A complete and utter mess of a film
Morbius is a really bad film. It’s a cobbled together, shoddily edited, poorly plotted mess that will have you cringing, rolling your eyes and pointing out all the films Morbius has shamelessly copied along the way.
There are bits of 2003’s Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men 2 and even Joker in here, but none of those influences are coherently spliced together into anything other than a patchworked mess held together with loose bits of cellotape. It’s a real shame too because there’s actually a solid cast in here and a few nice ideas but that all accounts for nothing when the screenplay, technical aspects and plotting is so bad.
For those unaware, Morbius is the latest film in an ever-growing arsenal of Sony supervillain spin-offs. Or, more specifically, Spider-Man’s illustrious roster of bad guys. The more noteworthy addition here is Venom, which managed to just about balance a campy, quirky tone with ludicrous action. It wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it was at least coherent. Venom looks like Citizen Kane next to this.
The story centers on biochemist Michael Morbius, a man who suffers from a rare blood disease. His life mission is set to curing himself and his best friend Milo from this debilitating condition, eventually settling on splicing his blood with Costa Rican bats to become the Batman. Or, well, Spiderman’s version of Batman anyway; the villain-turned-antihero Michael Morbius.
The script is hastily cobbled together, with some pretty poor editing across the board. We begin with a brief scene in Costa Rica before whiplashing back 25 years…and then forward to an award ceremony which happens to be in the original timeline. Only, we’re not actually told that. We’re just left to cobble together the loose bits of dialogue in a lab some time later, reflecting on his “trip to Costa Rica” and the “fishtank” of bats he’s gained.
Given Morbius’ team are attacked by a flock of bats in the opening 5 minutes of the picture, around the time that Morbius has absolutely no powers and they’re attacking their ride home… how did Morbius make it back? These niggling issues crop up right the way through the film, from beginning to end, turning into a proverbial stack of cards that tumble over with even the slightly bit of logic applied.
There are so many plot contrivances, holes and leaps of logic that make this film difficult to take seriously. The focus here shifts between Morbius to two throwaway police detectives who investigate Morbius and a string of murders across the run-time but hey actually do nothing of note. In fact, by the end of the movie their arc essentially amounts to nothing, wasting a good portion of this movie to dead-end police work.
Much has been said about the ending to this film too, and I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a movie theatre knowing more about a post-credit sequence than this one. In fact, Sony actively spoilt the film’s big “twist” prior to the film’s release in one of the more bizarre pieces of marketing in recent years. Essentially this throws big question marks around what happened in No Way Home and crowbars a forced narrative device to justify more films like this one.
Bad plotting and contrivances are the least of Morbius’ problems though. Not only are the rules surrounding Michael Morbius incredibly vague and ripe for questioning, the actual technical aspects of this movie are bad. I mean, really bad.
The camera shakes wildly during extreme close-ups, fight sequences are a bizarre medley of slowed-down bullet-time-esque moves and dizzying, confusing, poorly lit skirmishes. This film is trying so hard to one-up the Quicksilver and Nightcrawler sequences in the X-Men series and it fails spectacularly every single time.
Beyond all of that comes the dialogue, which includes every cheesy one-liner and eye-rolling cliche you can think of. “I brought this into the world; I can take it back out.”; “You won’t like me when I’m thirsty.” and the hilariously out of place “Intriguing.” (stay for the post-credit sequence, it’ll explain this one in more detail!)
A lot of flack is ultimately going to be levelled against Jared Leto but to be honest, he’s actually quite good in this role and does the best with the material given. Matt Smith is flamboyantly sinister and really revels in his role as the villain in this ensemble while everyone else is just sort of here for the ride.
Morbius is not a good film. It’s a tragically bad, poorly written mess. I wouldn’t even recommend watching this one for a “so bad it’s good” vibe. This is just bad bad and as other far more witty critics and publications have pointed out – this flat-out sucks.
Read More: Morbius Ending Explained
Verdict - 2.5/10