Photo credits: “MORBIUS” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Budiey
The most fantastic achievement of cinematic mastery entered theaters and smashed the box office and viewers with a bevy of talent in every aspect imaginable. The feat has been nothing short of transcendent, and is surely to be mimicked by filmmakers in the future of all movies to come.
Ok, I’m sorry.
In complete honesty, “Morbius” was a rough one — scratch that — it was a disaster. The flaunting of its association with Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, such as its inclusion in the production of “Spider Man: No Way Home,” has seemingly fooled Sony Pictures into thinking it can make comic book movies, and it showed in this cinematic mess. Where “No Way Home” had high stakes, “Morbius” had confusion. Where “No Way Home” created emotional connections from audience to characters, “Morbius” created indifference.
It’s all in the storytelling, the dialogue and the pacing.
“Morbius” follows a scientist named Michael Morbius who has a rare blood disease, which is slowly killing him and has caused him to struggle throughout his life. He lives in constant pain, waiting for death to finally relieve him. One day, on a trip to Costa Rica –which was not set up by any surrounding context, mind you– Morbius finds bats in a cave and figures out he can use it as a means to cure his condition. Who would’ve thought that would make him a raging, murderous vampire beast? This is a science fiction comic book movie, after all!
After his experiment and subsequent murder spree of a shipping crew (who we’re assured were ‘bad guys’ so we don’t need to feel bad for them), Morbius returns home to come to grips with what he’s become. He realizes that his condition is cured, but his lust for blood only worsens as time goes on. He survives on his own fake blood that he has created, but he knows this will not satisfy his “Hyde” forever.
When he returns home, an investigation has opened up concerning the murder on the ship, so he must keep a low profile while figuring out how to reverse the effects or find a way to mitigate them. Things get complicated, however, when Michael’s childhood friend, Milo (who has the same blood condition) discovers that his friend has been hiding the cure from him.
Despite seeing Michael turn into a grotesque monster in front of him, Milo decides to steal a vial of the stuff and join his friend in the vampire lifestyle. Milo, unlike his friend, embraces this murderous new personality, seeking revenge on all those who didn’t have to deal with his and Michael’s condition. Eventually, his blind rage leads him to murder a father figure doctor who had virtually raised him and Michael from adolescence. In what I’m assuming was meant to be a heart-wrenching scene, audiences were left feeling little-to-no emotion for this huge part of their lives.
The story was so rushed, there was no time to create connections with the characters in order to feel any sympathy for them. I wanted to feel sorry for this father figure and I wanted to feel emotion for Milo who, at the conclusion of his battle with Michael, feels remorse for his actions, but I just couldn’t gain that connection with the characters. Don’t even get me started on the stupidest after-credits scene I think I’ve ever seen. Out of nowhere, Vulture (Michael Keaton from “Spider Man: Homecoming”) shows up in a prison cell and next thing you know, he is meeting with Morbius in some field,saying he has no idea where he is but he wants to team up with him to kill Spiderman. There is so much in this one after-credits scene, I cannot begin to rant or this piece may exceed the word limit.
Overall, the plot of “Morbius’” was all over the place. The story itself seems like a strong idea, but the pacing, dialogue and iffy CGI buried the movie in an incessant haze of what can only be described as blech.
On another note, “The Batman” was GOOD. Like, really good.
Joseph Gill is a third-year English major with a minor in Journalism. JG923276@wcupa.edu