‘Morbius’ Review: Spider-Man Spinoff Starring Jared Leto Has More In Common With DC’s Batman Than Marvel’s Web Slinger

‘Morbius’ Review: Spider-Man Spinoff Starring Jared Leto Has More In Common With DC’s Batman Than Marvel’s Web Slinger

Sony’s Morbius is ostensibly a Spider-Man spin-off, but in many ways the Marvel movie has more in common with DC’s solemn The Batman. Michael Morbius is a moody, Byronic scientist living in New York, with rich sponsors to fund his research into the rare blood disorder he suffers from. The answer could possibly lurk in the DNA from which animal? You guessed it, the bat.

After mixing bat DNA with human DNA, Morbius becomes essentially a man-made vampire, and must wrestle with his new lust for blood while protecting those he loves. It’s a pretty simple set up, pulled from the pages of the comic books, which in turn were clearly influenced by everything from Dracula to Jekyll and Hyde, with the usual references to addiction thrown in. Leto brings enough intensity and humanity to the role to engage, but he’s not helped by the script from Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless that favors exposition over character development.

Adria Arjona is particularly poorly served by her character Dr. Martine Bancroft — we only know that she is clever and has a cat: superhero movie shorthand for being conveniently single. Her main job seems to be getting Morbius to explain his science in a language the audience can understand. Tyrese Gibson has a perfunctory role as a detective, while as his colleague, Al Madrigal provides the first laugh of the film — approximately 50 minutes in.

The most fun to be had here is with Matt Smith’s Milo, Michael’s best friend who has the same disorder and has accumulated considerable wealth and a taste for the good life. Smith throws himself into this enjoyable role. It’s good to see characters with chronic illnesses at the center of the story, and an opening flashback to their youth sets the scene well enough. But one imagines some potential backlash from the disability community about the way their plotlines develop.

This movie isn’t terrible. Leto is good, the VFX work is slick, and there’s modest entertainment to be had here and there. But it seems unlikely to please crowds like Spider-Man: No Way Home — and the mid-credit scenes are more baffling than exciting.

Watch an exclusive scene from Morbius below.

The post ‘Morbius’ Review: Spider-Man Spinoff Starring Jared Leto Has More In Common With DC’s Batman Than Marvel’s Web Slinger appeared first on Deadline.

Last Update: Wed, 30 Mar 22 20:20:09