Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Morbius ends with a spiffy credit sequence, a tidy study in typography punched up by striking background graphics, all swirly-whirly pink and blue lines pulsing and receding, like a Bridget Riley painting having a seizure. It’s easily the best part of the film, not least because it promises that the suffering of watching this diabolically shabby super-anti-hero comic-book adaptation (directed by Daniel Espinosa) is about to end. That said, judging by the pair of teaser scenes spliced ​​into said credits, Sony is planning to further expand its fiercely fought-for corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the success of the Venom and Spider-Man films. Sometimes the Universe plays cruel tricks on us.

Jared Leto, having entered a decadent phase in his acting career in which he relies on prosthetics (see House of Gucci), visual effects and fancy contact lenses to distract from the hollowness of his performances, stars here as Dr Michael Morbius, a scientist who manages to cure himself of a rare blood disease that made him limp and look gray, like he’d just swept a chimney. Unfortunately, while the treatment, derived from bat DNA, does wonders for his complexion, it also turns him into a “living vampire” with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. At least he does not have to worry about some of the usual vampiric allergies, like garlic, wooden stakes or sunlight.

The change causes him to kill and exsanguinate the crew of a container ship, an atrocity the local cops are almost willing to overlook until a nurse is murdered in similar fashion – that’s just not on. But wait, could the culprit actually be Morbius’ oldest friend Milo (Matt Smith, who at least seems to be having fun), a victim of the same rare blood disease who wants in on the cure too?

No one could possibly care because Morbius is such a mess, so morbidly riddled with the inexplicable stumps of discarded subplots, like the spare hex keys and bolts left over from a botched flat-pack furniture assembly, you can only imagine the carnage that must have taken place in the edit suite.

★ ☆☆☆☆

In cinemas worldwide from March 31

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