One of the biggest victims of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hollywood is that of Sony’s Morbius film, which was originally slated to come out way back in July of 2020. Now, it’s finally being released in April of 2022 and it begs the question – if the film was shot nearly three years ago, how is Sony trying tying the film into last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home? The answer is alarmingly clear by the time Morbius cuts to credits – and it’s that the film represents the very worst of what this genre and age of blockbuster, interconnectivity has to offer. This is far and away the worst superhero film I’ve seen in the last ten years, if not longer.
The film follows Doctor Michael Morbius who has a seemingly incurable disease that prevents him from walking. It’s established in the opening sequence that Michael is seeking experimental treatment for his illness, as he’s gone down pointless rabbit holes with no results from previous doctors and hospitals from his youth. His latest, most experimental treatment yet gives him the powers of a vampire and sends him down a path of both trying to find ways to tame his cravings and thirsts as well as becoming something of an anti-hero.
Venom is another weird anomaly of a franchise from Sony, as at its core it is full of corporate meddling and forced tie-ins to other properties.. but it ultimately won me over due to, almost entirely, Tom Hardy’s commitment to the role and how much fun he seems to be having in each and every frame. Morbius is nearly the polar opposite in terms of turning a bad deal into a good one; the character of Michael Morbius is the most boring protagonist I’ve been introduced to in a comic-book film in quite sometime. On top of the character being terribly written, Jared Leto completely phones it in with a dry, uncharismatic performance that had me wondering why I was even bothering with following him on this journey in the first place.
There is simply nothing about this film that works. Admittedly, Matt Smith is *trying* to do something here as the villain and director Daniel Espinosa, who has made films like Life and Safe House that I actually genuinely enjoy, does his best to make the material at least competently adapted. But there’s only so much you can do with a film that has a screenplay that is this awful, and feels so corporately manufactured at its conception and then torn apart to its core by its abysmal post-credit scenes that genuinely make no sense to the characters, universe.. anything! The entire film feels like a trailer for a movie that doesn’t actually exist.