While figuring out his new powers, Dr. Michael Morbius tests his echolocation ability. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures)

“Morbius” movie review

The new Sony-Marvel comic book movie, “Morbius,” stars Jared Leto as the titular Dr. Michael Morbius in an underwhelming flop. Poor editing, flat acting, and unimpressive visual effects led this vampire anti-hero origin story to be sorely disappointing after months and months of delays. 

Dr. Michael Morbius is determined to find the cure to a rare blood disease that has been slowly killing him and his best friend Milo, played by Matt Smith. The incurable blood disease requires them to have transfusions several times a day and has caused them to become crippled. 

Set on doing anything possible to find the cure, Michael takes an unethical and illegal trip to extract some vampire bats to study their DNA, which might be the key to finding the cure. When he experiments with the vampire DNA-infused serum, it works, giving him and Milo hope that they can have a full life.

The doctor and his close colleague Dr. Martine Bancroft, played by Adria Arjona, begin the human trial of the cure on Doctor Morbius while on a container ship in international waters, because of how unethical it is. The drug causes a serious reaction that makes Dr. Morbius attack all of the crew members while blacking out. He wakes up and realizes what happened, but that he is now physically strong and able. 

Running from the gruesome scene on the container ship, Morbius goes back to his office in the hospital where he works and starts taking note of what’s happening to him. 

He has a kinship with the bats, a form of echolocation, super speed, and strength, but also the hunger and thirst for human blood. He satisfies himself with the lifesaving fake blood he invented and turned down a Nobel prize for, but he realizes it won’t last him very long. 

Meanwhile, Milo hears about the containership, the dead crew, and an injured Dr. Bancroft, and goes to find Morbius at his office. Also sitting in the office, the cure in a vial sitting on Morbius’ desk. After explaining the cure’s horrid side effects to Milo, Morbius tells him that he will not give Milo the cure, to which Milo becomes enraged and leaves. 

As more and more bodies appear with all their blood sucked out, the detectives investigating believe it’s Morbius, but they soon become aware that there are two vampire-like creatures that are killing people, and Morbius knows who the other one is. Morbius teams up with Dr. Bancroft, his closest ally, and the woman he loves, and they are determined to stop the killings once and for all. 

Jared Leto’s performance felt flat and uninteresting. It felt like he lacked the mad scientist aspect of the character. Truly, the only decent performance was that of Milo. His performance gave the audience a fun spunky villain that honestly felt more fun to root for than Morbius. Smith broke out from the rest of his cast and carried the film on his back. 

The action sequences were blurry and rushed in chaos, and the lackluster visual effects caused convoluted imagery on the screen and made it hard to want to follow along. 

The heavily dense VFX leaves nothing to the imagination and causes a visual overload.

With only one jumpscare for the “horror” aspect of this Marvel universe offshoot, it tried too hard to be scary and keep that mainstream favorability it has with critics and fans. Failing to balance the two, it ended up as a boring mess of a comic book character we are likely to see in future Sony-Marvel multiverse projects. 

The unspectacular “Morbius” lacks its fangs, pun intended. It had the potential to be the critically acclaimed and fantastically gritty take for Marvel like the recent Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” was for the DC Cinematic Universe, but it fell short. “Morbius” is playing in local theaters.

Author

  • Jordan Jones

    Jordan Jones was hired as the Culture reporter for the Mesa Legend in January of 2020. She is in her second semester at MCC, and she plans to transfer to ASU and get an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Film Study and Art History. With her degrees and passion for cinema, Jordan intends to become a film archivist.