Dr. Michael Morbius, in searching for a cure to a rare blood disease, turns himself into a "living vampire".
Spoiler Level: Mild
Not every MCU movie is going to be amazing, and everyone is going to have their favorite, and there will be petty arguments over what the producers got right and what they got wrong. To say whether a movie is good or bad is a difficult thing to decree as those values are so arbitrary and subjective, and I honestly believe that nearly every movie has in it something that someone is going to absolutely love. So, I try as hard as I can, to make it clear what I write is my opinion, and that just because the movie did not touch me on a deeper level, does not mean that it won’t touch someone. Morbius, Marvel and Sony’s latest collaboration, if taken as its own self-contained movie, isn’t bad, I have seen a lot worse. But when you set it up next to the other films in the franchise, it is just a hard comparison and it does not fare well. In the following article, I will touch on what I thought worked and what didn’t and what I thought was downright ugly.
The Good: Dr. Michael Morbius’ (Jared Leto) origin remained pretty consistent retaining its essence. The Nobel winning doctor who has suffered from a rare blood disease his whole life, searches for a cure for him and the others like him before he succumbs to the sickness. His research leads him to unethical experimentation with vampire bats and in so doing, turns himself into a “Living Vampire”. The storyline was well plotted, and the production level was pretty good, and I enjoyed most of the special effects, although we didn’t really see anything new or original. The music was good and accentuated the movie appropriately. Jared does a fine job as Morbius and Adria Arjona as love interest, Martine Bancroft, is quite good.
The Bad: The flow of the film felt “messy” partially because we were not allowed time to really connect with anyone. There was very little deep character development and no real emotional relationship between them and the audience. Usually there is a buildup to allow us to form attachments to characters, but not in this case. The dialogue was uneven and did not feel natural. This was especially true between Milo (Matt Smith) and Morbius. Milo is a brother like character who suffers from the same disease and as the plot unfolds, Milo becomes the big bad. This happened somewhat abruptly. Part of the problem may have been Matt’s performance, which in my opinion was one of the worse things about the film. It was over the top and felt out of place and not genuine. This led to one of the downfalls I often talk about, the audience ends up not really caring about any of the characters or their fates lessening any emotional response the movie could have had.
The Ugly: And I mean this in its literal sense, the makeup and special effects that produced Milo’s look was gruesome and over exaggerated. Sometimes you may want that, but it was just a bit too much for me. Morbius was a bit much too but didn’t strike me as being quite as grotesque as Milo.
One last thing, well into the movie they introduce Martine’s pet cat, who has no function or purpose in the film, but it made me very uncomfortable and I worried for the cat’s life for the rest of the movie. I don’t like seeing any animals harmed in a movie, this is a very personal pet peeve of mine and although (Spoiler Alert) the cat apparently lives (It isn’t mentioned again in the film) I didn’t like that they introduced it at all.
Comic Book Accuracy: Morbius was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #101-102. Because he appears as a full vampire and his origin is told in flashbacks, the absence of Spider-Man in this film isn’t a big deal. Morbius retains his powers and abilities and his looks but not a lot of explanation is given to the “living vampire” part aside from a line here and there like him not burning up in sunlight. Grade: A-.
Overall, it wasn't a bad film and I enjoyed aspects of it, but without a good connection to any of the characters, the film fell flat on an emotional level.
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Morbius: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Acting - 6/106/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 7/107/10
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