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‘Morbius’ a boring, lifeless slog


The good news is that “Morbius” is better than I was expecting. The bad news is that given what we saw in the trailers and ads, my expectations involve fires in dumpsters. So even though “Morbius” wasn’t as awful as expected, it’s still pretty bad.

Based on the Marvel Comics character, “Morbius” tells the story of Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), an expert on blood diseases who’s searching for a cure to a condition that threatens to end his life. With the help of fellow doctor Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona), he devises an experiment with bat DNA that seemingly solves his health conundrum and gives him superpowers but also leaves him prone to uncontrollable fits of vampirism and a hunger for blood.

As Morbius works to get a handle on the issues that come with his becoming a living vampire, he also comes into conflict with life-long best friend Milo (Matt Smith). He also has to dodge the police, who suspect him to be the source of a string of corpses discovered across the city.

That sounds like more than enough for an exciting movie, so it’s kind of astounding how bloody boring “Morbius” is. The main problem is the script, which doesn’t include much in the way of character development. We don’t get to know these characters and because we don’t get to know them, we don’t care what happens to them.

The lack of good character writing can be overcome if the actors can imbue their roles with some personality. Unfortunately, most of the actors in “Morbius” don’t provide much of that. Leto spends most of the movie looking annoyed he let his agent talk him into this role.

Most of the rest of the cast doesn’t fare much better, although to be fair, they don’t have much to work with. Arjona’s role is the typical love-interest-who-winds-up-endangered that doesn’t give her any chance at all to emote or be anything other than motivation for Morbius. The one actor who bucks this trend is Smith, who gets a few chances to add some flourishes to his performance.

Visually, “Morbius” is murky and unimpressive. I could only come up with a single memorable visual moment in the entire film. The action isn’t much to write home about, either. The final big fight scene recalls the climactic battle between Neo and Agent Smith in “The Matrix Revolutions,” and not in a good way. If you’re looking for eye candy, there are far prettier and more exciting movies to find it in.

“Morbius” is a dull, lifeless flick that isn’t anywhere near as creepy or edgy as it wants you to think it is. Matt Smith is a bright spot but he can’t salvage this wreck of a movie on his own. How bad is “Morbius”? So bad that the two closing credits scenes upstage the entire rest of the movie.

1 1/2 Indy Fedoras out of 5

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Thanks to Fat Cats in Rexburg for providing screenings for movie reviews on

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