By: Amanda Guarragi
The Sony Spider-verse continues to produce unique origin stories that have a darker tone. The studio has managed to create films centered on villains, who are really anti-heroes in their own standalone. It offers a refreshing look at the Marvel universe when diving into new characters that we wouldn’t have given much time to as a one-off villain in a movie. It’s actually really nice to watch a movie like Morbius amidst the MCU films because it offers a missing piece that the MCU films could also benefit from. Fortunately, Multiverse of Madness will dive into that darkness because of Sam Raimi, or else the horror elements are never really explored in the other films.
Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) is a biochemist that tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease. But when his experiment goes wrong, he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead. This synopsis is exactly how linear the story is and it is not overstuffed with cameos or set up to another film (until the mid/post-credit scenes). Sure, Morbius mentions Venom, but it wasn’t forced, it was just playful. The audience is able to connect with Morbius on an emotional level because of how he was treated as a child with a rare blood disease. He was gifted as a child and wanted to cure his disease. He also wanted to help his close friend Milo, who suffered from the same thing.
Even though Jared Leto has an Academy Award, he was born to play Michael Morbius. He played the doctor and the vampire quite effortlessly. He brought the physicality when morphing into the vampire side of him and presented himself in a more reserved manner when taking on the role of the doctor. It is a Jekyll and Hyde situation, which is why I really enjoyed this. On the other side of this, Milo (Matt Smith) ends up using this serum to kill the demons from his child because he was bullied. He so desperately wants to fix the past, that he somehow destroys his future in the process it. Smith and Leto had solid chemistry and each had strong individual performances. It is sad to see that Adria Arjona had a minor role as Doctor Martine, but she really helped the audience sympathize with Morbius.
Morbius directed by Daniel Espinosa is one of the more interesting origin stories to come out. The one thing that impressed me the most above all else is the VFX work in this film. Being able to explore his power set in the way that it was visually presented made me like the character even more because it just looked so cool. Even when Morbius was morphing in and out of his vampire side it was seamless and looked great. Unfortunately, you could definitely tell that this film suffered in post-production as the story felt a bit disjointed and certain scenes were placed out of order. It wasn’t too jarring to sit through, but the simplicity of the story and cool action scenes from Morbius made for a fairly engaging origin story in the Marvel Sony-verse.