Morbius Movie Review
Jared Leto's Morbius is an ultimately entertaining ride that falters trying to weave too much into the plot, my full review.
Sony Pictures' newest film Morbius is the latest Marvel Comics character to receive a big budget Hollywood spin-off. The vampiric villain made his original debut in "The Amazing Spider-Man #101" comic in October of 1971. Fast forward to 2022 and Morbius has emegered from the shadows to claim his own share of the box office. The film stars Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona and Tyrese Gibson with director Daniel Espinosa (Life) at the helm.
Morbius tells the origin story of how Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), a brilliant scientist, who is afflicted with a rare blood disease that he is working desperately to cure. In order to save his life, he turns to dark science and ends up creating his more demons in the process. Morbius creates a serum that splices his DNA with that of a bat, transforming into a vampire-like creature with super-human strength. The catch: he now has an unquenchable thirst for human plasma. Morbius tries to come to terms with his new condition and fights to keep the remaining serum from falling into the wrong hands. He must balance all of this, while fighting off an unexpected villain and evading the authorities (Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal) who are hot on his bloody trail.
Overall, the film is a decidedly mixed bag. Morbius delivers exactly what you would expect from a Marvel comic book movie. It's exciting, visually stunning, and full of action. However, it also suffers from a number of shortcomings, the biggest of which was the script.
"Morbius delivers exactly what you would expect from a Marvel comic book movie. It's exciting, visually stunning, and full of action. However, it also suffers from a number of shortcomings, the biggest of which was the script."
The plot is often muddled and at times difficult to follow. This is particularly true in the second half of the film where much of the set up is done well, only to fall short during the big action climax. The final act of the film moves a little too quickly and doesn't conclude many of the story arcs in a satisfying manner. It's clearly been written for a sequel, or a crossover, but it would have been ideal to see more of the plot lines actually tied up. This makes for a somewhat frustrating viewing experience, as a better balance between the different acts of the film would have created a deeper connection to the characters.
The acting is uneven with Jared Leto giving an impressively committed performance along with Matt Smith. Leto's dark, brooding portrayal of Morbius, in all forms, is excellent.
"Leto's dark, brooding portrayal of Morbius, in all forms, is excellent."
Smith plays Milo, Morbius' childhood friend who is afflicted with the same fatal blood disease. The two grow-up together with Morbius vowing to find a cure for their blood disease. Milo's character really needed a lot more development to help create a more engaging dynamic with Morbius, especially later in the film. For the scenes Matt Smith was given the reigns he absolutely excelled.
"For the scenes Matt Smith was given the reigns he absolutely excelled."
Save for an oddly placed wardrobe change scene, (think Tobey Maguire's awkward Spider-Man 3 "cool guy" montage and you get the idea) it was a strong performance. Adria Arjona's character who is a medical assistant to Morbius feels underdeveloped and superfluous. She is clearly used to help show Morbius' more human side (even when he is in beast mode) but otherwise is relegated to the sidelines for a majority of the film. She does appear to take on a more commanding role at the very end of the movie, but it doesn't really have a big impact.
Morbius is still worth watching for fans of Marvel Comics, especially with a dash of horror mixed in. The film looks great and features some genuinely creepy moments. It's just a shame that director Daniel Espinosa didn't double down on this more to help carve out a clearer identity for the film.
The visual effects are top notch and the movie is packed with some great set pieces. The action can move at a dizzyingly fast pace at times, some that could have been a little less flashy to keep audiences more intune with the on screen action. If you are a fan of dark, edgy tales then you will likely find something to enjoy in Morbius. However, if you are looking for a well-rounded and cohesive film experience then you may be disappointed.
Lastly, the film clocks in at just over two hours which feels like it could have used another editing pass to help tighten up the storytelling. Morbius is ultimately a fun but flawed addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. That being said, Morbius is still a very watchable film and sets up the character well for future cinematic outings.
Overall, Morbius is a decent spin-off that suffers from a weak script and lack of identity. Leto gives a good performance in the lead role, along with Smith, but the rest of the cast is mostly forgettable. The film is entertaining with horror moments sprinkled in and worth a watch if you're a fan of Marvel Comics or vampire lore.
"The film is entertaining with horror moments sprinkled in and worth a watch if you're a fan of Marvel Comics or vampire lore."
Despite its flaws, Morbius is an entertaining film. It's not nearly as good as some of the other Marvel movies that have come out recently, but it's worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre. Leto and Smith give strong performances, while the visual effects are great. The biggest issue with the film is its weak plot and lack of identity.
"The biggest issue with the film is its weak plot and lack of identity."
If you're looking for a cohesive and well-rounded movie experience, then Morbius may not be the right choice for you. However, if you're looking for a good popcorn flick then Morbius will definitely satisfy.