One of the most high-profile films, with the highest number of release delays, during the pandemic was “Morbius”. Jared Leto initially joined the Marvel universe, as Dr. Michael Morbius, when filming began first in 2019. Then came the delays — and the re-shoots — both in 2020 and 2021. And it shows.
It was unclear, at the time, why Sony moved the “Morbius” release date one final time, from January 28, 2022 to April 1. Some believed it was to give “Spider-Man: No Way Home” more breathing room at the box office. Others thought one of the three Spideys would have an end credits cameo that needed to be filmed. I was convinced Leto didn’t want the release to threaten his “House of Gucci” Oscar chances. It did not help him snag a nomination.
In the end, Sony simply bought themselves more time before facing the inevitable. All the delays and reshoots in the world can’t resuscitate this corpse.
“Morbius” features the blandest, most basic story Marvel has served-up to date. A genius biochemist (Leto) with a life-threatening illness discovers a cure — but the sides effects are, well, not the best. He now requires blood to stay alive. He gets by with artificial blood (another of his inventions) for awhile, but really craves the real thing. The good Dr. turns into a powerful, blood-thirsty vampire-monster (gee, we haven’t seen those on screen before).
The story then quickly becomes a “friend turns into a foe” showdown involving a childhood best-friend (gee, we haven’t seen those on screen before). “Doctor Who”’s Matt Smith gets equal screen time with Leto from the half-hour mark on, as a truly boring villain.
Morbius, as it turns-out, is a good guy, though the character is not at all worth caring about. In fact, this entire movie lacks emotion. The script is lifeless and the action sequences feature some of the cheapest-looking CGI of any Marvel/non-Marvel film in recent memory. Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal play bumbling, poorly-written FBI agents. Adria Arjona gets nothing to work with as a fellow MD and love interest.
Chances are you’ve seen at least ONE of the many trailers over the past couple years, so you know Michael Keaton makes an appearance as his “Spider-Man: Homecoming” character Adrian Toomes. Keaton did make it into this final cut, but it’s not the moment that was in the previews. If you’re willing to stay at least midway through the final credits you’ll witness Marvel’s latest, desperate attempt to give the fanboys and fangirls something to talk and tweet about on their way home.
They certainly won’t have anything good to share about the feature.
LCJ GRADE: D
Running Time: 104 min.