Jared Leto in Morbius

Morbius fails hard in emulating the success of Venom with Jared Leto’s dead behind the eyes anti-hero.

Set for release initially before the pandemic, Morbius, based on the name of the lead character, Dr Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), failed to sink its teeth into the Marvel success of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The weak and flailing story of Morbius lacks any sense of direction or authority as Dr Morbius searches for a cure to his lifelong illness, and finds success in a gland of a vampire bat, turning him into a vampire in the process.

In the process of losing humanity, Morbius fights his morality between blood, and the blue artificial blood introduced in the exposition dump during the opening act, whilst fighting his friend Lucien (Matt Smith) who digested his spare vampire gland serum.

Matt Smith’s role as Milo, renamed from Lucien by Morbius, is by far the best part of this film. Smith absolutely oozes charisma, and plays an antagonistic role with ease similar to his performance in Last Night in Soho.

While his performance is also heavily remanent of his role in Doctor Who, Smith outshines his co-star, and delivers every line with inflection and purpose, as opposed to Leto’s monotonous dead-behind-the-eyes delivery.

Leto comparably spends the film as an oppurtunity to look like a younger version of musician Tim Minchin. However, unlike Minchin, Leto fails to make any mark at all throughout the film – both as a performer and in his vampiric role.

Whether due to the PG-13 rating in the States, or Sony aiming to market the film to a wider audience, this bloodsucker film plays it astoundingly safe in terms of violence.

Most comically, during a fight scene, Leto performs the action of attacking a henchman, slicing his throat. No blood appears. No sign of injury, just the sound of squelching to insinuate blood.

Another fight entirely has enough distance between Morbius and the stunt actor that it looks as if Leto was practising social distancing before the legal necessity.

Unfortunately, with this being the second attempt for the Thirty Seconds to Mars musician in the superhero genre involving bats, his previous being the Joker in Suicide Squad, I begin to question if Leto is beating a dead horse, or bat, here in the hopes of finding some success.

Similarly, the lack of attention from the production team in creating a believable realm had me at times struggling to accept what I was watching.

An obvious shot of the London Underground is meant to be the New York Subway system, but anyone could tell it was the disused underground station used in V for Vendetta, Sherlock and Skyfall.

While this may sound entirely critical, it was enough to make me notice the error, and though I wasn’t enjoying the film, it added a further level of annoyance as it could have been resolved with foreplanning.

The lack of foreplanning continues, with Michael Keaton, revealed in the trailer to be MCU’s Vulture, not actually starring in the film at all until the post-credits.

Morbius consequently results in audiences wishing they were undead as poor CG and dialogue drain their life quicker than the runtime, even if Matt Smith softens the killer blow.

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By Conor Riley

Conor is the Founder and Editor for Cinamore, a publication focused on giving power back to journalists. As a portmanteau of the word 'Cinema' and the Italian word for love 'Amore', Cinamore aims to highlight the love that we all carry for the art of the moving image.


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