Friday, April 1, 2022

Morbius - Review


Is there a film studio operating in 2022 that’s more desperate for another film film franchise than Sony Pictures? An argument could be made that it’s really the only one fighting to find one. Sure, they have Spider-Man, but that’s in co-production with Marvel Studios, and every other attempt they’ve made has essentially crashed and burned. Morbius is their latest attempt to take a villain from Marvel Comics deep catalogue and turn them into a conflicted anti-hero, doomed to fail critically and financially from its complete lack of interesting ideas or source material. 

Afflicted with a rare blood disease, Dr. Michael Morbius, played by Jared Leto, has spent his entire life trying to find a cure to save his own life and so many others. With logical and ethical ideas running thin, Morbius makes a last ditch effort with morally questionable, illegal experiment that goes awry. The results transform the famed biochemist from a man to the living vampire. 

This movie is bad. Unfortunately, it’s not in the ‘so bad, it’s kind of good’ sort of way either. It is quite tempting to end the review at that, however, some its questionable decisions and boring story elements have to be examined. 

There is a flaw at the core of this film, and that’s the idea that a film centered around Morbius as a character is even remotely a good idea. As a comic character, he is visually interesting and the idea of Spider-Man fighting a vampire is an admitted cool concept, but the character standing on his own just never felt right. And that’s more apparent than ever in the film’s script. 

The writing clearly wants to get to the vampirism as fast as possible, which is understandable when that’s the most interesting element of said character, but it sacrifices establishing anything interesting about the characters that populate this film’s runtime. There’s love interest that might as well be any number of love interests from bad comic book movies. There’s a father figure that comes and goes with little emotional attachment. We get a friend who also has this rare blood disease, but no matter how much Matt Smith chews the scenery, this also feels incredibly hollow.

All of these elements just feel like a studio that wants so desperately to create something that can be franchise. But in order for audiences to want more, you have to create something appealing the first time around. Morbius isn’t that. While all these elements amount to a boring, messy, slog of a film, the truly horrendous franchise bait in its mid and after credits scenes are laughably on the nose and ultimately narrative breaking if you think about its implications for more than two seconds. 

Ultimately, all you really need to know is that it is a bad movie. And not in an enjoyable, laugh at it, sort of way, just a ‘I can’t believe they actually made this’ kind of way. 

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