REVIEW / FILM REVIEW – Jared Leto becomes the face of Morbius in a terribly banal superhero film that is ultimately less exciting than the many trailers.
Vampire, did you say vampire?
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to delight fans with each new film, its “little brother” of sorts, Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, continues to baffle fans. As a reminder, if the vast majority of characters from Marvel comics now belong to Disney, Sony continues to resist the rights to Spider-Man. A deal still allowed the MCU to use the spider-man in the guise of Tom Holland.
Besides, Sony wanted to focus on antagonists from the Spider-Man universe. This is how was born Venom in 2018, worn by Tom Hardy. An impressive success (more than 850 million dollars at the global box office), despite murderous reviews, and which gave rise to a second opus (released at the end of 2021).
To continue to move forward with this universe, Sony is offering this time Morbius. The story of Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), a biochemist with a blood disease. In an attempt to heal himself, he injects himself with a product that turns him into a kind of vampire. Thus, although he now has extraordinary physical abilities, he is above all obliged to feed on blood.
A feeling of deja vu
Let’s not go four ways, Morbius East of a distressing banality. Whereas Venom had at least some humor going for it, Sony’s new superhero flick sinks into a seriously unfortunate. Not that we are particularly fond of the “action-comedy” style offered by the MCU. The Batman is for example far from playing the card of fun, and yet is probably the best movie with a superhero in years.
But the real problem of Morbius is that he is following a path that has already been traced many times before. An origin story classic and unsurprising it consists in setting up the transformation of the doctor following a failed experiment, his understanding of his powers, and a passage through a titanic confrontation before reaching hero status.
If this development reminds you of anything, that’s not all. To accompany the character, there is obviously a love interest: his colleague Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona, sympathetic, but limited to an anecdotal role). But also a father figure (Jared Harris) features from the childhood of the protagonist. And finally, we find ourselves facing Morbius an enemy seen coming from miles away. A mirror adversary of Michael, but with more divisive morals.
In this, the feature film does not seek at any time the slightest originality. Too bad given the base material. Like Venom, Morbius is primarily an anti-hero in Marvel comics. A character who, by his condition as a vampire, is led to do harm – by feeding on human blood. But, again, Sony prefers to lighten its dark side and does not do anything vampire-themed which could have made it possible to tickle the codes a little.
Morbius doesn’t fly high
Although boredom dominates most of the film, we can at least count on the presence of Matt Smith. Yes, Jared Leto offers nothing memorable, without being annoying, his colleague, he does not hesitate to make cases to wake up the audience. ‘Cause it’s definitely not with its antiquated and illegible action scenes that Morbius manages to capture our attention. It’s ultimately almost fascinating to see Sony’s ability to hire directors with potential and only get no personality. Without being a great filmmaker, Daniel Espinosa had nevertheless offered the effective Life: Origin unknown (2017). We were therefore entitled to expect a film that was a bit tense and disturbing.
Like Andy Serkis with Venom 2, the director’s presence is only noticeable in the credits. It must be said that the proposed editing does not help to reveal the slightest touch of the filmmaker. In particular, we see in the final a visual hubbub to bring the characters from point A to point B, without having to worry about real consistency. But despite this set being excessively flat, the most distressing thing is the false marketing of the film. Marketing that focused on elements totally absent from the feature film. Finally, it is perhaps through this manipulation of its public that Sony will have dared the most with Morbius.
Morbius by Daniel Espinosa, in theaters on March 30, 2022.