After several attempts since 1998, Sony Pictures Releasing has finally introduced one more character from the Spider-Man Universe, the Morbius on the big screens on March 10, 2022. It premiered at the Plaza Carso in Mexico City and was released theatrically on April 1, 2022, in the United States. Contrary to the high expectations, of both fans and its makers, the film grossed over $163 million worldwide, and the review of Morbius went largely negative by the critics. The criticism was largely for the writing, post-credits scenes, and visual effects.
Morbius was under production since Sony decided to make films based on a shared universe with the Spider-Man and related characters beginning with Venom (2018). And it was made with high expectations after mixed responses to the Venom movie. In this article, we are going to have a look inside the pros and cons of the movie and present a holistic review of Morbius which is the third film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU), and the second character after Venom from SSU. So let’s begin.
About the movie Morbius
Morbius is an American superhero movie co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel. Sony Pictures Releasing is its distributor. Daniel Espinosa directed Morbius with Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless as writers.
The movie Morbius stars Jared Leto as Morbius, a scientist turned vampire, who unwillingly becomes a blood-sucking monster after failing in his attempts to cure his rare blood disease. Matt Smith plays the role of his brother Milo who is suffering from the same disease and thus these brothers share a deep bond. Adria Arjona is the scientist and Morbius’ colleague, Martine Bancroft.
Other significant characters include their father figure, Dr. Emil Nicholas (Jared Harris), Al Madrigal as Alberto “Al” Rodriguez who is chasing Morbius along with Simon Stroud (Tyrese Gibson).
The character Morbius
Morbius is a living Vampire penciled by Gil Kane and writer Roy Thomas introduced it as an antagonist to Spider-Man in comics The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in 1971.
His alter ego is Dr. Michael Morbius who is an award-winning biochemist suffering from a rare blood condition that gave him an unpleasant appearance and an isolated childhood. He is a Ph.D. and M.D., a highly qualified villain of Spider-Man.
Although a vampire, he doesn’t want to kill people. He loves his brother Milo and possesses unmatched abilities of echolocation, superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes. He can convert people into pseudo vampires, and his blood works as an antidote for them. Although he cannot cure himself with this remedy.
Morbius’s mother raises him with his adoptive father, Nicholas who was the director of the hospital where his surrogate brother Milo is born. 25 years later, Dr. Morbius conducts illegal research using synthetic blood on a private mercenary vessel in international waters with his assistant Martine Bancroft, funded by his brother Milo. But, the failed experiment makes Michael a pseudo vampire. He kills the crew and escapes with his equipment. On returning to New York, Morbius realizes his supernatural abilities.
He depends on synthetic blood to satisfy his bloodlust and is not willing to kill innocents. But to his dismay, he finds a dead nurse near hospitalized Bancroft during his visit. The guilt-ridden Morbius tries to escape the spot but two FBI agents Simon Stroud and Al Rodriguez arrest him. An additional shock comes to him from Milo’s confession of taking Morbius’s cure and killing the nurse.
Morbius escapes prison reaches Bancroft, and heeds her help in developing an antidote for vampirism. Towards the end of the film, Morbius loses his loved ones – Nicholas, Bancroft, and Milo. He himself remains behind as a vampire on the run from authorities. However, he is unaware of Bancroft reviving as a pseudo vampire.
Although the story of Morbius is convincing, its portrayal on-screen was a bit weak. Especially the overdone CGI and hyped action scenes, which were less impactful than their buildup. Also, logic will work less in scenes where a prime murder suspect roams around the city in his hoodie without getting noticed and passes by police without being caught.
Unlike his comic version, this modified Jared Leto’s Morbius is more humanly, self-controlling, and hates bloodshed. Supporting actors were fairly good enough. Its post-credits scenes include Keaton’s (Vulture) appearances along with Spider-Man only to give a sense of connection with the other universe. Having a big-name actor as the main lead without any depth to the story had to be a recipe for disaster.
Conclusively, as per this review, despite Morbius’s poor performance at the box office, it’s a good movie worth watching on Amazon Prime for its own story. It will only disappoint the action lovers and SMU fans.
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