Morbius

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WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

This article may reveal spoilers, especially considering the film had either been released recently or not in specific countries yet.‎

Morbius
Morbius.jpg
IT'S MORBIN' TIME!
- Everyone at Film Twitter, 2022
Genre: Superhero
Horror
Thriller
Directed By: Daniel Espinosa
Produced By: Avi Arad
Matt Tolmach
Lucas Foster
Written By: Matt Sazama
Burk Sharpless
Based On: Marvel Comics
Starring: Jared Leto
Matt Smith
Adria Arjona
Jared Harris
Al Madrigal
Tyrese Gibson
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Oliver Wood
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: March 10, 2022 (Plaza Carso)
April 1, 2022 (United States)
Runtime: 104 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: US$75 million
Box Office: US$126.4 million (as of April 11, 2022)
Franchise: Sony's Spider-Man Universe
Prequel: Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Sequel: Kraven the Hunter


"To anyone who's seen Venom, Morbius is your fault! Sony fucked over Spider-Man twice, and they won't stop fucking him over if you stop giving them money for dogshit!"
Dumbsville

Morbius is a 2022 American superhero horror film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the third film in Sony's Spider-Man Universe (SSU). Directed by Daniel Espinosa and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, it stars Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius alongside Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson.

Plot

Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others from the same fate, Dr. Michael Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside of him is soon unleashed.

Why It's Not Morbin' Time

  1. Just like Fant4stic, the sole reason this film was made was just so that Sony Pictures could still hold on to the Spider-Man film rights and not fully lose them to Marvel Studios, with whom they are still sharing the rights with. Another reason is that they could make their own cinematic universe that competes with Marvel Studios.
  2. The film went through developmental hell for 2 years. It was originally going to be released on July 10, 2020, but production was halted due to COVID-19 leading to its release date to be pushed back to March 2021, then October, and then on January 2022 before finally moving its official release date to April 1, 2022. Despite all of its delays however, the crew behind the film didn't seem to use these opportunities to improve upon its flaws. This leaves us with something that was far from worth being delayed for so long.
  3. One problem with the movie is that despite the runtime being at 104 minutes, the pacing is dreadful.
    • Many scenes (especially the first act) feel like they drag on for an hour rather than 30 minutes. In most movies with a unique concept, the movie in question introduces said concept 10-15 minutes into the movie whereas Morbius only becomes a vampire 30 minutes in. By that point, audiences will be bored out of their minds to the point where they'll be winded out or even leave the theatre before the movie's over.
  4. While it is great to see that Michael Keaton reprises his role as Adrian Toomes/Vulture five years after Spider-Man: Homecoming, many people were confused as there's very little explanation to how the Vulture ended up in Sony's Spider-Man Universe and it only brings lots of plot holes.
    • Apparently, this is due to Doctor Strange's second spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home that erases everyone's memories of MCU Peter Parker, except that's not how the spell works. The spell was meant to return people from outside the MCU back to their home universes. How did Toomes get pulled out of his universe?
      • Even if the film was supposed to be released a year before Spider-Man: No Way Home, the fact that Toomes got kicked out of his own universe just feels confusing.
    • The problem is that Toomes is from the MCU which means he should have stayed in the MCU with only his memories of Peter Parker erased instead of being transported to the SSU, making it a massive plot hole.
    • The scene in which he recruits Morbius doesn't make sense. Why would he want to take down not just a guy he doesn't know and who had no impact on him but a guy from an entirely different dimension? And Morbius blindly agrees to team up with him?
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Toomes had the chance to destroy Spider-Man by revealing his identity but chose not to and decided to move on with his life. Now he suddenly changed his mind and wants to defeat Spider-Man? Unless a part of him wanted revenge.
  5. Uninspiring and ugly visual effects and aesthetic especially the Spider-Man graffiti that’s quite blatantly a screenshot lifted directly from one of the suits from 2018’s Spider-Man video game which included Sam Raimi's Spider-Man.
  6. The CGI for vampire Morbius' face is very sub-par and it looks like it was from a video game cutscene on seventh-generation game consoles like the PlayStation 3. (Though what we're saying is just an exaggeration)
    • Even Morbius' vampire face rather looks like a fusion of a bat and a monkey together.
  7. Bad release date: The fact that this movie was released on April Fools' Day makes this movie a bit more concerning than it already seems. This was also released a week before Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which is currently doing a lot better than this movie (US$141 million in box office returns for the latter against the former's US%126.4 million as of April 11, 2022). Not helping is that in Europe and Australia, both were released on the same day, further emphasizing their bad timing.
    • Because of the famous ironic memes about the movie, Sony announced on June 3, 2022 that the film would return to 1,000 theaters weeks after its initial theatrical and digital release, showing that they are ignorant and unaware of the irony about the memes.
  8. Jared Leto was a poor choice for Michael Morbius and his performance is subsequently terrible since it sounds like he was sleepwalking and lifeless. The fact that Leto is not using his signature method acting doesn't help either as Morbius himself just feels bland and dry.
    • It's as if the writing can't decide whether he is a serious doctor with a dry sense of humor, a monster being conflicted with the sides of humanity and a vampire, or something like a bit of Tony Stark's charisma.
  9. Poor grasp of the source material:
    • In the comics, Morbius was of Romanian descent, but Leto does not have that and doesn't use the Romanian accent.
  10. Just like The 355 (which came out 3 months before this movie), it has clichéd, lame and unexciting action sequences especially the scene with the boat.
    • Also, several action scenes are shot in the dark. This makes it even harder to tell what's going on. The constant slow-mo doesn't help either since they end up grinding the battle to a halt.
  11. Very atrocious and groan-inducing dialogue that sounds like it was written by teenagers or a child. Examples of these are "I. Am. Venom." clearly tying into Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage (And also just ridiculously out of place) both distributed by Sony/Columbia Pictures.
    • Also, "Is daddy cross" is so stupid some may find it ironically funny.
  12. Terrible and lazy writing by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless who are also known for writing the 2016 movie Gods of Egypt.
  13. The third act is rushed beyond belief. No build-up with how Morbius has control of an army of bats to distract and kill Milo, his love interest suddenly wakes up as a vampire, and the movie abruptly ends after Morbius embraced his vampire self.
    • According to Dumbsville himself, "you know it's bad when the movie itself just wanted to end."
  14. There is a shameless sequel-bait ending.
    • And due to the movie not doing that great at the box office, such plot would likely never be resolved.
  15. Awkward editing in some scenes like the scene where Morbius flies into the train.
    • And to top of that, the filming location where Morbius fights Milo at the New York City Subway was actually filmed in the London Underground in the UK similar to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Also, when the man is searching for Martine at a liquor store, the exit sign shows an ISO exit sign (running man) instead of an American exit sign (big "EXIT" text) despite taking place in New York City.
  16. Bad cinematography.
  17. Weak direction by Daniel Espinosa, the same person who directed Life, which is a much better movie than this and was also distributed by Sony/Columbia Pictures (the same distributor as this movie).
  18. Similar to the infamous 2017 reboot of The Mummy, the PG-13 rating for this movie means that a lot of the violence is downplayed. In fact, it easily could've been rated R instead of PG-13.
    • While the PG-13 rating did work for other movies such as some of the James Bond films, and to an extent, Venom and its sequel since it did manage to have a lot of realistic violence that is not downplayed all the time. However, it's not here since it made the action sequences pretty lame and unexciting, specially since Morbius is a vampire which would have been epic if it had gore and blood.
  19. Sony apparently edited out the part of the end credits scene where Adrian Toomes mentions Spider-Man in future screenings of the movie in theaters which makes it even more confusing than it was before. It also shows that Sony doesn't know how to handle their own standalone Spider-Man movies. And if they were going to edit the end credits, then they should've just removed the end credit scene all together or left it the way it already is.
  20. Apparently, Sony re-released the movie in the theaters recently due to all the "Morbius Sweep" memes on Twitter, thinking that fans want it to be very successful and believe it or not they're now thinking about making a sequel, despite the movie now bombing twice which shows Sony didn't learn anything, and even Jared Leto got involved in the Twitter memes by posting a meme himself, which now killed the meme since they're considering making a sequel for meme culture reasons, and that's not a good idea at all!
  21. The score, although great, isn't that very memorable.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Matt Smith does a good performance as Milo as he brings a lot of energy and loudness to his role as the villain, and also, his villain is decent.
  2. There are some good action scenes which are easily the most entertaining parts of this movie.
  3. Great score by Jon Ekstrand who is also a frequent collaborator with the film's director Daniel Espinosa, even though it's not very memorable as mentioned above.
  4. Despite being generic and sub-par, Morbius's vampire makeup looks pretty good.
  5. The end credits sequence is very colorful.
  6. The smoke effects aren't too bad.

Reception

Box office

Morbius grossed $73.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $90 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $163.9 million.[5][4]

In the U.S. and Canada, Morbius was projected to gross around $33 million from 4,268 theaters in its opening weekend, with some industry tracking going as high as $40–50 million.[90] The film earned $17.3 million on its first day, including $5.7 million from Thursday preview screenings.[3][91] It went on to debut to $39 million, finishing first at the box office.[3][92] In its second weekend of release in the US and Canada, the film grossed $10.2 million and finished second behind Sonic the Hedgehog 2,[93] while experiencing a drop of 74%, the second-worst of all time for a superhero movie, behind only Steel (1997), and the worst of any tentpole superhero movie.[94] It fell to sixth place at the box office in its third weekend, grossing $4.7 million (a drop of 54%),[95] and dropped to ninth place in its fourth weekend with $2.3 million (a drop of 51%).[96] The film earned $1.5 million in its fifth weekend, finishing tenth.[97] Morbius dropped out of the box office top ten in its sixth weekend.[98] The film's "re-release" in theaters during its tenth weekend made $310,665 from 1,037 screens during its first three days.[99]

Outside the US and Canada, the film earned $44.9 million from 62 international markets in its opening weekend, including $2.5 million from IMAX screens.[100] It added $15 million in its second weekend for a drop of 62%.[101] It added $6.7 million in the third weekend,[102] $3.3 million in its fourth,[103] and $1.6 million in its fifth.[104]

On June 3, 2022, Sony announced the film would return to 1,000 theaters weeks after its initial theatrical and digital release. This was largely attributed to the film's influx in attention from internet memes in the weeks prior.[105] This decision was also met with criticism from various outlets, which speculated that the release was because Sony was unaware that the internet trend was not due to legitimate popular admiration towards the film.[106][107] Upon its re-release the film performed very poorly, making only $85,000 on the day it was released, with many outlets claiming the film bombed for a second time.[108][109] After a dismal $300,000 weekend performance in its re-release—a $289 per-theater average—Sony pulled the film entirely from theaters.[110][5]

Critical response

Morbius has received highly negative reviews from critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critical approval rating of 17% based on 104 reviews with an average rating of 3.8/10, while it holds an audience score of 71% (possibly from reverse review bombing due to the Morbius Sweep meme, causing it to have such a score). The website's critical consensus reads "Cursed with uninspired effects, rote performances, and a borderline nonsensical story, this Spidey-adjacent mess is a vein attempt to make Morbius happen.", while the audience consensus reads, "Morbius isn't telling the most original story, but cool visuals and fast action keep things entertaining.". Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 36 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".

Jeremy Jahns gave the film a "dogshit" rating.

Isaacarthy also gave Morbius a 2/10 rating, saying "it was easily one of the worst superhero films I've ever seen in my life!"

Penguinz0 gave Morbius a 15% in the Moist Meter and said: “it was like going back in time, where all superhero movies suck”

The negative reception of the film generated an ironic meme culture surrounding it on the internet, which led Sony re-release it into 1,000 theaters on June 3, 2022, and it made $85000 in the box office, average of $82 per theater.

WatchMojo ranked it Number 15 on their Top 20 Worst Superhero Movies list.

Despite this, it is considered to be "so bad, it's good", and it shows.

Videos

Trivia

  • Despite the negative reviews, the film spawned the "Morbius Sweep" ironic meme and "It's Morbin' Time", both of which convinced Sony to rerelease the movie again to 1,000 theaters in June 2022.
    • There was even a meme that claimed Martin Scorsese who said that superhero films are not cinema has changed his mind after seeing the film.
  • There were several attempts to bring Morbius to the big screen since 1998, including joining the Blade franchise and having a solo film produced by Artisan Entertainment, neither of which ever came to fruition. After announcing plans for a new shared universe of films inspired by Spider-Man related characters beginning with Venom (2018), Sony began developing a film based on Morbius.
  • On various social media such as Discord and Twitch, this movie was heavily pirated to have the viewers watch the full movie on platforms as a prank due to the ascending Internet meme. The full film was also compressed into a .gif file and even a Doom PWAD (Doom mod file) that can be shared to the community.
  • After Morbius got pulled from theaters again for its re-release, a petition on Change.org wanted to put the film back in theaters for a third time with the claim that "We were busy that weekend".

External Links

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