Movies & TV / Reviews

Morbius Review

April 1, 2022 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Morbius Image Credit: Sony Pictures
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Morbius Review  

* Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius
* Matt Smith as Milo
* Adria Arjona as Martine Bancroft
* Jared Harris as Nicholas
* Al Madrigal as Al Rodriguez
* Tyrese Gibson as Simon Stroud
* Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture

Story: Biochemist Michael Morbius tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead.

It would be easy to open this review with hyperbole and say that Morbius is one of the worst superhero movies ever. Movie audiences do tend to live in the land of hyperbole with their reactions these days, but let’s go ahead and fact check right now. Morbius doesn’t even crack the top ten of the worst superhero movies ever made. To do that, it would have to be interesting. And this lifeless vigilante tale has very little about it that would interest anyone.

The biggest problem of that would be the story. There is, yes, a formula to superhero movies by now. Marvel has pretty much perfected it, but at least they do occasionally try to do different things. With this movie, Sony seems to be reading from the Cliff’s Notes of the Marvel formula and never once attempts to stray from it. You will know every single beat of this film before it happens. Predictability isn’t always a bad thing, if it’s in service to a good story. This isn’t. It’s rote and meandering.

We get Jared Leto playing against type somewhat in the lead role, a sickly man determined to cure himself and others. It’s against type in that Leto has been playing eccentric characters for some time and Morbius, at least at first, is pretty normal. However he’s also not very interesting. There’s no real flaws to the character in the same way we’ve seen flaws in other characters. Spider-Man is too naive. Tony Stark and Stephen Strange are both arrogant. Even if you go with Sony, Eddie Brock has a lot of personality quirks. There’s nothing flawed about Morbius except his medical condition, and that’s not exactly a flaw (and it would be gross to suggest it is). Character-wise, he’s portrayed as always right and always good.

His character, by virtue of what he is, kills people. That’s not exactly a spoiler, he’s a vampire. But it’s always portrayed as something out of his control. When Morbius is in control of himself, he’s usually the smartest person in the room. He doesn’t really lose anything through failure, more through circumstance. This makes him a very, very uninteresting hero. The comics version of Morbius, even the one from the 90s Spider-Man cartoon, constantly battled his urges while trying to cure himself. You get none of that here. Morbius is aware he will be a monster soon and takes measures to prevent it, but it all seems matter-of-fact and routine with little drama.

If you are wondering what’s the point, it’s simple. No one wants to watch a protagonist that doesn’t have flaws. It’s boring. And it doesn’t help that Leto seems bored with the material. He may not have been, but he doesn’t really bring anything to the role to make it rise above ‘stock tragic hero’ status. He’s just there, mostly reacting to things that have happened or are happening until it’s time for him to disappear into CGI. He’s not the only one who seems uninterested in the material, as most of the cast seems to be simply biding their time.

That is, except for Matt Smith. If there’s any enjoyment to be had in this movie, it’s the former Doctor hamming it up every chance he gets. At least they get the villain right. A tragic origin story that doesn’t excuse his actions and an actor willing to make the role entertaining. He’s sadly not on screen enough, or maybe the other dreary characters are on screen too much. At least when he’s there, being the bad guy, it looks like he’s enjoying himself and that makes it more entertaining.

What’s not entertaining? The CGI. The special effects here are shockingly bad. Every once in a while there will be a flash of the title character looking good. But it becomes apparent later on, when we have CGI vampire fights across the city skyline, that the effects may be the movie’s biggest flaw. It’s incredibly hard to watch and ugly to look at. There are times when you can’t make out what’s going on, and it seems the filmmakers knew that because they slow it down so you can see the cartoons fighting. The climax in particular is dark and noisy before rushing to the ending title card.

There are also two post-credits scenes. While this review won’t contain spoilers, it should be noted they are not worth the time to seek this out. They make no sense given the established canon of previous Marvel movies and barely make sense within the world of this movie.

So no, Morbius wasn’t a good movie. It’s easy to understand now why there were reshoots and why the release date was pushed around multiple times. It’s the kind of movie that you wish was a total car wreck, because that would make it interesting. We still remember Batman & Robin 25 years later. Nobody’s going to remember Morbius in half that time.

The final score: review Bad
The 411
Morbius is a slow and clunky superhero tale with shockingly bad CGI. It's ugly to look at and meanders from one predictable plot point to the next to get to a nearly unwatchable conclusion. At least the worst superhero movies had a pulse. This one does nothing to justify its lifeless existence.

article topics :

Morbius, Joseph Lee