What if Edward Cullen and Batman had a baby…but it turned out just plain ugly (as ugly as a blobfish)? Then you’d have something like the movie Morbius.
In association with Marvel Studios, Sony released Morbius on April 22 and many had high expectations for the film. However, it fell tremendously through the cracks and was nothing short of horrible. Jared Leto as the main character (Dr. Michael Morbius) should’ve been the first red flag due to his problematic use of method acting (a technique of acting in which an actor aspires to complete emotional identification with a part).
Straddling multiple genres (action, thriller, adventure, and horror), the film begins with rich and famous Dr. Michael Morbius flying by helicopter into a remote forest in Costa Rica. (Why he’s there is a mystery at first.) Morbius walks to a cage (trigger warning for mentions of blood and cutting), cuts his hand, and sticks it between the bars of a cave as thousands of bats swarm to him.
Flash back a few years, and we see Morbius is age 10 at a children’s hospital in Greece. A boy named Loxias (Matt Smith), who Morbius renames Milo, arrives at the hospital. Both boys suffer from a rare blood disease which causes nerve damage and will eventually kill them. Even at a young age, Morbius is a genius, which we realize when he fixes an I.V. machine which defies the efforts of the adults. The main caregiver, a doctor named Nicholas (Jared Harris), gets Morbius a full scholarship to a medical school in New York City.
Flash forward some years and a now-adult Morbius is a doctor at a hospital searching for a cure for his disease which apparently makes him frail, on crutches, and in apparent need of a tan. After taking a serum Morbius created from vampire bats, he develops Wolverine-like strength, speed, and reflexes, as well as echolocation. Like all superheroes, he comes to realize that with his new abilities, he must fight a villain–in this case, someone who took the same serum. As usual, the lives of millions of humans are at stake.
Let’s get into the major issues, the very first being the aforementioned time skips. The movie zings wildly back and forth in time, making for a very confusing timeline. The movie has zero sense of pacing because some scenes (especially the final “fight” scene) are as quick as the Flash, while others were slower than a snail. Although the movie is only 1 hour and 44 minutes, it feels shorter due to the frantic plot.
Another issue I have with the film is the visual effects. When Morbius uses his echolocation, strange wavy-like lines come off of him, sometimes blue and sometimes purple. This creates a very painful eyesore to the point that watching it was like squirting lemon juice in my eyes (which would probably be less painful). There were other scenes where they tried to demonstrate Morbius’ powers, but they just seemed like visual disturbances to me. Both my dad and I developed headaches due to the strenuous light sequences in the film.
My biggest issue, which I can’t share due to fear of spoiling the surprise, was the post-credit scenes. They were absolutely confusing, stupid, and completely unbearable. They featured a particular character who tries to recruit Morbius for something. Morbius, who doesn’t even know this person, just basically says, “Okay, sure, I’m in.”
I wouldn’t necessarily say there were no redeeming qualities about Morbius, although the makeup look for Morbius when he was a vampire was surprisingly good. It blended the half-human and half-vampire seamlessly, making his transformation more realistic.
Still, overall, the movie was horrible. It received a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes which was very well deserved in my opinion. I could’ve gone without seeing it, but as a Marvel Studios fan I felt I should. I was wrong. It has zero-relevence to the MCU, so do yourself a favor: Skip this one.