WWWednesday: Morbius the Movie

[Reposted from Deedsandwords.com with permission.]

Poster for the film MorbiusI paid #3.99 to watch Morbius. The price was about right. I don’t know the character from the comic books, but I’d seen a few articles and reviews so I knew that a doctor turned into a super-vampire.

Michael Morbius has a rare genetic condition that leaves him weak and likely to die young. He vows to find a cure. In the Greek hospital/hospice where he lives (he’s about 12) he befriends a younger boy with the same disease. the kid’s name is Lucien, but Morbius dubs him “Milo.” “You’re just the next Milo,” he says. When Morbius first arrived, the boy in the bed next to him was named Milo, and he died, as did the next and the next.

Flash forward. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) declines the Nobel Prize for his life-saving artificial human blood, and returns to New York to continue his work on a cure. Nice (unintentional) bit of character development here–he declines the Nobel from the podium in Stockholm, instead of politely refusing it via email the way everybody else does. This way he gets all the attention and wastes everybody’s time, and Leto gets to look awesome in a tux.

Morbius is experimenting with the DNA of a rare species of vampire bat, aided by his partner Dr. Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona). The serum works! Uh-oh, problem–he morphs into a monster thing and drinks human blood. How will they fit this in the “side effects can include..” statement?

Because of this, er, glitch, Morbius refuses to give the serum to Lucien/Milo, (who is now the impeccably stylish Matt Smith,) living in luxury in New York, too. Milo steals the serum and takes it, and starts killing people.

By the way, Lucien/Milo is rich, and seems to be Morbius’s “generous donor.” I don’t understand why, if Milo came from money, he was in the Greek facility that was so poor the blood transfusion machine broke five minutes after he got there (except so that Morbius could fix it with an ink pen and show us he was a genius.) But anyway, back to our story.

I should mention that becoming a vampire in this fictional world means you move faster than the human eye can track, with trippy whorls of color following you, you’ve got sonar hearing, you’re super-strong, you can run, jump, climb, break things and so on. Milo loves this, especially the killing people and drinking blood part, so now you have a Bad Vampire and the Not As Bad Vampire and the plot goes pretty much as you expect until it gets to the end, where is it still pretty much what you’d expect.

What did I like:

  • Jared Leto and Adria Arjona are pretty.
  • The swirls of color. So cool!
  • The bat scene at the beginning of the movie.
  • Evil Milo (Matt Smith) dancing shirtless in his apartment.
  • Flying in the subway tunnels. Morbius rides the pillow of air pushed by the train and… it’s physics, don’t expect me to explain it.

That’s it. If that’s enough for you, or Morbius was your favorite comic-book hero, by all means check it out.


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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at deedsandwords.com, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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