‘Morbius:’ So bat it’s good

Ryan Ranc, Life & Arts Reporter

This article contains spoilers for Morbius.

“Morbius,” set to release April 1 after two years of delays, follows Spider-Man villain Dr. Morbius (Jared Leto) as he discovers a cure for a disease he and his friend Milo have. Things quickly go south when Dr. Morbius’ vampire bat DNA experiment turns him into a living vampire.

“Morbius” suffers from abysmal dialogue. Not only do the lines come off as cliché, but they also feel out of place. “Let me introduce you to the little stinky pinky,” is an actual line that Leto utters in the movie. It remains unknown whether Sony executives made this decision to make “Morbius” seem Marvel-esque, or whether the writers just lacked the ability to write creative jokes.

The concept of Dr. Morbius and his backstory stands strong, yet somehow the translation from concept to conception creates an astonishingly bad narrative that dips into “so bad it’s good” territory. The love story feels forced, the origin story lacks depth and the editing from scene to scene is jarring. The movie also fails to maintain a consistent tone. The first act operates as a drama, the second act feels like a comedy and the last act contains most of the action. The movie has an identity crisis multiple times throughout the runtime.

On paper, the PG-13 rating “Morbius” has makes sense, but the movie’s direction and visuals make it clear the movie was intended to be an R-rated horror film. After Dr. Morbius takes on his batty abilities, he goes on a killing rampage to consume blood. He slashes the throat of a man who stands there gasping with no blood coming out from his wound. The frame lingers as if something will happen, but no, apparently humans don’t have blood in Sony’s cinematic Spiderverse. If they had changed the clearly R-rated moments to fit the PG-13 label, the rating would not be an issue.

Despite it’s shortcomings, the instances that the film sinks its fangs into horror elements stand out as some of the best and most suspenseful scenes in the movie. The story contains a scene on a boat that features cinematography and choreography reminiscent of “Alien” and “Predator,” where Dr. Morbius attacks soldiers from the shadows, and there’s a hospital murder with flickering lights and an excellent jump scare. If the movie had maintained this tone, it would be leagues better.

Leto gives an adequate performance, but the real standout star in “Morbius” was Matt Smith as Milo. Smith plays a psychotic character who becomes incredibly narcissistic to counter Dr. Morbius’ selfless nature. It becomes almost impossible not to root for Milo even after the twist in which he becomes the villain. In actuality, Smith would have been a better casting decision for Dr. Morbius than Leto.

“Morbius” is bat. Sorry, correction: “Morbius” is bad. If audiences have any interest in this movie, it’s best watched in theaters. Movies that are “so bad they’re good” deserve a big screen for people to witness the idiocy.

2 ½ stinky pinkies out of 5