Plot: What’s it about?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (henceforth referred to as the “MCU”) has come a long way since Iron Man hit theaters back in 2008. Over 2 feature-length films have graced the screens over the years and most have managed to turn a nice profit, all the while entertaining the masses. A big reason for the (continued) success of the MCU has been the addition of our favorite web-slinger – Spider-Man. He made his debut in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and the rest, as they say, is history. But along with Spider-Man comes a slew of characters like Venom and, you guessed it, Morbius. Venom actually seems to have a more solidified place in the MCU than our titular anti-hero. I have no idea the plans they have for Morbius, if any, but like it or not it’s a part, a very small one, of the MCU.
Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) is a doctor who suffers from a rare blood disorder. He’s found a cure after managing to create a vaccine that mixes the DNA of a human and a bat. After using himself as a guinea pig, he finds that his cure works…but he needs to feed on blood. His “powers” wane and the synthetic blood he’s been using is losing its effect. Funding his research is Milo (Matt Smith), a friend since childhood of Morbius and someone who suffers from the same condition. Milo too takes the vaccine and finds that he, unlike Morbius, doesn’t mind feeding on innocents. Morbius must stop Milo all the while avoiding the authorities and trying to save Martine (Adria Arjona), his assistant who is seemingly thrown in just so they can have a female in the movie.
Morbius seems to have been snake-bit since its inception. It was delayed nearly two years due to Covid and seems to have been all over the map. The trailers advertised Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes (aka “The Vulture”) from a previous Spider-Man film, though those scenes don’t actually appear in the film. There are two post credit sequences, one featuring Keaton, but with no real consequence. Evidently some scenes were shot with J.K. Simmons reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson, though those were eventually cut as well. I have no idea if (or why) Morbius would play a role in any future MCU films, or if Sony is just pushing out every character they can to cash in on the superhero craze. One thing’s for sure, they’re getting more and more…unique. Even for a former comic book collector, I really had to rack my brain to remember Morbius. If you’re an MCU nut and feel the need to see anything and everything related, then I suppose this is required viewing. If not, you’re really not missing much.
Video: How’s it look?
Say what you will about the plot, but I think we can all agree that Sony’s Blu-ray’s (and 4K) discs sport some of the best-looking transfers out there. And that’s certainly the case here as well. The 2.39:1 AVC HD encode leaves very little to the imagination when it comes to depth, detail and color (well, maybe “color” isn’t the right word). Backgrounds are razor sharp, flesh tones – for lack of a better word – are spot on, even when in pseudo vampire mode and contrast is strong. The CGI is a bit all over the map, I got bored with the human-switching-to-vampire face nearly every scene and if you can handle the Matrix-style “bullet time” used far too often, it’s still a winner visually-speaking.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The film doesn’t really get to flex its audio muscle until the third act and, by then, they’re ready to let loose. The DTS HD Master Audio has some moments, to be sure, though this one makes you wait for the eventual payoff. There are fights in a subway, buildings in the city and many a neck drained of blood. And, to be fair, it all sounds pretty darn good. Vocals are pure and crisp – I senses no distortion. Surrounds were active an offered some additional ambiance as well. The 4K version ups the ante with a Dolby Atmos mix, so if that’s important to you – I’d go for that one.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Outtakes & Bloopers – Pretty much that, just some goofing off on the set with flubbed lines, etc.
- Featurettes – The obligatory five part featurette where different aspects of the movie are broken down into more manageable chunks.
- Defining the Antihero
- From Human to Vampire – Visual Effects
- Lights, Camera, Action
- The Good, Bad & Ugly – Supporting Cast Doing the Stunt Work
- Living Vampire from Comics to Screen
- Nocturnal Easter Eggs – If you’re looking for some not-so-subtle easter eggs, they throw us a few of the easy ones. I could be mistaken, but could have sworn that I saw a No Time to Die movie poster in the subway. It’d make sense, right?
The Bottom Line
Look, I rarely, truly “hate” a movie. I try and find some redeeming quality to everything I watch. And there is some here, just not a lot. My problem with the movie isn’t that wasn’t that great, it’s just that I didn’t see the need for it. Sony is trying to make their own MCU within the MCU based around Spider-Man. And that’s fine. You can’t blame a studio for trying to strike while the iron’s hot. The disc excels in the technical departments with outstanding video and audio, so if this sort of movie is up your alley – it’ll at least look and sound good.