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Movie review: Jared Leto creates 'Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde' character in Morbius

Morbius is more of an anti-hero than an out-and-out villain, like a "Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde" instead of a dynamic character in his own right.
Credit: Sony Pictures

Jared Leto tends toward smaller independent films. In fact, this is his first starring role in a film of this size. Too bad it's a disappointment. Leto won an Oscar for "Dallas Buyers Club" and is known for disappearing into his characters. In this role, he morphs into "Morbius," the latest Marvel character to get the big-screen treatment.

Michael Morbius is a brilliant research doctor who suffers from a debilitating blood disease. Could a cure possibly be hidden in the blood of vampire bats? 

Why not travel to Costa Rica, gather some winged things and give it a shot! Interesting concept...terrifying results. When the treatments wear off, he turns into a living vampire. 

In between that trip and the transformation, we get the back story of the sickly Michael, institutionalized as a child, promising his friend he'd find a cure and save them both. 

That grown-up friend (played diabolically by "The Crown's" Matt Smith) comes to cash in and turns sinister. A female doctor and love interest of Dr. M., (Adria Arjona) helped him with the process. Now she's pained to witness how quickly he can become a reluctant killer.

"Morbius" is part of Sony's Marvel franchise, which includes "Spider-Man." Think of it as Spidey adjacent, and there are nods to it, in the appearance of "The Vulture," played by Michael Keaton. The movie was originally scheduled for release a couple of years ago. The pandemic and other scheduling issues pushed it back several times until now. 

The script is not interesting enough. The special effects are not good enough. (Think "Venom.") Morbius is more of an anti-hero than an out-and-out villain...like a "Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde" instead of a dynamic character in his own right. But you know Leto will transform again for another role. He always does.

(Sony Pictures. Rated PG-13. Running Time 1 hr. 44 mins. In Theaters Only)

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