‘Morbius’ Review: It’s Not Morbin’ Time
I knew not spending my hard earned dough to see Morbius in theaters would end up paying off in the long run. Netflix recently announced via an appropriately worded tweet “It’s Morbin’ Time!” that the not-so-smashing hit and Marvel/Sony product Morbius is officially on the streaming service’s front page. With the opportunity to check out this recent masterpiece from the comfort of my own home, what did this vampire drama have to offer?
Well, to put it mildly, not a whole lot. Expectations seem to be a large part of the conversation around Morbius. The film didn’t offer many press screenings or advanced opportunities to see the film (never a good sign) and the moment audiences got their hands on the product, the film was panned for its melodramatic take on content far too silly and “comic booky” to be taken seriously. Its visuals were described as cartoonish and laughable, and the performances for the most part were mailed in. All of these criticisms certainly bled through into my expectations for this film, and yet I still left it having a few glimmers of hope amid a lot of crumbling pieces.
So let’s start things off on a high note. Jared Leto. He’s not that bad in this. It was noted numerous times throughout the press tour for this film that Leto was really buying into the role and hoping to sell the film’s promise as another Spidey property minus the friendly neighborhood guy himself. And it’s for good reason – he’s really giving it his all as Dr. Michael Morbius. Now it may just be that nearly every other actor in this film gives a performance that barely classifies as acting (like seriously, I think Matt Smith was already focusing on his next gig before walking onto the set), but Leto is the least of this film’s problems.
It’s visual design is shaky for 90% of the film, although I did enjoy the death eater-like CGI work when Leto and Smith fly through the sky as vampires. Leto’s face doesn’t look brutal when he turns into a blood-thirsty monster, although Matt Smith’s, once again, is horrendous. There was zero effort put into him as a villain and it clearly shows whenever he shows up on screen. The best I can say for him is that he is really making up for this film right now on House of the Dragon where he is slaying as Daemon. It’s made me re-evaluate him as an actor after this abomination.
The story is truly atrocious, but to be fair, that was one criticism I was expecting to have going into the film. Morbius had taken on such a ridiculous reputation that I ended up not having as bad of a time as I thought I would. Until the credits started rolling. Then my hatred for it came all the way back around as these were some of the most laugh-out-loud post-credit scenes I have ever seen on film. Talk about selling out and leaning into the cheap and corny aspects of superhero genre filmmaking.
I left Morbius with one big question on my mind. Is this worse than Thor: Love and Thunder? Now this may seem like an obvious “yes, are you stupid?” but I couldn’t help but think that some of this film lands as unintentional comedy. It doesn’t have the high highs like Christian Bale being a gothic supervillain, but it doesn’t have obnoxious comedy smothering you every five minutes with nearly none of it landing. I’ll have to ponder this for the next few months before my year-end list, but for now, Morbius is still not good.