Spider-Man is getting a new villain to face and his name is Morbius. From the eponymous Spawn to the enigmatic Mysterio, the gambit of who he has to contend with is well covered. But when the producers think this latest antihero (well played by Jared Leto) deserves a solo outing, there’s simply not enough backstory to fill a movie.
It could’ve been expanded upon to showcase a classic Golden Age of Monsters showdown between a vampire and lycanthrope. What viewers are getting instead is a man with questionable ethics wanting to do good. Is he bad or just mad? I’d rather see him fight an alternate universe of himself instead of his best friend Lucian (Matt Smith) who has no morals at all. Interestingly, he’s more of a creature of darkness rather than a symbol of light, if I’m to consider the origins of his name. This character’s name means, “Brightness, radiant energy, that which makes things visible.“
To almost make Michael Morbius a person of Hellenism is unusual and the reason may be because the surname has no etymology. But Michael does; alone, it implies “Gift from God.” The film plays up the idea of him as a healer of the sick, and sadly doesn’t dig deeper into the idea. This doctor wants to design a drug to cure him and his best friend, Lucian, of a blood illness. The doctor thinks bat DNA holds the key. But after it backfires on him, the doctor turns into something of a vampire. He needs fresh plasma to maintain his life.
Morbius finds that his discovery also grants him superhuman powers. Unlike Venom, he can’t control the rage when the bloodlust takes over. Milo learns about this scientist’s breakthrough and wants it. But Michael is at least smart enough to refuse because he doesn’t want his best friend to suffer. But Lucian doesn’t see the light. He has no problems killing to maintain his life.
The expected confrontation just doesn’t hold a lot of water since there’s no high stakes involved. Had a deal with the devil been included to pave way for where this film fits in the MCU scheme of things, I’d feel more invested. Mephisto (a cosmic Marvel villain) been introduced, he’d spell trouble for everyone. Although he’s not likely to appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, this evil can easily cause a lot of problems for everyone in the Marvel Comics’ Universe. From the Fantastic Four (via conflict with Doctor Doom), Silver Surfer and Spider-Man, this devil is just that. In the comics, he’s known for creating the Green Goblin.
Another missed opportunity is in not setting up The Midnight Sons (Hellstrom, Jennifer Kale, Morbius, Werewolf by Night, Doctor Strange, and Ghost Rider). I’d love to see this group than the Sinister Six. Next up is Kraven the Hunter. Hopefully, this origin story has Spider-Man appearing in the tale. I believe Fearful Symmetry: Kraven’s Last Hunt, cemented his status as one of this web-head’s most formidable foes. To not make any connections means Spider-Man’s Load Road Home isn’t frought with danger when the multiverse is put back together again.
2½ Stars out of 5