Morbius Review: Lifeless

Morbius is an unnecessary Spider-Man spin-off not only because nobody is interested in this D-tier superhero. It’s neither an entertaining vampire horror thriller nor a worthwhile anti-hero origin story.

Dr. Michael Mobius (Jared Leto) is the world’s leading authority in bloodborne diseases. He developed artificial blood that saved more lives than penicillin. In truth, his main goal is to find a cure for a rare blood disease that has afflicted him and his surrogate brother Lucien.

There is an interesting core at the center of Morbius. Two dying brothers with a shared experience persistently fight back against a disease that puts them at death’s door. One is a wealthy orphan that bankrolls his brother’s unethical experiments. The other is a genius who did find a cure, but at what cost?

Unfortunately, this film fails to develop the compelling moral predicaments that would make you invested in its story. Morbius can’t even get its story straight.

You won’t know anything about Michael and his past. He helps children afflicted with the same disease and gives them origami, but he also has no inclination to help others once he is “cured”. The extent of his powers is not clear yet mastered through exposition. He is a “living vampire” but he isn’t afflicted with the superstitious weaknesses of a vampire. He thinks that the cure is a curse but doesn’t get rid himself of it. The movie breezes through these plot points like it’s ticking a backstory checklist.  You won’t even get to see his transformation. 

The rest of the movie also suffers from this bafflingly impatient and nonsensical storytelling. The characters and their relationship to Morbius are vapor thin, serving only to fill tropes – the friend-turned-foe (Lucien/Milo played by Matt Smith), the fridged love interest (Martine Bancroft played by Adria Arjona), the dedicated mentor (Dr. Emil Nicolas played by Jared Harris), and the cops who only appear at the crime scene (Simon Stroud played by Tyrese Gibson and his partner Alberto Rodriguez, played by Al Madrigal).

The cast can’t do much with what they’re given. Jared Leto takes his role too seriously and the movie does too, to its detriment. Matt Smith seems to be the only one having fun.

Well, this is a popcorn movie, you may say. But the action is also objectively terrible. The fight scenes are repetitive – poorly rendered vampires shrouded with CGI trails crash into things and fall from great heights. Every fight has a slow-motion as if the director himself knows that the audience can’t see shit.

All of this culminates in an anti-climatic showdown involving a swarm of bats.

Morbius wants you to believe that it’s the Dark Knight of SPUMC (Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters) but its dimly lit scenes aren’t fooling anyone. It’s a poorly executed origin story with murky cinematography.

Morbius

2

Morbius is an inept anti-hero origin story with vapor-thin characters, shoddy CGI action, and murky cinematography.

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