How 'Morbius' Goes Off The Rails Minutes Into The Movie
Some might say that, at this point, lambasting the critically maligned, generally crapped-upon Morbius is just beating a dead horse – but since this particular deceased stallion charged some of us $12 bucks a ticket, we’re not quite done picking it apart yet. A big part of what makes Morbius, so impressively abysmal is how it goes off the rails in just the first 10 minutes.
For starters, there’s the opening moment (which is weirdly patterned off of Raiders of the Lost Ark), which finds Morbius luring vampire bats with his own blood and nearly destroying a helicopter … which happens to be his only means of transportation away from this remote mountain range.
Remember that screenwriting book Save the Cat that dominated Hollywood years ago? The title referred to the idea that every good movie should have a “save the cat” moment, in which the hero does something noticeably good at the beginning of the movie in order to get the audience on their side. Presumably, because every screenwriter who worked on this thing added in a “save the cat” beat, there are like eight of these in Morbius.
First, the movie flashes back 25 years to when Michael Morbius was around 12 – which seems odd considering that Jared Leto is a literal 50-year-old man. Skipping over that funky math, when then see how child Morbius was so brilliant that, when his new bedmate’s life support machine malfunctions, he’s able to MacGyver it with a ballpoint pen in no time.
Then we flash forward to … Morbius is being handed a Nobel Prize?! Seriously? This isn’t even really a scene, just a blip in the story that lasts for like nine seconds.
If that wasn’t enough, the movie cuts to a hospital room where Dr. Perfect is making origami animals for an adorable sick child.
And then we learn that he actually rejected his Nobel Prize purely out of humility.
Obviously, this is all to set us up for the character’s eventual fall to vampirism, but come on. Morbius is basically a character that Michael Scott would write for himself, and these scenes feel as grounded as a soap opera producer’s coma fantasy.
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Top Image: Sony