Synopsis: Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering the same fate, Dr. Morbius (Jared Leto) attempts a desperate gamble. While at first, it seems to be a radical success, the darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Written by: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Starring: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, Tyrese Gibson
Runtime: 104 min
This movie is part of Sony’s Marvel universe, related to the enormous Marvel Cinematic Universe. It tells the story of Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), who suffers from a rare blood disorder. He has spent his entire life trying to find a cure for himself and others like him. Eventually, he becomes fascinated by vampire bats and the unique anticoagulant that allows them to consume blood.
Dr. Morbius runs test after test, even acquiring many of the creatures holding his interest. After deciding to move to human trials on himself, things turn for the worse. He may have found the cure he’s searching for, but at what cost?
The film also stars Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal.
Oh boy, there is a lot to unpack with this one. Where to start? Marvel has set an incredibly high standard that I now expect from all of their movies. As a massive fan of the superhero-driven universe, I always have high expectations, but sadly, those expectations are now dust.
Even though I generally enjoy watching Jared Leto, his performance fell flat as the title character. His face never showed a single emotion. His features only change when he’s in full vampire mode. I don’t know if it was the directing or if he did not connect with the character, but either way, his portrayal left me unsatisfied.
I have a love/hate relationship with the effects in this film.
The imagery and effects used when Morbius unleashes the vampire are incredibly distracting. When he moves, the “effects” are all you can see. I understand they were trying to make it look like the comic books; however, it not only fell short, it overwhelmed everything else.
Generally, I do not have an issue with CGI, but this is different. It almost seems to glitch at times, to the point that it resembles a cheap video game rather than high-dollar CGI.
Conversely, I love the seamless transition when Morbius’ features slip between normal and vampire. His eyes change back and forth, and his facial features alter smoothly.
Another point of contention for me is the thrown-together “love story.” It feels forced and pointless. It seems like an afterthought as if they were getting close to the end and thought, “Oops, we forgot to give him a love interest; I guess this will do.” The whole thing was a waste of the plot.
There is one saving grace to the film — Matt Smith. MATT SMITH! He completely stole the show and saved this movie. Smith alone bumped my rating from under three stars to four stars. His performance is off the charts. I could spend the rest of this review doing nothing but singing Smith’s praises.
As a side note, fans of Doctor Who (like me) will get a boost of serotonin from one particular comment Smith makes in Morbius. The only thing I will say is, if you know, you know.
Another point in the film’s favor is that Jared Leto looks strikingly like his comic book counterpart, particularly when he transforms.
I don’t regret watching Morbius. The movie is worth watching for no other reason than it is an integral part of the Marvel universe.
There are two after-credits scenes, be sure to watch them both.
In the meantime, check out the trailer below! Let us know your thoughts on the movie in the comments!