Film & TV

Film Review: Morbius

Jared Leto stars as the eponymous Dr Morbius in this dark comic book adaptation

Academy Award winner Jared Leto makes his long-awaited return to the world of comic book films in Sony Pictures’ Morbius. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the film is Sony’s latest venture into the superhero genre since the blockbuster juggernaut Spiderman: No Way Home. Morbius follows Leto in the role of Dr Michael Morbius a medical practitioner and scientist researcher whose experiment to cure a lifelong illness goes awry, resulting in the doctor developing bat-like tendencies and a ravenous thirst for blood. 

Within five minutes of the opening credits, you are informed of the tone of this film and that is largely thanks to Oliver Wood’s cinematography. Unlike many other comic book films that make use of vibrant tones and often have an overall bubbly feel about it this film relies on a lot of dark tones and an overall gothic feel. They are playing into many of the film’s anti-hero themes. Perhaps they are even paying homage to the iconic movie monsters that paved the way for the many mythical creatures in various art forms such as comic books.

As to be expected the film relies on many of the comic book movie tropes that we have come to expect from Marvel and DC films. However, the film’s darker themes and visuals allow for a little leg room when it comes to its target demographic. Because while the themes may be too dark for younger superhero fans, its unconventional protagonist and antihero storyline mean that has the potential to be a drawcard for those that aren’t that interested in Marvel films or any horror films for that matter.

Naturally, as any comic book film should be, Morbius is very visual effects heavy. However, there are no big explosions or heavy gunfights. Developed by Mathew E. Butler in collaboration with multiple VFX agencies around the world, Morbius’ visual effects are very thematic. Relying heavily on stop motion capture, the effects of Espinosa’s film give the impression that the characters are liquified or gliding like bats whenever they are fighting or making their big escape. 

Unfortunately, Morbius’ brief 104 minute running time and its quick succession leave a lot to be desired. This not only leaves many unanswered questions about the who, what, when, where, why and how, but leaves very little time for character development. It makes it difficult to get a scope of how Leto’s character is feeling about his transformation as well as what his motivations are.

A film with so much more potential 3 stars

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