Review of Morbius


Parker Bradford, Editor of Community

As someone who is largely unfamiliar with the character of Dr. Michael Morbius, I went into the theater on opening night with virtually no expectations. After less than two hours, I left the theater feeling pretty satisfied with it. The story was iffy in spots, and the character motivation was a little weak, but overall, the movie was pretty decent, and I didn’t mind most of the flaws. This review will be mostly spoiler-free, and will cover the story of the movie, the characters that drive it, and the production value.

To begin with, the story of Dr. Morbius’s greatest, and worst, experiment begins with us seeing the effects of a rare blood-disease that he and his childhood friend, Milo (Matt Smith), have. We also see hints of his intelligence in the opening scenes. Dr. Morbius (Jared Leto) hunts down a cave full of vampire bats to trap in a cage illegally for testing and uses their blood to create a genetic cure for his disease. He tells Milo, who has been funding the operation, of a possible success, and he injects himself with the genes. However, this turns him into what Marvel refers to as a “Living Vampire”, a living being with enhanced strength, speed, and hearing, but with a cost. Morbius must drink blood, or else he will lose his powers and eventually die. He feels he cannot morally give this condition to Milo, his friend, and Milo sees this as Morbius keeping the cure to himself. With no further spoilers, Milo becomes the main antagonist of the movie. Setting aside scientific accuracy, this is still a superhero movie. The plot is mostly sound, with a few caveats. For example, a scene near the end happens between Milo and another main character, Martine, which is both accurate to vampire mythology and (to my knowledge) not hinted at in any way during the movie. As it is an element inherent in vampire lore yet does not have an explanation in the movie, this does count as a small “deus ex machina” when resolved.

This brings us to character motivation. Morbius’s character is relatively sound and consistent throughout the movie. All he wants to do is cure his disease, he is witty and sarcastic to a fault, and he is highly intelligent. After being “cured”, he realizes that the fate he has given himself is worse than death, because he is now forced to choose between dying and killing others to survive. This causes Morbius to grow as a character in the latter half of the movie. Milo, however, is as consistent, but does not undergo change the way Morbius does. Instead, while his demeanor changes, his attitude, goals, and motivations do not, making him both a highly significant character and a static one. Another main character, Martine, acts as a love interest for Morbius, and while she undergoes some change as a character, most of that change is later in the movie and surrounds multiple spoiler-heavy events, so I will refrain from diving further into her character development here. That leaves us with one last topic: production value.

The movie looks stunning; the choreography is perfect in most scenes, and the cinematography is off the charts. Probably the most well-shot scene is one where a group of hired guns being attacked by the newly transformed Morbius, was so good I legitimately had chills while watching it. The cast is also phenomenal, with many prominent actors including Jared Leto and Adria Arjona alongside one of my personal favorite actors, Matt Smith, and a small guest-appearance from Michael Keaton. With a budget of around $75 million and a box office turnout of $147.5 million, Morbius more than made a profit on its investments.

Now, your experience of the movie will probably be due mostly to your expectations. If you’re expecting the next Spider-Man: No Way Home, you will surely be disappointed. If, however, you’re expecting the next Venom: Let There Be Carnage, you’ll likely be surprised by the quality of the movie. With all that said, the only thing left is for all you reading to go see Morbius. And hey, if you feel I’ve misled you, feel free to leave rude, antagonistic comments on this article that I will definitely read and not trash immediately.