Sony attempted to capitalize on the negative publicity surrounding Morbius by releasing the film in early June 2022. However, their re-release of the much-derided film flopped, with Morbius earning a laughable $85,000 on its second premiere. Morbius, aptly released on April Fools’ day, was perhaps the day’s biggest joke.
The much-anticipated film disappointed fans and critics, with negative reviews from media outlets piling up by the hour. Morbius was reduced to a laughing stock on social media as memes ridiculing Sony’s attempt at expanding the Spider-Man Universe went viral.
The failure of the second release affirmed that people’s perspective of Morbius hasn’t changed – it’s still a bad film.
Morbius didn’t fully exploit Jared Leto’s talents
Jared Leto is a polarizing character, but there’s no denying that he is a brilliant actor. However, most viewers pointed out that Morbius didn’t exploit his talents.
Morbius and Venom share several similarities, including their Spider-Man Universe origins. Venom could have ended up a flop like Morbius, but Tom Hardy’s performance and personality saved the movie.
Sony doesn’t seem to know how to portray characters other than Spider-Man. Therefore, until they get it right, it’s up to the actors to spice up the films, as Tom Hardy did in Venom.
In Morbius, Leto plays a scientist called Dr. Michael Morbius, who suffers from a blood disorder. Dr. Morbius refuses a Nobel Prize and seeks out bat DNA to cure his affliction.
An authority-defying, bat-hunting scientist with a cool name is an excellent place to start, but sadly, that’s where it ends. Dr. Morbius shows no character whatsoever, with the protagonist looking – like many audiences – eager to get to the end as quickly as possible.
As Venom proved, a character’s personality can save a film, but Dr. Morbius lacks any allure. The other characters are just as wearisome as Dr. Morbius, except for a few hearty moments from the villain Milo.
Dr. Martine Bancroft, who’s meant to be Dr. Morbius’ love interest, is an unnecessary character, as her romance with Dr. Morbius feels forced. Wait till you learn that she’s meant to be a vampire in a possible sequel – which brings me to my next point.
Morbius’ script feels predictable and rushed
Morbius feels predictable, rushed, and, considering the two-dimensional natures of the characters, tired. Kristy Puchko of Mashable said that the characters spoke ‘as if they’d been dragged out of bed right before the shooting.’
It moves from one scene to the next at dizzying speeds, offering no explanation or discernable reason for how and why certain things happen.
Morbius was meant to be a thriller superhero film, but the predictability dispels any sense of fear or dread. Perhaps the movie moves that quickly, attempting (and failing) to mask the dismal script.
Furthermore, the filmmakers put little effort into designing the costumes or refining the CGI scenes. Some fans will forgive a dreary film if it features captivating action scenes and carefully crafted and thought-out costumes.
Superhero films build up to a final scene featuring an epic battle between the villain and hero. Morbius features that final fight, but it’s unmemorable and not worth dissecting in this piece.
The consensus is that Morbius would have worked better as a series rather than a film. It would have given time for the filmmakers to craft a better, more engaging story.
Morbius tries to stuff too many characters into one film
Sony’s desire to cash in on the characters in the Sony Spider-Man Universe has led to the creation of three ultimately poor films: the two Venom films and Morbius.
The production house has failed to craft identities for characters that are intrinsically linked to Spider-Man. Venom pursued his own path regardless, but it feels like Morbius needs Spiddy to thrive.
Instead of focusing on building Dr. Morbius and giving the character an independent direction, the film kept referring to other characters in the Universe.
The movie featured subtle – and unnecessary – nods to characters like Rhino and Black Cat. Rhino and Black Cat appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
These cues distract us from Morbius and make it seem like he cannot propel a solo narrative. Why then did Sony bother giving him an entire film, one wonders.