I am always on the lookout for good bad movies, and to my great fortune, Morbius was recently released on Netflix. What better way to spend a useless weekend than to watch a more useless movie fail to achieve nearly everything it was meant to accomplish, including creating a new MCU (Morbius Cinematic Universe).
The movie opens by panning over a clearly CGI landscape and water. Obviously, we’re starting out strong. I guess they want the audience to know that they’re so confident in the movie that they can just spend their 75 million dollar budget on something else, maybe getting sandwiches for the crew. Dr. Morbius’s helicopter and crew land at the mouth of a cave with dead animals around it. Morb Factz number 1: Morbius says vampire bats weigh almost nothing, yet can down a creature nearly ten times their size. A quick Google search will prove this wrong, but okay, moving on. Morbius’s guide ominously warns them that they must return before dark. A perfectly normal thing for guides to say because no one questions this further or even reacts in any way. Morbius then uses his patented Morbcatcher 3000™ to summon tens of thousands of bats and capture them from the mouth of the cave. Apparently, that many endangered bats are super easy to transport out of a remote jungle area, across thousands of miles, and get through customs because we see nothing further about this.
Now that our interest has supposedly been peaked, we can learn about the backstory of brave bat-wrangler Morbius. We see him at a hospital for children with movie diseases. The movie never tells us what he has because if it did, we would know immediately that it was lying. Morbius befriends fellow “Make-A-Wish” roommate Milo. We are quickly shown Morbius saving Milo’s life by fixing his dialysis machine with a ballpoint pen—MacGyver would be proud. Clearly, this means Morbius is a genius, so the head doctor guy—who has such a tiny role but is played by well-known actor Jared Harris, so you just know he’ll come back—recommends him for a gifted school. Meanwhile, Milo gets beaten up for basically no reason, and it’s never mentioned again. I guess the director just felt like what the audience really needed to see was a kid in crutches getting what’s coming to him. That’ll teach him to have a terminal disease.
Hilariously, the movie now fast forwards to Morbius as an adult, played by Jared Leto, winning the Noble (not Nobel) Prize for inventing artificial blood. Back at the lab, Morbius explains to fellow doctor Martine that he is planning to cure himself by mixing bat DNA with human DNA because….bats don’t get blood diseases? I don’t know. Really, who knows? Anyway, the tens of thousands of bats from earlier are in a big fish tank in his lab, which is weird because they have nowhere to sleep, they fly constantly for no reason, and they cannot be sanitary for a hospital environment. Somebody also needs to explain to Morbius that *every* bat contains DNA; he didn’t need ten thousand. Anyway, after putting a little girl who had nothing to do with the plot in a coma, he decides he’d better try this untested, unsafe treatment that he’s just made from bat juice right away because a rat didn’t die after he infected it. Or, actually, it did die, but then it got better. So, evens out, I guess? But, doing this experiment in a lab is for scientists who didn’t win the Noble Prize. Obviously, the best place to do this is on a boat in international waters surrounded by conveniently expendable mercenaries. Morb Factz number 2: apparently, if you are in international waters, unethical human experimentation is A-okay.
So now we cut to the boat. Apparently, Morbius has money to rent an enormous container ship complete with a lab, an experimentation room with glass windows and extra duty doors, and a place for mercenaries to play card games—can’t forget that. Wish.com really does sell everything. Anyway, Dr. Martine injects Morbius with the bat juice, straps him down on a stretcher, and locks him in the glass room. Why? I don’t know, and Morbius doesn’t say. But, just at that moment, one of the most expendable mercenaries comes downstairs to be a jerk to Martine. I guess he was just getting tired of existing. Martine opens the door, and shock, Morbius is nowhere to be seen. Actually, he is, if they’d just bothered to look at anything but their shoe laces. Conveniently, the boat has twenty foot ceilings for man-bat vampires to hang out undetected. Morbius quickly makes that guy his personal Capri Sun. The rest of the mercenaries run downstairs and open fire with their machine guns. Why do these guys even need machine guns? They’re literally on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Are they expecting a wave of ninja dolphins? Morbius makes quick work of these guys, too, demonstrating all the superpowers a bat’s well known for, like jumping around and being all wispy and using echolocation without sound. Morb Factz number 3: bats can apparently use echolocation without sound because Morbius literally just crinkles his forehead. Eventually, he wakes up from his murderous enrampangement (+1 if you got that reference) and calls mayday over the radio. Then he just takes a hike off the boat, thirteen miles off shore. I guess he must be part aquatic bat?
So now, the police are involved. They show up the next day at the hospital—which Morbius seemingly made it back to with no problems—to take Morbius as a suspect of murder. Morbius escapes and flies up 100 flights of stairs, all the way to the rooftop. Somehow, despite only being mortal, the police catch up to him. It was so considerate for Morbius to wait for them to catch up so he could be arrested. The police are also very considerate, as they open fire in the hospital during their attempt to get Morbius. Very safe. Inevitably, Morbius is jailed, and he later figures out that Milo has taken the bat juice. He then promptly breaks out, only to conveniently find Milo a couple blocks away in a metro station. Despite being close since childhood, they throw away their lifelong friendship without any issues.
Eventually, Morbius flees and takes over a drug lab, and for good measure, he also makes a Venom reference. A tech montage ensues as Morbius makes a lethal iron shot to kill Milo for the plot. Meanwhile, the screenplay directors needed to engage the screen time and were running out of ideas, so they put in a Bully Maguire dance scene knock-off for Milo (thank goodness he was alone this time). After that cinematic masterpiece, Milo heads to a bar and orders 1942 tequila, and, PLOT HOLE, drinks it. Even though earlier in the movie, Morbius said that vampires could only consume blood. Maybe Milo is built different. He then uses his rizz to attempt to get a woman, but accidentally attracts a gang of thugs. Unfortunately, he morbs them later. Crazy how when you gain superpowers suddenly random people wanna fight you.
I bet you forgot about Jared Harris. To be completely truthful, so did I, but the director sure didn’t. The head doctor, who seems to be unaffected by the time skip from the beginning, decides to talk to Milo after figuring out he was the one who morbed all over the thugs. Being very sensible and rational, he meets him alone, despite knowing Milo is a homicidal vampire. I was utterly astonished to find out the head doctor was mortally wounded by Milo. It was like being hit by a ton of bricks falling from the sky without warning. Its sudden and overwhelming experience left me feeling completely disoriented and unable to process what happened. Of course, in reality, it’s unlikely that a ton of bricks would fall from the sky, but that analogy is meant to convey the feeling of being caught off guard and completely stunned by a surprising event. (After Milo leaves) With his last dying breath, the head doctor calls Morbius on his phone. Morbius rushes over, conveniently to hear the doctor’s last words. Sadly, Morbius was too oblivious to realize that he would have had enough time to save the head doctor if he had just called emergency services instead of going by himself. Morbius gets another call, but instead of it being about his car warranty expiring, it’s Milo, announcing to him that he has morbed Martine. Morb Factz number 4: bats can see with their echolocation now I guess? Morbius can see/hear Martine in trouble halfway across New York and rushes over. However, he is too late. Throughout the film, Morbius mentions how he isn’t going to drink Martine’s blood, but now that she has died, Morbius decides to desecrate her body.
After that, Milo and Morbius fight, and Morbius finishes Milo with that iron injection from earlier. Before the movie can put us out of our misery, it shows Martine alive again…despite being very much dead. However, Martine’s eyes glow like a vampire’s, so maybe Morbius had turned her into one by drinking her blood. But that raises other questions, like: What about the mercenaries he drank the blood of? Are they also vampires? Because the last scenes didn’t show them.
The post credit scenes make just as much sense. The vulture spawns into a cell via multiverse magic with no possessions, only jail attire. The very next credit scene shows him and Morbius meeting up. He is fully geared, tech suit and everything, with no explanation of how he had gotten this technology. He and Morbius also set up a rendezvous point, despite having never met before.
In conclusion, it was a movie of the year.