Morbius (2022) Review

AMC theaters made me an offer I could not refuse, by offering me their AMC Stub A-List for 1$ I decided to watch the films I was skeptical to see on my own dime. Enter Morbius.

(For the uninitiated the AMC Stub A-List program is billed $19.95/monthly, and allows you to watch up to 3 films each week regardless of format.)

When Morbius was announced, the only element of excitement I had was the fact that they had hired Daniel Espinoza, who had displayed horror sensibilities in 2017s Life.

But that trust started to diminish when the marketing campaign began. One of the red flags was seeing Fast Furious alum Tyrese Gibson show up as a detective in the movie. But the biggest sin is discovering that the scribes hired to pen the script only have duds in their resume.

The film then suffered delays caused by a pandemic no one anticipated. The most exciting delay was when the movie got moved from its initial January release. While it may have been to avoid competing directly with Spider-Man: No Way Home, the more exciting rumor was that we would see Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man return in a button scene that restored his shared universe that had unfortunately died in 2014’s box office floor.

If you’re still holding out for that, don’t. In fact, it’s not the only disappointing factor, the movie in itself happens to be an utter waste. Morbius the living vampire deserved better than this.

In recent days, actor Al Madrigal who played agent Rodriguez has been very vocal about the final cut that made it into theaters. Read his full comments below:

“First of all, Morbius: not as bad as everybody is making it out to be. Sure, it had problems, and they diced it up quite a bit. I had some hilarious lines that were cut out of that movie. I was very funny [Laughs]…If they’d left in just 50% more of my stuff [Laughs]. I got butchered in that thing. I think that’s what they did. They just really…because of COVID, they just had so much time to mess with it. They really messed with it.”

The only proof of this is the marketing campaign which features lots of scenes not in the final film. Such as the heavily marketed Michael Keaton scene, as well as the Spider-Man graffiti scene, to name a few. But the butchering didn’t end there, as Madrigal points out that the ending had to be retooled.

“You saw a complete alternate ending to this entire thing. They made a good point. That scene you saw pictures from was shot during the day, and the rationale was, ‘We have a vampire movie. We can’t have the big final fight scene happen during the day.’ At some point, me and Tyrese fought Matt Smith. I shot for six days and none of that was shown.”

Shane Black had to learn the same lesson on The Predator, why high budget productions continue to make the same mistake, I will never understand.

Now effects make up artist designer, Conor O’Sullivan has come forward to shed some light on the troubled production. After developing 500–600 designs, Sony came to them a day before shooting with a design that was completely different from the direction they had been on. Only for the film seen in theaters to restore his designs digitally. It is a shame because there are some moments in the film where the monster design is superb, but proves less refined in other moments. The digital make up fails to be any good on Matt Smith, whose monster design comes across as rushed. Or perhaps he is just franchise building poison, see: Terminator: Genysis.

Is this another case for a directors cut? Only time will tell!

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