“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce
I’m cautiously optimistic that DC may be learning from past mistakes and might actually be pivoting in a positive direction. Sony and its MARVEL properties on the other hand? It would seem they are very much still lost in the dark that is their own blindness. Sony’s most profitable superhero property is Spider-Man and that is 100% because of the creative control being relinquished to MARVEL Studios. But with properties still solely under their banner like Venom and Morbius, the sheer lack of simply understanding how to make a basic, and more importantly decent, superhero movie still clearly evades them.
The story of Morbius has been described as an early 2000’s type of comic book movie and I agree wholeheartedly. If this is the case then in about ten to fifteen years Sony might actually catch up to modern superhero storytelling. Actually I just hope the control Sony has on any hero characters are eventually returned to their rightful home at MARVEL Studios. The place where fans will actually benefit for once. But that’s for another time.
So, is it good? I don’t think so but I can’t say this with complete confidence. Let me explain. I hated Venom, with every fiber of my being. It’s terrible in every regard and a sequel existing is every bit as insulting. I was expecting another Venom result with Morbius. I could not have entered the theater with lower expectations. I had little faith in it and then early reviews only solidified my fears of another Sony failure. So I think anything positive I have to say about Morbius may just stem from the simple fact that it’s better than Venom, marginally but still. So I have to ask myself, would I still find anything good in Morbius had I never wasted my time on Venom? As they say, a bell cannot be unrung.
So I guess I can maybe answer if it’s good by saying no, but if you somehow found anything worthwhile in Venom, give Morbius a shot. Leave any and all expectations at the door and maybe fear the worst and you just might come out of it not completely frustrated. This all said if you were ever expecting Spider-Man: No Way Home quality with Morbius you’re more naïve than I can possibly understand.
Hating Jared Leto feels like one of those things that people do because for one reason or another it just became a popular thing to do on the internet. It’s like hating Nickelback at the level that people pretend to hate them. We all know in truth they’re fine, nothing amazing but the vitriol they receive is completely unfounded. It’s okay, you can like Nickelback, just like it’s okay to enjoy a Jared Leto performance. Is he going to give us the occasional House of Gucci showing? Yes. But he’s also capable of delivering Dallas Buyers Club level acting. He’s a talented actor with hits and misses like any other. I bring this up because despite what every know-it-all thinks, Jared Leto is somewhat of a highlight in an otherwise lackluster superhero flick.
Everything good about Morbius is mediocre so while his performance is in no way a hindrance like it was expected to be, he’s also not the savior of it either. I would argue he did what he could with a script not interested in reinventing the wheel, in fact far from it. I would say it feels so small and insignificant that it practically regressed to the year 2005 when this should have been made.
The movie ends and you’re left wondering why. Why did it happen? What is the point? And then your wondering is satiated with two mid-credits sequences. Particularly the second scene is a hint at bigger movies Sony is hoping to bring to the big screen. And that is why Morbius as a movie exists. To make Sinister Six movies. That’s it. Never mind believing in a character and wanting to bring them to life, it’s all about that bottom line. It is, just like Venom, a money grab. Once you realize this the lack of quality in almost every department suddenly makes sense. It was pieced together and rushed into theaters. And that’s even after numerous delays. It’s still somehow incomplete.
Morbius is about a doctor with a life threatening disease on the verge of discovering a cure not only for him but his best friend. Just from that sentence alone, I bet you can guess who the villain is. And you’d be right. But even this repetitive narrative of best friends and betrayal is more interesting than a rich asshole with weird aspirations, Venom…
Once this so-called cure is found, in bats of course, the adverse side-effects begin to show almost immediately and our heroic doctor sees the nightmare embedded within the façade. His best friend however is blinded by the slim possibility of normal life and from there things go horribly awry as this once thought cure is actually their potential demise.
This is where it all falls apart tonally. Is Morbius a good guy or a bad guy? He wants to stop his mentally fractured friend from causing more harm but he’s also a bloodthirsty vampire and human blood will soon be his only option for survival. And then the inclusion of a mid-credits scene alluding to a team up with The Vulture puts him once again in the light of a villain. He wants to save, he wants to be bad. It’s all muddled and, well, pointless.
Morbius is a step-up from Venom but somehow still a step in the wrong direction. It’s time for a course correction at Sony and they have yet to realize it. I just can’t recommend this movie. I want to see the good in it and there is but it’s too few and far between. Saying it’s better than some other terrible movie isn’t saying this movie isn’t bad. It’s simply better than awful. Make of that what you will. Personally I can take comfort in knowing I didn’t pay to see either Morbius or Venom so I can’t be held accountable for the damage they may cause. In fact what I can do is say that I warned you. I leave it up to you.
Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of violence, some frightening images, and brief strong language
Runtime: 104 minutes
After Credits Scene: Two mid-credits. Nothing at the very end.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror, Comic Book
Starring: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson
Directed By: Daniel Espinosa
Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 7.5/ Directing: 6/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No.
Check out the trailer below:
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