Marvel and Sony are banking on their upcoming superhero vampire film Morbius to help establish a new superhero universe allied to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. A lot of that would depend on how the film does at the box office, for which good word of mouth is important. In that regard, the film hasn't started strongly with the early reviews of the film largely negative and critical. Some critics have called it one of the worst superhero films ever.
The film, which stars Jared Leto in the titular role, deals with biochemist Michael Morbius infecting himself with a form of vampirism while trying to cure himself of a rare blood disease. It also stars Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, and Jared Harris. The Daniel Espinosa film also features a cameo from Michael Keaton, reprising his role as Adrian Toomes aka Vulture from the MCU. It will hit the screens on April 1.
The critics, who were shown an early screening of the film, took to social media to write about the film on Wednesday, while some of the first reviews of the film arrived on Thursday morning. The consensus is clear- the film is bad, just how bad is the only debatable thing. Critic William Bibbiani was more direct in his scathing criticism of the film. "#Morbius is the worst Marvel superhero movie in a long, long time. Mostly inert, sometimes laughable," his tweet read.
Other critics largely gave negative reviews as well. Kate Erbland, who reviews films for IndieWire, wrote that it “sucks more than just blood”. Fresh Fiction's critic Courtney Howard dubbed the film 'Snorebius', adding that "this titular anti-hero is given a vehicle that takes its foot off the gas not far enough into the ride".
The film is an attempt to connect the Sony-Marvel world to the MCU through cameos and post-credits sequences. However, the critics slammed those efforts as well. Calling Morbius 'sloppy', film critic Dan Murrell tweeted that "it also contains the worst attempt at universe building in the modern era". Writing for USA Today, Brian Truitt said, "Even the mid-credits scenes that attempt to bring Leto’s role into a larger landscape wind up being more confusing than cool."
Morbius has been in production for close to three years. It began filming in February 2019 and faced a number of delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It saw its release date being pushed back several times. Originally slated for a March 2021 release, the film is finally now releasing in theatres.