Original title:Morbius
Director:Daniel Espinosa
Running time:108 minutes
Release date:01 april 2022
Severely afflicted with a rare blood disease, and determined to save all victims of this pathology, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. But what seems at first glance to be a success soon turns out to be a remedy potentially more serious than the disease...

Mulder's Review

We can easily understand the will of Columbia Pictures studios to propose a Spider-man extended universe and after having proposed two films centered on the iconic character Venom, here is the turn of Morbius to be adapted to the cinema.  Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane, this character first appeared as an enemy of Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October 1971). Yet from being a recurring villain in Spider-Man comics, Morbius has evolved into a true anti-hero fighting evil that has made him not only a vampire but also a being with superpowers. 

At the center of the character's stories, Michael Morbius is defined as a brilliant biochemist who is constantly searching for a cure to his illness while fighting his constant thirst for human blood. Morbius before taking on the features of Jared Leto appeared in animated series (Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six), in a deleted scene of Blade (1998) and especially in numerous video games. There was enough material to bring a movie to life in the cinema, taking up the duality of the character but also the fact that he discovers his superpowers while fighting against a powerful enemy.

Unfortunately, screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless didn't find the best approach to bring this character to the screen and the numerous imperfections and the fact that they didn't manage to give a real psychological thickness to the characters makes Morbius seriously flounder and ends up becoming boring. While the adaptations of Blade on the screen had conquered the public in particular by a first part perfectly mastered, Morbius does not convince at any moment that it is in the past of the character that his confrontation against his best friend also victim of the same disease and who like him injected himself a powerful serum. We discover through the first scene of the film the meeting between Morbius and bats.  The latter is affected by a rare blood disease and determined to save the others who suffer the same fate as him. Thinking that the blood of a certain species of bat can eradicate his disease, he tries an experiment on himself. This experiment not only goes wrong, but also turns him into a powerful monster, similar to vampire creatures. Morbius will not only have to fight against his dark tendencies but also against another monster who is none other than his childhood friend Loxias Crown (Matt Smith).

After playing one of the worst movie adaptations of the Joker, Batman's sworn enemy, actor Jared Leto seems to have a real attraction for bats, whether they haunt Gotham City or New York. Unfortunately, once again this actor does not manage to give his character a real psychological depth and is simply content to play without real conviction. While some films can convince us despite characters too frozen by a surplus of action in this case, we can't find anything to defend a film in which neither the director nor the actors manage to believe.  The result is a failed adaptation despite the real potential of this enlarged Spider-man universe and it is not by alluding to Venom or quoting the Daily Bugle that this film will succeed in pleasing the fans of comic books or blockbusters directed by true master craftsmen like Sam Raimi.

While Morbius should have been a violent mix and a more mature retelling of the superhero myth, director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House (2012), Child 44 (2015), Life (2017)) seems clearly overwhelmed by his subject and fails at any time to create a real atmosphere as disturbing as fascinating. Worse, we have the impression that this film has only one real vocation, which is to introduce the Sinister Six by composing this team of Morbius but also Adrian Toomes (The Vulture) (still played by Michael Keaton) to whom we suppose Venom will have to join. The only thing we will remember about Morbius are the two post-credits scenes which indicate that with a greater care brought to the production of this film the result could have been quite different. In the present case it remains a very big disappointment and one of the worst movie adaptations of a Marvel Comics character.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa
Written by Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Based on Marvel Comics
Produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, Lucas Foster
Starring Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, Tyrese Gibson
Cinematography : Oliver Wood
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Music by Jon Ekstrand
Production companies : Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Arad Productions, Matt Tolmach Productions
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date : March 30, 2022 (France), April 1, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 108 minutes

Seen on January 30, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 11 IMAX seat E22

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