Morbius Review Roundup -- Here's What Critics Are Saying
Did you hear the one about Sony's vampire superhero movie? It sucks!
Morbius, the Living Vampire. The Spider-Man villain turned antihero has now gotten his own big-screen adaptation, part of Sony's effort to adapt its own unique parts of the Spider-Man universe separate from the MCU. Morbius is an odd choice for his own movie, given that he's a literal monster, and the result is not pretty.
Reviews have begun to appear just ahead of the theatrical release on April 1. Critics have largely panned the release, with many agreeing that it suffers from tone problems, and many critical of the lead performance by Jared Leto. GameSpot's own Morbius review in particular takes a critical eye to how Sony is fumbling its own attempt to build a universe.
"Sony's arm of the MCU is, to put it lightly, a bit of an odd duck," Mason Downey wrote. "Tom Hardy's charming and unexpected Venom may have paved the way for some interest in the superhero-less superhero universe, but since a spectacularly fizzled post credits scene teased and then immediately revoked his participation in the greater MCU, things have been confusing at best. It's not entirely clear where the Sony anti-heroes fit into the bigger plan or what that bigger plan even is."
You can see a sampling of review scores and excerpts below, and more critical consensus here at GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
- Written by: Burk Sharpless, Matt Sazama
- Starring: Jared Leto, Michael Keaton, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Tyrese Gibson
- Release Date: April 1
GameSpot -- 5/10
"Like Venom: Let There Be Carnage before it, the whole of Morbius feels like a feature-length teaser for a credits scene to scene that promises more interesting things in the future--but what those more interesting things actually are is anyone's guess. What is clear, unfortunately, is that Sony doesn't actually know what made the original Venom garner such an unexpected cult following to begin with and desperately wants to recreate the same fluke twice." -- Mason Downey [Full review]
"Morbius is, of course, part of a larger Sony/Marvel enterprise that will likely be bound together into some kind of Avengers-esque movie involving Venom and one of myriad possible Spider-Men. I’m not sure how I feel about that coming convergence—a post-credits button brings Moribus too close to the glaring light of everything else—but I would, much to my shock, head back into the murk with the doctor and friends again. What posh trauma could be mined the next time around? What accident of birth could, somehow, be rendered more potently than even newfangled science gone horribly wrong?" -- Richard Lawson [Full review]
"The actual pre-credits body of Morbius—what’s traditionally known as 'the movie'—doesn’t actually waste any time on this set-up. Yet there’s some kind of invisible force here, hurrying things along in the hopes of a future team-up, making sure this feature film arrives more undead than alive." -- Jesse Hassenger [Full review]
"In that context, 'Morbius' clears the admittedly low bar for these solo stories. But the material is too anemic, frankly, to contemplate spreading its wings much beyond that." -- Brian Lowry [Full review]
Chicago Sun-Times -- 2/4
"As for the action sequences: When Michael Morbius flies around the city, he often leaves a smoky trail of blue or orange in wake, like a gender reveal where they ordered the wrong colors, and the big finale is shot in dizzying closeups, edited in headache-inducing fashion and often murky. It looks like 'Morbius' might soon cross paths with Spider-Man in one universe or another, but that would be a big step up for him, because his introductory vehicle feels more like a just-average 1990s vampire movie." -- Richard Roeper [Full review]
The Hollywood Reporter
"It’s just a shame this opening salvo takes itself too seriously to have much fun with the mayhem, despite the potential in Smith’s devilish turn for amusing interplay between the antagonists. Arjona carries herself with confidence, but her character also gets a little lost in the carnage; perhaps the late-breaking romance between Martine and Michael will acquire more of a heartbeat in the next round. Leto certainly broods up a storm behind his veil of rock-star hair, yet the movie has too little to distinguish it from the second-tier (or maybe third?) Marvel pack, ending up as more of the same." -- David Rooney [Full review]
Screen Rant -- 2/5
"As a result, Morbius isn't a must-watch entry in Sony's Spider-Man Universe. Those already interested in seeing Morbius may find something to enjoy, especially with Leto and Smith's performances. Perhaps the biggest thing the movie has going for it are its MCU connections, which were teased with Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes (aka Vulture) showing up in the first trailer. However, these connections are rather minimal and quite puzzling. So while Marvel movie die-hards may be excited by Vulture's appearance, casual fans or those who don't enjoy superhero movies as much will be fine skipping this one." -- Molly Freeman [Full review]
"'Morbius' misses all those lessons and seems to be stuck among the more lackluster films from the early to mid 2000s a la “Elektra.” Even the mid-credits scenes that attempt to bring Leto’s role into a larger landscape wind up being more confusing than cool. Rather than a fang-tastic time, “Morbius” is just a soul-sucking effort." -- Brian Truitt [Full review]
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