Morbius – Chicago Reader

I’m trying to think of a movie that thinks less of its audience than Morbius, and I am failing. Instead of a comic worthy of its Marvel origins, we get a story that is a sloppy, cynical mash of The Incredible Hulk and Batman with a huge assist from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The plot, such as it is, follows Dr. Morbius (Jared Leto) as he tries to cure himself and his best friend (Matt Smith) from some unspecified wasting disease. Leto goes from veiny and emaciated to CrossFit competition ready with alarming commitment: The permutations he puts his body through for this movie are the most interesting thing about it. Director Daniel Espinosa follows a formula (screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless) that’s essentially a series of chase scenes and grody special effects, many of them involving IV bags and tiny bats. If you’re in a theater with any kind of sound system, your seat will vibrate so much during  all those visually dizzying chase scenes, you’ll start to feel like you’re on one of those virtual roller coasters that don’t actually move. Or so you will until an abrupt final scene sets up a sequel without providing so much as a hint of satisfying conclusion to the movie we just saw. If it were just a ride in a theme park, Morbius would be fun enough. But it is not. And on top of everything else, it is a criminal waste of Jared Harris (who plays a kindly doctor so one-note his name doesn’t bear remembering), and that I simply cannot countenance. PG-13, 104 minutes.

Wide release in theaters

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