Morbius – Review


Image from Sony Pictures

Dr. Michael Morbius (Leto) transforming for the first time.

Dr. Michael Morbius was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder at birth. He is determined to save others from the same fate, including his childhood friend Milo (Matt Smith), and attempts a desperate gamble; experimentation with vampire bats. While at first it seems to be a success, what follows turns him into something unimaginable, a Living Vampire.

2005 called and to say that they want their movie back. We’ve gone through so much in this genre of film that you need to present something interesting to your audience if you want an overall positive reception. At the very least, give your final product some life to it. “Morbius” doesn’t do that. In fact, I don’t know at all what the purpose of making this soulless film was. It’s clearly been meddled with by someone while sitting on the COVID-19 delay shelf over at Sony, because this is an instance where the film seems to be doing injustice to its trailers. It even seemed like the director had no faith in his own movie, he decided to spoil it before the press were even sent screeners.

The first trailer for “Morbius” came out before COVID-19 was even a thing, meaning this has probably been finished and sitting on a shelf since April 2020 (at the time being prepared for a July 2020 release). This doesn’t make any sense, because the two end credits scenes would have been explained. This would have been the case, because “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the only base of context we have for those scenes, which has always been scheduled for release after this film, but we’ll get to that later. It would be a completely different conversation had Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) from the MCU not shown up in the trailer as the “money moment.” Of course, nearly that entire trailer never made it into the film – as this movie was edited down to its hollow core – but at least there’s some clarity as to what universe this takes place in after the misguiding references to Tobey Maguire’s, Andrew Garfield’s and Tom Holland’s respective Marvel universes.

Image from Sony Pictures

Had I not seen the unpromising 15% Rotten Tomatoes score before watching this movie, I would have had low expectations, but not rock bottom. There was a semi-promising start to the movie, learning about Morbius’ backstory and his developing relationship with his friend, Milo. Not long after, everything hits the fan with multiple subplots introduced, and maybe one or two actually stick it out until the end. So much that was introduced in these ninety minutes was carelessly abandoned along the way. It is absolutely wild how much they cut out of the film that was shown in the trailers, and what remained was pointless and went nowhere. Why is Tyrese Gibson in this movie, and why did he have a robotic arm in the trailer but not at all in here? I couldn’t tell you.

Jared Leto is fine at best, but someone with an Oscar and who is on thin ice with many fans around the world should be way more careful than this. This is now his third culturally popular performance in a few years, and according to the majority, he’s zero for three. Some people are complaining about the visuals this film has, and I wouldn’t say they stand out as terrible, but they’re not great. They serve a purpose, and I think the way Morbius moves in “vampire mode” is sort of cool, as well as the echolocation sound design. However, as a lead character, he was not it at all. He fell victim to every cliché a crime fighting character has, but doesn’t decide to go beyond that in terms of development. That’s mainly because of the horrendous script and editing, but it’s unimaginable how far Leto goes in some of his roles, compared to how overtly dull he is here. Sidenote: Morbius is not a hero or even an antihero. Making Venom a sympathetic character for his own movie I understand, but Morbius is a bloodsucking vampire. I wouldn’t exactly want to be saved by him. I think Sony is picking the wrong characters to make solo films for.

If I had to pick one part of the film that at least stood out among the rest – whether it be in a good or bad way – it’s Matt Smith. At least he made an impression, and he kept the movie awake opposite Leto’s tired performance. There are a number of times where his enthusiasm felt incredibly out of place, and his character motivations towards Morbius were inconsistent. The villainous transition he makes in the final act after figuring out Morbius discovered a “cure” to their disease, but one that is clearly not functioning properly, doesn’t make any sense if keeping them alive and healthy was the goal.

Image from Sony Pictures

What I like so much about films with end credits scenes is that they don’t necessarily add to the film you just watched, but they leave you with anticipation for what’s to come next. There have been some decent ones and some less than so, but never have I watched one and thought “this is bad.” Regardless of the drastic contrast in quality between the two end credits scenes (both focusing on Adrian Toomes), the discontinuity is off the rails from the start. The first scene begins with the rift that opened up at the end of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” spitting Toomes out into this universe. However, that’s not what happened as far as has been explained, and the opposite occurred by putting people back into the universes they came from. As far as this first scene goes, it was misleading due to the lack of explanation, but not altogether bad. The second scene, however, was horrendous. This thirty-second scene made such an impression, almost as if it was trying to be terrible. The Adrian Toomes in this scene is the exact same one from “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and even being the main antagonist in that film, he never goes out of his way to purposefully do villainous things. I have no idea what the change of heart was: how he got the tech to make the Vulture suit so fast, how he managed to meet up with Morbius as a rogue fugitive or why Morbius even came to meet him? This scene is yet another devastating mistake made by Sony executives, showing how they didn’t learn their lesson after forcing so many characters into “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” so that a Sinister Six project is imminent. Kevin Feige must be embarrassed that this has a connection to his universe of movies and that there’s nothing at all he can do to stop them from making these terrible movies.

The best thing I could tell you about “Morbius” is that it’s watchable, but not the so good it’s bad kind of watchable. It’s the so bad it’s bad kind that has elements to it that I could sit through, give or take a few minutes. I don’t think I’ll ever watch this again, though. It’s amazing how a movie so rushed could at the same time be so boring. Not only was the inferior bat-based comic book character film adaptation released this year, but there are not too many superhero films I’ve seen that are worse than “Morbius.” When they’re not holding hands with the MCU to produce Marvel projects, Sony has been failing miserably as of late. This only makes me worried for the future, with their many announced solo character projects that don’t sound any more interesting to me than “Morbius” once did and now does.


Final Grade: F