Published Apr. 25, 2022
BY RYAN JALILI
With “Morbius” being Jared Leto’s famed return to the world of superhero films after his infamous performance as the Joker in ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016), fans were cautiously eager to see how he would portray Marvel’s vampirical anti-hero in “Morbius.” The answer? A bad performance accompanied by uninteresting directing, god-awful dialogue and one of the most hilariously bad post-credit scenes in recent memory.
Dr. Michael Morbius (Leto) suffers from a rare blood disease and has spent his life looking for a cure. In his new experiment, he uses bat blood, and when he tests it on himself the result is superhuman strength, speed and a thirst for blood. The artificial blood slows his cravings but it’s only a temporary solution. Michael’s childhood friend Milo (Matt Smith) has the same disease and takes the cure despite Michael’s warnings. He then goes on a murderous spree that Michael is blamed for.
Leto’s performance as Dr. Morbius is nothing short of bad. Leto has prided himself on being typecast for typically eccentric characters, but his portrayal of Morbius is just monotone. The air becomes awkward and strange when Leto enters a scene, as it’s clear he desperately wants to create his own version of the character. But coupled with trash directing and terrible dialogue, it’s like watching a kid try to build something with Legos and thumbtacks: just a painful mess.
The film’s whole runtime feels so disconnected from being a superhero film or a vampire film that at no point is there any attempt to make a compelling narrative that fit either of these two genres; it truly feels like a one-of-a-kind film, and not in a good way. In some ways, it manages to be incredibly cliche while also following none of the interesting concepts from anti-hero superhero films like “Joker,” “Venom” (2018) and “Deadpool” (2016).
The film’s villain, Milo, is just straight-up weird. His performance is far too animated and out of place for the monotone and uninteresting Sonyverse.
Despite a relatively short run time of 104 minutes, the film feels dragged out beyond oblivion. Almost every scene is so poorly written and paced that as a viewer it was a genuine struggle to pay attention.
Directing-wise, it’s not terrible, just uninspired and lacking in any sort of substance besides the frequent and uncomfortably aggressive close-up shots of characters during slow conversations.
In a shady marketing tactic, Spider-Man, as well as Micheal Keaton’s Vulture, can be seen in the film’s trailers, hinting at a broader connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite that, neither is present in the main film at all. The post-credit scene that teases the future of the Sonyverse ends with raucous laughter in the theater because of how little sense it made.
Morbius is a genuine struggle to watch. While it may be a good film to laugh with friends, it is a hilariously horrendous movie to actually pay attention to.