The vampiric Morbius makes his way to the big screen for some lifeless drama
Starring: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris,
Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson
Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Tagline: The line between hero and villain will be broken.
ony should be basking in the reflected glory of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to their joint custody of Spider-Man with Disney. Instead, the studio seems intent on squandering this opportunity by releasing bland nonsense like Morbius, a dour slog with nary a redeeming feature.
The film attempts to expand Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU) by introducing us to a lesser-known Marvel antihero but stumbles at almost every step.
At the centre of the tale are two surrogate brothers, scientific genius Michael (Jared Leto, can do better) and wealthy Lucien (Matt Smith, deserves better), both of whom suffer from a rare blood disease. In the hopes of finding a cure for their shared malady, Michael covertly experiments with splicing the genes of vampire bats with human DNA. The resulting concoction rids him of his ailment and gives him bat-like superpowers, but also leaves him with a bit of an issue: a strong craving for and dependency on human blood.
He initially feasts on artificial blood to satiate his urges but soon realizes that the synthetic stuff is gradually ceasing to satisfy his needs. Adding to his problems is the fact that the authorities are on his tail, even though another vampire murderer might be to blame for some of the carnage.
How things unfold ranges from inconsistent to vague to illogical. A plot this derivative and nonsensical needs self-awareness and dark – even pitch black – wit to be palatable. Both, unfortunately, are conspicuously absent here. Instead, we have an uninteresting, patchy misfire that is unexciting and predictable from start to finish.
The superhero elements are too dull to have any place in the current Marvel cycle. The horror elements are ineffective. The romance is unconvincing. Even the acting isn’t impressive. It’s not a good look for Leto that he has now been involved in two of the most boring superhero movies in recent memory.
The film could have delivered a fun, goofy vampire adventure, a tone that would have been significantly more suitable for the weak plot. Or it could have fully embraced its horror leanings for some unabashedly gory fun. As a timid, self-serious drama though, the project fails to provide any level of entertainment.
Morbius could and should have been so much better. There is inherent potential in the SSU; we can only hope that Sony makes better use of it the next time around.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection