Movie Review: Morbius

After guessing and assuming how things were going to play out when Morbius finally reached the theater, the time has finally come when people can plant their butts in their seats and see whether the movie was worth the wait. Just a note, spoilers are coming, but it doesn’t feel as though anything is about to be ruined. After so many delays due to COVID, Morbius finally came to theaters recently in a manner that people might have been expecting, but while it’s been enjoying a decent run thus far, the critics haven’t exactly been the kindest bunch, while the fans are split on whether it’s that effective. It does feel fair to say that plenty of fans are willing to state that it’s a decent to good movie based on their desire to see more of Jared Leto, while others might be willing to instill a little more honesty into their revies and claim that it’s not a horrible movie, but it could have been better. To be certain, the movie does feel like it could have been good or even great had it found a better way to deliver on the promises that the trailers made in advance. 

The fact that the movie visits the cave in Costa Rica before delving into Morbius’s backstory feels a little awkward since things could have started with Morbius as a child and then moved in a linear direction without upsetting the balance of the story. But while this isn’t the worst thing to happen, there are plenty of ways to nitpick this movie since the main character feels a little more complex in the comics, but ends up becoming a bit simpler. This might have been done to cater to those that don’t know much of anything about Morbius since introducing his character into the movies at this point makes this movie feel like it’s late to the party. 

There are references throughout the movie that alludes to Venom, another Sony property, and Morbius even uses this as a means of terrifying a couple of thugs at one point so that they’ll run off and leave him their lab. But from the start to the finish, Morbius feels like a movie that is attempting to link up and cash in on the fame that the previous comic book movies in this vein have already attained, and in some ways, it feels like a half-hearted attempt to insert itself into the main storyline. But one of the biggest gripes concerning this movie comes when it’s revealed who the main villain is, since Milo, played by Matt Smith, Morbius’s best friend since childhood, feels like a juvenile and underdeveloped character that was inserted at the last moment, as though those in charge of the story didn’t realize that Morbius does have his own enemies and that several of them are a lot more interesting and might not have been that difficult to bring to the screen. But the overall story isn’t hard to summarize as Morbius, a prominent doctor who is also suffering from a rare blood disease, spends his life studying and learning as much as he can until he comes up with an experimental procedure that is not legal or even ethical but could be the answer that he needs.

Of course, the procedure goes horribly wrong when he moves up to human trials, which are often a tricky and very risky proposition. When he injects a serum into his body that is derived from the DNA of vampire bats, he becomes a living vampire that must feed on blood. If he doesn’t, or if he attempts to survive on anything but real blood, then he begins to weaken again and runs the very real risk of death. But his morality and his rational side war with the hunger that comes upon him when his darker side continues to come out, and eventually he has to face the fact that his old friend, Milo, has taken the same serum and has embraced his darker side. After Milo initiates a killing spree, Morbius is blamed and has to go on the run as he tries to find a way around his new condition. But as one should be able to guess, Morbius has to eventually embrace his darker half to bring Milo down, while in the process he starts to lose himself to the hunger. 

Let’s put it this way, the story wasn’t bad, but it felt incomplete in a way, as though every time it started to get good it meandered off and did something else. The villain was, well, not horrible, but definitely not as great as he could have been. It was like watching a child with a new toy rather than a convincing threat that knew exactly what they were doing. In fact, by the time the post-credits come it’s fair to say that Morbius didn’t deliver on the overall thrill that was being advertised, at least not until the idea of the Sinister Six was teased when Morbius met up with Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture. So to be fair, this movie wasn’t all that it could be, but perhaps something better is on the way, eventually. 

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