|Release Date||April 1, 2022|
|Cast||Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal|
Sony’s Spider-Man universe continues to expand outside of the Spider-Man/Venom/Carnage territory with the addition of another character in the form of Jared Leto’s Morbius. I wasn’t too excited about this film initially as I felt that no matter what the movie did to differentiate itself that it would be compared to Blade and that not enough people would really care about or know the Morbus character to really care. My fears were realized as Morbius ended up being a movie that took itself way too seriously and strung a very simple story out far too long.
Dr. Michael Morbius is introduced to the audience as a Nobel prize winner with a crippling blood disease that he vows to cure. He and his company, Horizon, end up developing artificial blood in a breakthrough that saves countless lives. He works alongside his eventual love interest in the film, Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona), to help find a cure for himself and his ailing friend Milo who we’re introduced to in a lengthy origin scene. Morbius ends up splicing bat DNA with his own and that leads to his transformation into a modern-day vampire that becomes an unhinged killing machine in his thirst for fresh blood.
This probably sounds like a decent start to the movie but, for me, the origin story went on far too long going through the motions. It was too much for a story that could be told in a couple of minutes. There are many superheroes and villains like Morbius and I didn’t feel like the movie did a good job differentiating Morbius from the others. Instead, what we got was a bunch of backstory about his friendship with Milo (Matt Smith) and his blood disease that was pretty easy to understand without beating it to death. Conversely, the rest of the movie felt like they sped through any explanation of anything else going on. This left me feeling apathy towards the movie as a whole because my interest started to wane.
Jared Leto did a good job playing Morbius with what he was given to work with. He portrayed a character who was very much doing everything in his power to not only give himself a chance at a normal life but his friend Milo as well. He had other interactions with Martine and with his childhood doctor but they felt very shallow and just weren’t explored as much as I thought they should have been. They served as fodder for the eventual conflict between Milo and Morbius. Matt Smith steals the show as the villainous Milo who has no remorse for any of the repercussions that his newfound vampirism causes to innocent people around him. He’s just happy to be in good health despite being a ravenous killer. His transition from one of the most likable characters to the main villain in the film was the best part of the movie in my opinion. He provided a stark contrast to Leto’s dreary personality.
The big fight scene between these two characters was easily supposed to be the centerpiece of the film but I just couldn’t bring myself to really care that much about it. The battle wasn’t very impressive in any way. It was relatively quick and anti-climactic. The effectswere decent enough but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen dozens of times. It just felt very cookie cutter and I couldn’t get past that fact. The story of this entire film could have been told in 10 minutes en route to a better story and yet we spend an hour and 44 minutes on something without much substance.
I have some hope for the Morbius character in the future now that we have the origin movie out of the way. This isn’t the first character that has had a bad origin movie. Things can certainly be salvaged from a character standpoint. If the post-credits scene with The Vulture is any indication, we may be seeing Morbius as part of The Sinister Six in more of a supporting role which might just fit this character better. I just don’t think it has the legs to carry standalone movies and this film really proved that.
Overall, Morbius would have been better served to be part of a bigger movie than to try and slog through a very simple story for almost 2 hours that was predictable and boring for the vast majority. It’s really as simple as that. Don’t waste your time, reading a recap will serve you just as well as sitting in the theater for 2 hours.