One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar® winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
What We Thought:
Let’s cut right to the chase, is Morbius good? No. Is it the absolute trainwreck I expected it to be? Also no. Jared Leto tries his best and when the film sticks to its horror elements it’s watchable, but when it remembers it’s a comic book movie it relies heavily on really bad CGI.
For non-comic diehards the film is based on Morbius, the Living Vampire. Jared Leto plays Michael Morbius, a scientist who was born with a blood disorder who spends his entire life trying to find a cure. He figures out that bat blood could potentially help, but things go wrong and he ends up vampire-esque. The movie changes some stuff from the source material with Matt Smith’s character being a composite of comic book characters. Here he is a sort of brother to Morbius named Milo who he met in a hospital as a child with Jared Harris as their father figure. Having a blood disorder as well he also takes the formula and becomes the villain of the film.
For the positives, like I said, when it tries to be a horror flick it’s not bad. There is a scene in a hospital hallway where the lights turn off and on that is classic horror styling. The boat scene where things first go wrong for Morbius is pretty solid. When it sticks to a real world setting it’s a perfectly acceptable movie.
But when it’s a comic book movie it’s pretty laughable. The special effects are just awful. They add these flowing colors to the two vampires and use slow motion that just takes you out of the film. There is a scene where a character drifts through wind in a tunnel that makes you question if the CGI is from the 1990s. It of course has your typical New York City style comic book action with characters bouncing from building to building, falling down skyscrapers and crashing everywhere. If you thought the fight sequences in Venom’s California location were bad wait until you see this. The third act climax is as predictable as a DCEU film.
Morbius was supposed to come out years ago, but got delayed because of COVID. It had reshoots and got bounced around even as theaters re-opened. It should have come out before Spider-Man: No Way Home and you can definitely tell they added a mid-credit scene after that movie was released. I can’t honestly tell if they tried to edit the movie while it sat or if they knew they kind of had a clunker from the get go. It could have used an edit and some more reshoots because the resulting film just isn’t good. There is a scene with Matt Smith dancing and getting dressed that needs to be axed immediately. I was hoping the early hatred for it would be like the first Venom movie where I heard awful things, but didn’t mind it. Unfortunately Morbius just doesn’t get to that point. People will see it because box office numbers are showing people are ready for new releases and ultimately it is a comic book movie and they tend to make bank. Keep your expectations around Fantastic Four levels and not Venom levels.