Release Date: April 1, 2022
Runtime: 1h, 44m
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jared Leto
After being delayed by Sony six times, the Marvel/Sony film “Morbius” was released to the public on April 1, 2022.
The film follows doctor and scientist Michael Morbius (played by Jared Leto), who suffers from a rare blood disease. In an effort to cure himself and patients like him, he attempts to create a serum mixed with bat DNA. Although he is cured, he turns himself into a bat-like vampire, as seen in the film’s trailer.
The acting in this film was spot on. Leto put out a fantastic performance as Morbius, simultaneously introducing a new character in Marvel’s ever-expanding film lore. Adria Arjona also did a great job as Martine Bancroft, Morbius’s medical assistant and potential love interest.
For the overall feel of the film, “Morbius” introduces a darker, more suspenseful tone than most Marvel movies of the past decade. There were several jump scares, and the plotline requires Morbius to fuel himself on human blood. It seems as if Marvel is trying to compete with the dark tone of recent DC films, especially following “Joker,” “The Suicide Squad” and “The Batman.”
While the acting was good all around, “Morbius” suffered from poor writing. The movie’s villain was one such weak point. While Matt Smith executed the character excellently, the film gave him essentially no motive, thus making him wildly uninteresting. In addition, there was no creativity to the character. Instead of developing a new villain entirely, the movie presents him as an “Anti-Morbius,” taking the same serum to go toe-to-toe with the titular character. It seemed too similar to 2018’s “Venom” in which Tom Hardy’s Venom has a final battle with Riz Ahmed’s “Bad Venom.”
The villain was not the only problem with “Morbius.” The film jumps rather quickly considering its brief hour and 44-minute runtime, but compared to the length of other Marvel films, “Morbius” seems like a cheap shortcut. In addition, despite title cards giving the location of the scene, I found myself lost at times due to the fast nature of the movie.
Morbius left opening weekend with a nasty 17% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. On the other hand, the audience score gave the film 70%. I disagree with both sentiments. I wholeheartedly believe “Morbius” does not deserve to be anywhere near the top 30%, but then again, the character of Morbius himself deserves at least 25-30%. Out of ten stars, I give this film four.
While “Morbius” may have been a disappointment to many, we can only hope Leto’s portrayal, as well as the character itself, will gain redemption assuming he is placed into the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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