review by Bobby Blakey
Despite the latest incarnation of Spider-Man being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the characters is still very much owned by Sony. For years Sony has been trying to get their own Spider-verse universe established to little success until this latest version of Spider-Man starring Tom Holland and their surprise hit Venom starring Tom Hardy. Now they are expanding it even further with the addition to the living vampire himself, Morbius with Jared Leto in the title role and co-starring Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson.
The film follows the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius who is dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate. When he attempts a desperate gamble it all seems to be a radical success, but a darkness inside him is unleashed making the remedy potentially worse than the disease.
While not a huge fan of the character I did get into the series he had in the early 90s thanks to the Rise of the Midnight Sons story arc. I was eager to see this new take on the character just to see how they handled this character especially it being one that is not only a monster, but walks the line between villain and anti-hero much like Venom. While its not a perfect film I must say I enjoyed it quite bit. They stick pretty close to the origin of the character with the character Milo played by Matt Smith being new for the film.
This is the perfect kind of role for Leto who is known for his method style and it is full on display here with his weight changes and behavior. It
serves the character well and I think he is perfectly cast as Morbius. I was concerned about his ability in the trailers to change his face back and forth, but it actually works here and the full vampire look works really well to do the source material justice. Matt Smith is having a blast here eating up every scene that both worked and didn’t at times for me. When he is on its great, but then sometimes it kind of clashed with the sequence.
The pacing is a bit off in the early moments of the film as it felt like they were trying to get to the point and minimize the origin story, but for a character like this is much needed. It was never uninteresting to me, but felt like I was missing something sometimes. Thankfully it found its place and got it on track to get the fun and action working. The tone is very much like the Venom flicks and is firmly planted in that universe as they show in the trailers. There were rumors that a lot of the Spider-man universe references in the trailers weren’t here and that is both true and false. There is stuff here, but maybe not like you expect.
There is a tone that serves as both the horror element for the vampire and superhero style film you expect. Despite some of its issues I thought it worked great and had a blast with it. For a movie that probably doesn’t need to exist it firmly plants itself in this universe and should it do well enough has made some promises that could be quite fun. There are in fact two credit sequences that set up some possible future fun with one specific thing that hardcore fans will likely be giddy about should it ever happen.
The effects work most of the time with only a few elements that I felt came off too CGI. I loved the flowing effects used and some of the slow motion elements to showcase more depth. It felt familiar and new all at once and is fun to watch more often than not. I found the ending a bit less climactic than I had hoped, but it still delivers and works.
If you enjoyed the Venom flicks and the world building they did then this will likely work for you. If you did not it might be hit and miss depending on how you connect with the character or Leto himself. I am all in for more Morbius so hope they will keep him among the living.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including outtakes & bloopers, easter eggs, featurettes and more. Grab your copy of Morbius available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on June 14th from Sony Home Entertainment.