⭐⭐½ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: I'm not sure why this is considered as bad as it is, but it's certainly nothing special, either.




Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Morbius has achieved a legendary level of dissatisfaction amongst superhero fans and movie goers alike, so it's not as if I went into this film expecting greatness. But I have to say: I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as people have made it out to be. There are far worse superhero movies, and there's not a lot here that I would describe as abjectly bad. Boring? Poorly directed? The film equivalent of the Whatup Fellow Kids! meme? Sure. But bad? Awful? Not so much.

First of all, Leto and Smith are both solid leading actors, and Leto is surprisingly measured in his portrayal. For someone that I've just come to expect zany performances from, I actually thought he was – dare I say – kinda great in this. There's not a lot of character depth or development, but he breathes a lot more life into the character of Michael Morbius than was ever necessary. As for Smith, he plays his usual self, just with a slightly darker edge. It's far from his best performance, but it's not terrible either. The rest of the cast range from decent to adequate; mainly, the roles are let down by uninspired writing and narrative. But here, again, I wouldn't say they are bad. They're just not good, either.

Where the film definitely suffers is the VFX, the choreography, and the – shall we say – "sense of humour". The former just looks amateur compared to a lot of the stuff out there. It's not horribly low-res or particularly dated – indeed, some of the main vampiric effects are done really well, particularly the face transformations and the echolocation – but there are definite moments of jank that reek of re-shoots and production crunches. The choreography is similar, with lots of "good enough" and then some absolute clankers. Even the scenes that are genuinely interestingly shot often fail for their real-world stupidity, like the tense but idiotic death of the lead nurse. Sure, having the motion-sensor lights adds a strong element of horror, but I just don't believe anywhere would actually operate hallway lights that are this incredibly precise and leave you in the dark for seconds at a time, and a medical centre certainly wouldn't be top of the list if it ever did become a thing. Lots of the vampire-on-vampire fights are equally confused by the overly exaggerated particle effects, and then the final showdown is just weird with the bat gun power stuff. I can also fully believe that in a cinema with true blacks you wouldn't be able to see anything that's going on at all. Oh, and finally, the humour? Yeah, you can practically see the moments where last-minute script revisions were handed to the production unit to make it "more like Venom" and they're all awful. This should have remained a gothic-horror, it didn't need the comedy beats.

And look, the story is dumb, too. But it's also a decent imagining of Morbius as a character and pays strong homage to the classical version of Dracula, so I don't hate it. This was a weird character to adapt, but I don't think it was done badly. It's certainly not a Green Lantern. Nor is the plot that ridiculous (within the constraints of a Morbius story, at least) and whilst, yes, it's a bit boring that his villain is just another vampire – one who goes from literal found-family brother to wanting to kill him with no real explanation or motivation – that's practically a requirement these days with origin stories.

So no, Morbius isn't going to be remembered particularly fondly. It won't be many people's favourite Marvel movie, or even preferred Spider-spin-off flick. But I wouldn't hate getting to see Leto take the character out for another round or two, if they let him (and if he agrees to it). With a better team behind the camera, less interference (and more time) from the studio, and a dash more competence in the editing suite, I think this could have at least been fun. As it stands, it's just average.

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