TL;DR – A soulless husk of a film that is barely made watchable by the fact that at least Matt Smith is having fun
Post-Credit Scene – There are two mid-credit scenes
Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film
Morbius Review –
There are moments when the credits roll, and you sit back in your chair and wonder, what did I just waste my time with? Then, of course, you immediately go, well, maybe I am having a bad day, perhaps the film is targeting a different audience, or did I just miss something. But then you look around and feel the audience’s tone and discover that you are not alone with your disbelief. Well, today, we have a film that, when the credits rolled, a whole room of people collectively shrugged at the very meh-ness that they just watched.
So to set the scene, 25-years ago in Greece, two boys who needed three blood transfusions a day to live met in a clinic. The head of the clinic, Emil Nikols (Jared Harris), discovers that young Michael (Charlie Shotwell) is a prodigy and gets him into a private school, and he promises his friend Milo (Joseph Esson) that he will find a cure. In the now, Michael (Jared Leto) takes a helicopter ride to a cave in Costa Rica to capture some bats that only feed on blood. He is hopeful that inserting bat DNA into a human might cure him and Milo (Matt Smith). It works … but at what cost? Well, a boat full of mercs, at least.
Okay, so I don’t think it will be shocking to say that I did not have a good time with Morbius, but that is not to say that nothing worked. To begin with, Matt Smith is having a ball. He is revelling as a villain and is chewing the scenery, and good for him. Some of the transitions to the vampire mode at the start were quite good, and the first action scene with Michael/Morbius killing every one of the boat had potential.
But, and it is a big but. So, let us start with the story. There is a moment in the story where they announce that people should be ‘pushing the boundaries, ’ which is ironic given the story we got. While it might have a new coat of paint on it, you can’t help that this is almost a beat for beat remake of Venom. A guy comes across a secret power that controls his life with potential murderous intent, so they have to come to grips with that power to defeat another like them. The big difference is that Tom Hardy is swinging for the fences, so the dull story and action bits don’t feel as bad. Here there is nothing that amplifies just how bland Jared Leto’s performance is.
While the story might not be the most original or good, that could be okay if all the production side of things worked, and look, it doesn’t. All of the action set pieces are filmed with shaky cam and are at night or in the dark. There was one scene with a hallway light sequence that was vaguely interesting, but that was it. There are these moments where they freeze-frame, but it feels unearned and highlights how incomprehensible the rest of the combat was. It also highlights just how tame this film was, a film of vampires murdering people and sucking all their blood while being mostly clinically barren. The most substantial part of the production was probably the musical score, but then it felt like they were rubbing up very close to Batman than doing their own thing. I was trying to find something to grasp onto, and I hoped it would be Jared Harris because all films can be improved with the presence of Jared Harris, but then he is barely in the movie.
In the end, do we recommend Morbius? Sadly no. I was hoping something would work as well as the Eddie/Venom relationship, but there was nothing there. When those credits rolled, my only feeling was, well, there is time I am not getting back. I am not sure if it is terrible or just dull and which would be worse. If you liked what Morbius was doing, can I recommend to you Gods of Egypt.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Morbius
Directed by – Daniel Espinosa
Screenplay by – Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless
Based on – Marvel Comics
Music by – Jon Ekstrand
Cinematography by – Oliver Wood
Edited by – Pietro Scalia
Production/Distribution Companies – Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Arad Productions, Matt Tolmach Productions & Sony Pictures
Starring – Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, Tyrese Gibson, Michael Keaton, Corey Johnson, Charlie Shotwell, Joseph Esson, Archie Renaux & Abraham Popoola
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: 14A; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 15; United States: PG-13
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