Morbius Review

1st April, 2022
Morbius Review

Jared Leto and Matt Smith are an outstanding doctor and his evil nemesis respectively, both grappling with the power to change into an evil demon

With a snarl, with a roar, with a facial morph into horrible sub-Voldemort nasal loss and then back to being handsome, the Marvel superhero-vampire Morbius is here!!!

His story unfolds with all the dramatic shape of a screensaver and then ends – to be followed by two plonkingly anti-climactic post-credit stings whose sheepish purpose is to lay out more coming attractions from the very corporate Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU).

Jared Leto plays the nobly dedicated Dr Michael Morbius, who affects a Charles Manson-style long hair-plus-beard combo to go with his gaunt manner and Richard III caliper-canes. The poor man suffers from a blood disorder and has dedicated his life to a cure – so much so that he gets the Nobel prize for medicine in an early scene, but he’s such a badass that he turns it down at the ceremony. Or something; we never quite find out what he does or says to the King of Sweden but the point is supposedly that Dr Morbius had formed a lifelong friendship in a children’s hospital with the kid in the next bed with the same condition - and he grows up to be a needy, greedy individual called Milo (Matt Smith), quite without Dr Morbius’s ethical superiority.

When Morbius desperately ingests vampire-bat blood in a last-ditch attempt at a cure, his resulting transformation into a super-strong vampire monster with extraordinary abs disturbs him so much he refuses to keep using it. Instead, he manufactures artificial blood from a secret lab once used by criminals for counterfeiting $100 bills. Because … obviously it’s very much the same sort of technology. But Milo – Hyde to his Jekyll – eagerly glugs the vampire-bat blood down and embraces his evil destiny, becoming Morbius’s enemy. Meanwhile, Morbius’s colleague Dr Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona) has a shy tendresse for him, and Jared Harris has to play the two men’s sorrowing mentor Dr Emil Nikols.

It really is an amazingly pointless and dumb film: the good/bad setup between Morbius and Milo is muddled and cancelled by the not-especially-compelling moral struggle within Morbius himself. Both Leto and Smith have to keep doing the evil demonic face-change growling thing, and it is intensely silly. Let’s hope the extended Spider-Man universe extends far enough to include something more interesting than this.