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Movie review: Morbius

The all new Marvel movie starring Jared Leto leads to some fan disappointment.  Photo by Sony Pictures
The all new Marvel movie starring Jared Leto leads to some fan disappointment. Photo by Sony Pictures
After years and years of delays, Morbius has finally dropped in theaters. This movie was one of the big victims of COVID-19, it was supposed to come out in July 2020 but instead has come out now in April 2022. So what did I think about this movie? Let’s get started!
The Good:
The best thing about this movie was the action. I thought the action all around was handled very well. You get plenty of greatly shot vampire action with Morbius attacking police officers and other people. It’s shot in a way where you can see everything that is happening and, in general, since we haven’t gotten a vampire in a comic book movie before, it’s something new and different for the genre. It’s not just Spider-Man swinging around New York City or Batman beating up thugs on the streets, but it’s cool vampire action that is very exciting to watch. 
Also, I appreciated its very simple and straightforward plot. One of the things that this movie is being compared to is a comic book movie released in 2005 – and I get that, but I don’t view it as a negative. I think it’s good that Sony is creating these more simple and B-grade comic book movies. They aren’t trying to create the most epic, the most ambitious comic book of the year. They make mid-tier, simple comic book movies, and that is what this movie is. It’s not super complex, it doesn’t have a $200 million budget, and so it is a breath of fresh air for the genre. 
From there, I thought the cast for the movie was pretty good. It’s filled with solid actors that are solid performers in movies like this. The big stand out was Matt Smith as the film’s villain, and they give his character a lot more to do than I originally thought because he’s only in like 5 frames through-out the three trailers for this movie. Plus, I thought the performance from Smith added a lot to his character. Jared Leto is pretty solid in this role as this broken and dying doctor turned vampire creature. 


Finally, I thought some of the visuals for the action and how they visualize Morbius’ powers were pretty cool. They weren’t the most groundbreaking visual effects out there, I’m not saying they should be nominated for Oscars. But for what the movie uses them for, I think it’s a nice little touch. 


The Bad:
There are honestly quite a few problems with this movie, it’s hard to even know where to begin. But first up, this movie feels like it was drastically changed in the editing room. Like I said earlier, this movie was supposed to come out in July 2020 but with COVID delays it kept on getting and now almost 2 years later, it finally came out. I’m guessing they substantially changed this movie in the editing room because it felt like things were set up, and were supposed to have a larger impact on things than they actually did. The biggest example of this is with Jared Harris’ character, and it felt like maybe there was something more there than we actually got, since he shows up early on in the movie, and is pretty prominent in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Then he disappears for a large portion of the movie and later comes back for a quick scene. Maybe in early drafts of the movie he was much more important. Even Morbius’ relationship with Matt Smith’s character seemed to have something more there. But it was the barebone version of this type of relationship. One final thing about this negative is it seems like they kind of cut out this whole subplot with Tyrese Gibson’s character that maybe could have been important but wasn’t in the movie at all. 


Maybe somewhat tied to that, but it felt like they wasted a bunch of talent for this movie. Tyrese Gibson is one of my favorite actors in the Fast and Furious franchise. So I was excited when he was cast in a Marvel movie. But he’s just the detective out to get Morbius, they don’t flesh him out whatsoever. And like I said, there are some lines of dialogue that inform us of his past. Also, I thought Jared Harris was going to be much more important to the plot. But he really just ends the movie, and even his character as a whole is pretty forgettable. 


Also, on a storytelling level, this movie is pretty much a mess because it just hops from plot point to plot point with no sense of direction of forward momentum. It just goes from Morbius doing this to Morbius doing that to him doing this. It just hops like that through-out the movie. So, as you are watching it, there isn’t that sense of urgency to defeat Matt Smith’s character for the movie.


I also found some of the characterization for Matt Smith’s character to be very weird because the amount of time it takes for him to turn good to evil is only like 5 minutes, and it’s a pretty short 5 minutes. Where in one scene he’s friends with Morbius, then the next scene he’s a vampire and trying to kill Morbius without a clear transition that worked for me. They also have him break out into dances a few times in the movie, and I don’t know if this was written or if Matt Smith improvised it but I don’t think it worked in the movie. 


Finally, I think the movie has a very rushed and forgettable final battle inside of it.  Part of the forgettable side of it came from the action side of things. It felt like they used all of their best ideas for action scenes before the finale, and just used the leftover ideas for the final battle. Plus, the finale doesn’t have any emotional weight inside of it whatsoever. 


SPOILER TALK: For this section, I wanted to talk about the end credit scenes, but it will be spoilers so there is a warning. Basically you get Michael Keaton returning as The Vulture, who had something to do with the ending to Spider-Man: No Way Home and that one I’m not quite sure what it meant, and it raised a bunch of questions. The other one I thought was much more interesting in having Vulture meet with Morbius, and maybe set up The Sinister Six., which could be very interesting. So these scenes were fine, and I’m curious if Michael Keaton and Jared Leto are going to appear in Kraven the Hunter next year. 


Final Thoughts: Morbius was a forgettable, bland, and boring comic book movie. I haven’t been this frustrated and disappointed in a comic book movie in a while. While some of the action is cool, the movie feels like it was drastically changed in the editing process, with big story issues along the way. 


The Score: 7.1/10 (C-)
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Movie review: Morbius