The Story/The Direction
“Morbius” is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Morbius, the Living Vampire. It is the third film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU) after “Venom” and “Venom: Let there Be Carnage.” It was directed by Daniel Espinosa and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. It stars Jared Leto as the titular character, alongside Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson.
When the genius, Dr. Michael Morbius, finally manages to invent a cure for his rare but fatal blood disease, it infects him with a form of vampirism instead. He gets the superpowers, but it also turns him into a killer. This version does add a bit more of a tragic backstory that includes having this crippling disease from childhood. It is what inspires him to dedicate his life to finding a cure for many others with his disease. When he eventually does, by iffy means, he then has to decide if he can save the world from himself as well as the one who wants to misuse his invention. As with a lot of superhero movies, the story is essentially along the lines of good versus evil, and director Espinosa and his co-writers give a simple premise that pretty much stands alone as a story.
The narrative starts off pretty averagely and then jumps to a very obvious confrontation. However, there’s some thrill in the way it’s executed. Because this is only rated PG-13, there’s no overkill of action and bloodshed but there is enough decent cinematography and horror genre aspects that help the film along its way.
Looking for logic is a fool’s errand as it is with a lot of comic book films. For example, a prime murder suspect goes around sipping coffee with the woman’s interest and then beats up some low-level crime and no one recognizes him despite being all over the news. Then again, this happened in “The Dark Knight Rises” too. There are some scientific concepts, but the film does not really focus much on that aspect. It also does not really focus on the Morbius character either and his connection with bats. Hilariously, there is a scene that was definitely pulled from “Batman Begins,” and even the score sounds similar.
However, the constant eerie and dark atmosphere really does the film justice for a fairly short runtime. The climax is quite abrupt and predictable but because of that, any annoyances are almost forgettable. The film also adds in idiot FBI agents played by Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal who really serve no purpose aside from acting as the police force who don’t do anything.
Similar to the “Venom” film, “Morbius” would have seriously benefited from an R rating as there are some really cool scenes that the increased rating could have improved on. They try to make Morbius an anti-hero and attempt to address the theme of “Can we do it?” vs “Should we do it?” when it comes to medicine and research. This film only touches on those ideas and never really expands on them. The film ends exactly how it started, average. The mid-credits scenes are perhaps the best parts of the film as they force in better-known moments/characters from recent Spider-Man movies to give hope that the Spider-Man (either Holland or Garfield) might actually show up in one of these second-tier titles.
Leto oddly works as Morbius with his constant brooding looks and eyes that change color. He does not come off as overdoing it as he has with other comic book characters. The CGI work on the facial features isn’t awful. Frankly, it is quite intriguing and scary at times. It does look really stupid though when Morbius flies which is given little to no explanation. Arjona is fairly average as the female interest as there is not much more to her than that. They try to add in this equal to Morbius’ doctor title angle but it ends up being subverted when she is only there to be a love interest. Honestly, it’s mostly because the overall writing of the story and the characters is quite standard so she doesn’t have much to show off.
Matt Smith is honestly having the time of his life playing Milo. He is hilariously campy which oddly works against Leto’s brooding nature. He doesn’t try to hide his “gift,” wearing flashy suits and strutting around like he’s starring in a musical with no music. It actually feels very similar to the way Spider-Man does it in Raimi’s third film. But because of his tragic backstory, it works for this character. He poses for the cameras and allows himself to attempt to look cool.
The 4DX Experience
The 4DX wasn’t bad and there were some cool effects such as the smoke and also the moving chairs during the action sequences. However, it was in sync with the state of the movie, average. It was not the best nor the worst. If one did not want to spend the extra money, it wouldn’t add much but it is still fun to fully experience the film. It only was not as good as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”
“Morbius” just about ticks all the boxes for a superhero film with plot twists that are neither unpredictable nor entirely satisfying. There are some minor yet thrilling moments that somewhat compensate for what’s missing. The short run time makes this not entirely a waste of time if one is doing a marathon prior to a bigger film being released. The film struggles with its details, its story, and some of its message but does fine in its attempt at a message along with its main characters and direction.
If you want the full analysis of the film, check out the video below.
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