Note: Soda & Telepaths is closing up and I’m in the process of moving a bunch of reviews over to Phasr, which has been going long enough that there’s some overlap on things that have been reviewed so over the coming days I’ll be posting any excess ones over here… starting with easily the most venom filled thing I wrote over there, MORBIUS!
Originally posted on Soda & Telepaths April 2nd 2022
Dr Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) is a man suffering from a deadly blood disease that makes his blood do… something that’ll kill him, no one cares. Morbius spends his entire life dedicated to curing his own disease (well his and the disease of his childhood friend Milo (Matt Smith) who is not actually named Milo but that’s what everyone calls him because that’s considered a character trait), which in turn helps him to discover synthetic blood that apparently has saved more lives than penicillin.
Saving the lives of billions doesn’t seem to be enough for Morbius though because his goal is to try and find a cure for his own illness which leads him, for some reason, to look into vampire bats as a potential source for a cure. Once he tests the cure out on himself, Morbius develops a taste for blood and turns into a living vampire… and Milo eventually does the same thing because we need an antagonist at some point.
So, Morbius was intended originally to be released on July 10th 2020 but for the obvious reason of the pandemic that didn’t happen. Since then the film has been delayed again and again and again and then about 12 more times, including getting several major reshoots, before being dumped out on April Fool’s Day of 2022.
To put this delay into perspective, Spider-Man: No Way Home didn’t start the scripting process until December of 2019 and released late last year. This film was delayed so damn long that they were able to make and release possibly one of the biggest MCU films ever just during the delay period… and that delay did nothing to salvage this film, Morbius is officially the worst Marvel film of this era.
Just on a fundamental level, there is not a single person in Morbius that’s even likable. Either everyone is just a bad person with no real redeeming values or we barely get any time to know them and therefore we cannot actually like them. Morbius himself is just a complete garbage character in every way. He’s not interesting, the moments about him that could be fun are relegated to other people telling us about them and the biggest quirk they can give him is “Never does up his shoelaces”.
It also doesn’t help that Jared Leto is, to put it kindly, as charismatic as a colonoscopy. His character doesn’t have anything to offer and his dull monotone performance offers even less. Do they really think he’s going to be part of a franchise worth giving a damn about? Because DC tried this with Suicide Squad and it was so bad they’ve tried two different Jokers since then because they need to wash the taste of Leto out of their franchise. We don’t even get a performance that’s laughably insane like he recently gave in House of Gucci, we just get this bland stick-up-his-ass performance that I guarantee he went method on and annoyed everyone while preparing for it.
Hell, no one in this film really seems to be giving a performance worth talking about. Either they’re completely blank and impossible to get a read on, like Adria Arjona as Martine Bancroft who is meant to be Morbius’ nurse and friend but spends most of the movie being in a coma doing nothing, or they’re trying but it’s not landing at all like what Matt Smith does which could almost be a fun campy over the top performance if he pushed it a little further but it never reaches that height of deliciously batshit that can be truly entertaining.
But hey, maybe Morbius doesn’t need to be that well-acted. After all, this is a vampire movie so it doesn’t matter too much as long as there are a few scares there, right? Surely there are some good scary moments that can get the blood pumping and justify turning this character into a film, right? No, no there’s not a single actually scary moment.
You wanna know how not-scary this film is? There was a literal infant in the screening I went to and the infant didn’t make a peep. If you can’t scare a literal baby with your weird vampire CGI then you failed before we even factor in how everything else about the film isn’t even a little off-putting.
Well OK, maybe the amount of slow motion and weird particle effects that are meant to symbolize Morbius’ ‘Echolocation” are off-putting, but more in the sense that every time they were put in the film I very much wanted the film to be turned off. It doesn’t look good, it looks like someone needed to make the film fit a certain runtime and did the film equivalent of a high school student changing the size of the margins on their paper in order to make their essay fit 2 pages… it doesn’t work, everyone can see what you’re doing and it doesn’t make the content any more interesting.
Then again, maybe they needed to do all this weird editing because someone took at this thing with a machete in the editing room. The first half-hour is just a mess of time jumping for no damn reason, the pacing is all over the place and there are several scenes when you will not have a clue where everyone is meant to be in relation to each other. It’s kind of astounding really just how much this film almost pointedly edits out all potential good moments, there are chances for fun jokes or dramatic scares and at some point in the last 2 years of delays, those were absolutely destroyed.
Morbius is bad, it’s really bad. It’s not fun, not scary and not interesting enough to warrant existing. Sure, the original Venom might not have been great either but that film had the bonkers performance of Tom Hardy to carry it through, this doesn’t have a damn thing to offer to the audience other than 2 hours of Jared Leto reminding everyone why we’re all annoyed by Jared Leto. There are so many problems with Morbius, I would need several hours and a few thousand more words just to lay them all out.
This might be why Sony shouldn’t be trusted to play with the Marvel toys all on their own because they don’t do anything interesting or fun with them unless it’s by total accident. This sucks, this really really sucks.
Oh, and there are 2 end credits scenes… they are both bad, and also the only time in the film you will see Michael Keaton who was put in the trailer (Surprise, they lied to you to make this thing seem interesting).