't really give you much time to revel in her destruction. Still though, even though the beats became a little familiar in the second half, they were still executed with a lot of fun. Plus, I'm excited to see were Luke Scott goes from here. His freshman effort was decent enough and certainly entertaining. EMILY RATING: 7/10
The first 15 or 20 minutes of The Light Between Oceans might as well have been called "Beautiful People in Love." Not that there's anything wrong with that...but there didn't seem to be a lot of depth to this film and it made me wonder why two Oscar-caliber actors signed on for this. And then the drama hit. BIG TIME. And that's where things got interesting. The Light Between Oceans is all about a married couple (Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) who find a baby and a dead man in a boat. Having had two miscarriages, Isabel begs her husband not to report what they found and just to raise the child as their own. Her husband Tom reluctantly agrees but soon finds he can't live with the guilt when he discovers the baby's mother is still alive (Rachel Weisz.)
Once The Light Between Oceans got rolling, I really really liked it. All the drama in the second half made me appreciate the lighthearted opener that I didn't care for at the beginning. The performances here are fantastic, and the message at its core is pretty heartwarming. The ending could have perhaps been more solid and memorable (it's a little understated and cheesy at the same time), but it's a minor complaint. I mentioned earlier as more of a cheeky comment that the movie is basically two pretty people falling love...well I can't deny that makes the movie all the more beautiful to look at combined with the gorgeous cinematography and lovely score....so it definitely ain't a bad thing when all is said and done. EMILY RATING: 8/10