by Ian Morton
If Morbius came out in 2001, it would at best be an average superhero film. Now in 2022, the schlocky, overplayed, angst-driven origin story of a man-turned-vampire just isn’t enough to be anything more than boring.
Jared Leto stars as Dr Michael Morbius, a talented – yet annoyingly arrogant – scientist looking for a cure for a rare blood condition that both he and best friend Milo suffer from. Experimenting with vampire bats, he breaks nature’s code and merges his own DNA with that of the flying mammal, resulting in him curing the condition but becoming a bloodsucker in the process and having to deal with the fallout of constantly needing blood to survive.
Narratively you would imagine a few directions the story could go but Morbius decides to go in none of them. Absolutely nothing happens in 1 hour 44 mins. Zero. Zilch. Naught. There isn’t an ounce of character development, no hint of a story. It ambles from one scene to the next without any real drive and just ends. No fanfare, just credits and 2 shockingly desperate attempts to flesh out the Sony Spiderman-less universe. It’s shockingly forgettable and unforgivingly boring!
None of this is helped by the strangely vacuous and mismanaged performances of the main cast. Jared Leto is lifeless, acting like the kid in the playground trying to be cool. Every line of dialogue is unnecessarily introspective, even in rare moments of levity, leading the character to be more irritating than endearing. Matt Smith on the other hand is the complete opposite as Morbius’s best friend Milo, almost having too much fun and throwing the tone all over the place. The two on screen together just doesn’t work and severely lacks the Marvel charm that so many other films within the genre manages to nail.
Coming out of the cinema I couldn’t help but wonder what the true aim of the movie was. The character wasn’t interesting enough to deserve a sequel, it did little-to-nothing to build a world and even its post credit scenes revealed what we’d already seen from the trailers. Sony finds itself in a strangely unique position, telling stories about Spiderman’s rogue gallery without the webslinger creates ample opportunity for fresh and unique takes – similar to 20th Century Fox and Deadpool – but they just seem content copying an old formula and hoping for success. With this in mind, Morbius is a waste of talent, time and opportunity; with absolutely no reason to go back to it in future.
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