by Tony Medley
Not for children.
Runtime 87 minutes.
Anya Taylor-Joy plays
Morgan, a human created from DNA, who in five years goes from being an
infant to what looks like a young woman. She lives in an old house
converted into some kind of lab where she’s cared for by a group of
people led by Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones). The group has developed an
affection for Morgan, who lives locked away in a room but apparently
always under observation.
Enter Lee (Kate Mara)
who has been sent by the corporate overseers of this project to make
some sort of evaluation of Morgan. Morgan is not a robot or anything
other than a human being cloned from some DNA, the origins of which we
are not told. But she is definitely human, which is what makes this film
Into the mix comes
Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti), a psychologist whose job it is to
determine of Morgan is “malfunctioning.” His climactic session with
Morgan is one of the highlights of the film, aided and abetted by
terrific performances by both Giamatti and Taylor-Joy.
Machina and its standout performance by Alicia Vikander one step
further, this is a thought-provoking sci-fi study of a nihilistic evil
manipulation of human life created through DNA cloning by a corrupt
corporation that could result from advanced science that doesn’t
recognize the soul that must be inherent in all human life, no matter
how created. Despite the tilt towards horror and unnecessary graphic
violence, it has fine acting, tight directing, and holds interest