By Grace Tevaseu, Correspondent
2.5 Out of 5 Stars
Known for previous action-packed films, Daniel Espinosa’s newest movie Morbius follows suit, although having a much weaker storyline and overall effect. Devoid of any hype or anticipation for Morbius’ premiere, the movie followed status as a Marvel bore. Whilst having a few good action sequences and thrills, the storyline was expected and overplayed. The character development was elementary, meaning the audience never grew attached to the characters, so when they did die, no emotions or tears were shed.
The summary is as follows, Leto’s character Morbius is a Sheldon Cooper-level of scientific genius, experiencing a rare blood disorder that stunts his mobility and shortens his lifespan. His life goal is to find a cure for this condition and save others from the same crippling fate, as an easily predictable motive for a Marvel hero. Experimenting in international waters, Morbius tests his bat-derived solution on himself, his first human test subject. Of course, something goes wrong. Whilst prolonging his life and increasing his strength, the cure has a horrid, beastly side-effect that can only be suppressed by devouring human blood. The movie continues as an internal battle of bloodthirst for Morbius and a relentless fight against his closest childhood friend, who has also taken the cure. The theme gives off Vampire Diaries vibes, paralleling the brotherly clash between kind-hearted Stefan and devilish Damon.
Morbius’ love interest and romantic plot was a flop. Morbius falls for his fellow doctor, a Ms. Martine Bancroft, who is one of the only women in the film. Despite her apparent scientific aptitude, her only skills seem to be fashionable fits and fainting. Her role was a disappointment, but at least the actress, Adria Arjona, got screen time in a Marvel movie.
Simply put, the movie lacked strong punchlines of humor. I did find myself laughing in a few scenes, but those moments were not explicitly humorous. For example, when the two ill-stricken friends decided to go for a walk, I couldn’t help but release a laugh. The scene was of them hobbling down the busy streets of New York, catching up on the events of their lives. If this was actually New York City, they would have been mowed over by the packs of foot traffic that constitutes this great city.
The chosen special effects were questionable. After injecting himself with the questionable bat serum, Morbius undergoes a myriad of new abilities. One of these is an intensified sense of sound. The effect implying his use of great hearing is rather uncomfortable. Supposedly replicating a bat, Morbius’ eyes go a fluctuating white, and his ears become partitioned and fluttering, like a fan. While I did find this appearance disturbing, I appreciated the creators’ adaption of echo sight and vision. Morbius could locate any sound in the city based off the echoes and vibrations bouncing off surfaces. He could also hear the soundwaves and use them to his advantage, riding along their waves in a moment of escape.
Additionally disappointing, the movie failed to come round, full circle. Morbius opened with a futuristic scene of Morbius in a bat cave, giving off strong cult vibes. However, I realize the film never explained nor returned to the scene in its 1 hour and 44 minute duration. While this may have been the producer’s thematic choice, it felt unfulfilling. Overall, Morbius provided a similar level of entertainment as the Eternals, an average standalone action movie, but a failure in comparison to Marvel cinema. Although I won’t bag on it as much as other critics like Rotten Tomatoes, Morbius was ultimately dull.