If you follow Sony Pictures on basically any social media, you know that in the final weeks leading up to the release of their newest Marvel venture, Morbius, they’ve been describing the character as a “Marvel legend.” Unfortunately, the only thing legendary about this particular installment in Sony’s shared Spider-Man Universe is how absolutely dreadful it is to sit through for a comic book movie.
I generally do not believe in writing a review for something I can’t find more than two positive aspects to write about, but I’m making an exception here to reaffirm what the internet has been warning us all: Morbius is not a good movie. Despite the various delays and release date pushes, I maintained excitement about this movie, thrilled that I would be seeing Morbius on the big screen. Having now seen the movie, I wish the delays were indefinite and that the movie would have stayed in the dark hole it very clearly crawled out of. If copies of this movie survive, future civilizations are going to think we had horrible taste.
Before I dive in, I feel the compulsion to state that I find it borderline reprehensible how Sony marketed this movie for months. We all know the trailers hinted at Spider-Man being included in the movie (at least a reference) with shots of Oscorp, Raimi-verse suit posters, Adrian Toomes … and these references don’t even make it into the final product. This was a clear marketing ploy in an attempt to garner additional interest in the movie by making people believe Spider-Man would be seen or referenced in Morbius, and ultimately they didn’t deliver. These Easter eggs in the trailers did not need to be included in the slightest, and the only reason they were included was the morally questionable attempt at bringing Spidey fans into the theaters.
Morbius suffers the most from a complete lack of vision, detrimentally confusing and unclear writing, and an overall sense that it doesn’t know what story it wants to tell. The writing for this project from Sony Pictures seriously missed the mark that other recent superhero flicks have set forth. Let’s be honest, based on Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, we all knew going into this movie that it wasn’t going to be some spectacularly compelling story full of lessons and depth. We all hoped that at the very least the movie would be entertaining, just as the Venom movies have proved to be in the past. We were let down on this one … Morbius is not only confusing, but it also somehow manages to be excruciatingly boring.
The worst representation of the writing for this movie is in the post- and mid-credits scenes, which are some of the most befuddling and borderline insulting moments I can remember witnessing in movie history.
The CGI for the powers unlocked by Michael Morbius in search for a cure to his terminal disease is at times so disorienting you can’t even make a genuine attempt to focus on the movie (not that you’ll really want to, anyway). Overall, the design is incredibly lacking for a comic book movie made in this day and age, and seeing the absolute eyesore that is Morbius so soon after stunning additions to the genre (The Batman) can’t be described as anything other than astonishing (and not in the good way).
How many comic book characters can Jared Leto possibly portray on the big screen in a subpar fashion before the industry stops giving him those roles? I’m not going to say that I think Leto is dreadful in everything he does, because I don’t. I recognize the amazing work he put into House of Gucci. I enjoy Fight Club like anybody else. But comic book movies are not for him. Comic book movies are, however, for Matt Smith, who has a larger role in the movie than the trailer will lead you to believe, but ultimately was devastatingly under-utilized, when he could have actually saved the movie. Smith absolutely stole the scene every time he was included, and the movie would have been leagues better had he actually been cast as Michael Morbius, having historically proven he can dive into darker roles with stunning results.
Overall, the movie is plagued by poor decision-making by the creative team, a poor understanding of what audiences want to see, and a generally uninspiring approach to the newest addition to the shared Spider-Man Universe. You know when you witness something and just can’t look away, or when you witness something and immediately wish you didn’t? That’s how I felt after watching Morbius. It’s like when you watch your dog puke and then immediately eat it, but in movie form.
If you also saw Morbius and are feeling less-than-entertained, I luckily have just the cure. Here are some additional titles I considered for this review:
Morbius Review: Yes, It Is as Bad as the Internet Warned It Will Be
Morbius Review: Sony, I’m Available for Work if You Need Writers
Morbius Review: This Movie Is Life-draining, Literally and Figuratively
Morbius Review: Morbius? More Like “More BS” From Sony
Morbius Review: Pack It Up, Sony, It’s Time To Give Spidey Back To Marvel
Morbius Review: I’m Confused, Sony Is Confused, We’re All Confused
Morbius is playing now exclusively in theaters, if you still feel like you need to go see it. I would suggest a matinee showing so at the very least you get discounted admission.