Was Morbius Being A Bad Movie The Best Case Scenario?

Superhero movies are so societally overwhelming that one cannot be good or bad without also being a massive cultural topic of conversation. The internet will find a way to shout about every comic book character to grace the screen, whether it’s debating their eligibility for an Oscar or proclaiming their failure a global conspiracy.

Morbius is a bad movie. It has fully lived up to the terrible trailers and the awful premise, becoming the awful film that it was always destined to be. Its box office return has been disappointing, critics have torn it to shreds, and, at the time of writing, “Morbiussweep” has been trending on Twitter on and off since the film’s release.


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The two social media trends surrounding Morbius are both a ton of fun. The genuine trend features the unfortunate souls who chose to wander into a screening of the film sharing photos of empty theaters. The other centers around altered Rotten Tomatoes scores, edited Wikipedia pages, and fake article headlines designed to pretend that Morbius is a culture-defining blockbuster hit. As with a lot of these movements, aspects of team irony have become sincere.

some-hardcore Morbius fans, of which there are at least a few, seem convinced that MCU fans have negatively impacted the film’s reception. This interweaving of rubberneckers turning up to laugh at a studio dumping money behind a no-name comic book character and a widely disliked actor and genuine fans decrying the unfairness of cinema today has ensured that Morbius evade its obvious destined fate. If Morbius had been a decent or even good film, likely, most people would already be done talking about it.

Morbius should’ve been dumped onto screens with almost no fanfare, enjoyed by a single-digit percentage of its audience, then swiftly forgotten, but it isn’t. A terrible film or two appears on the big or small screen every day, most of them don’t even warrant a review. Morbius is tied in with the biggest multimedia franchise in human history and produced by one of the largest entertainment conglomerates on Earth, so it at least earns a glance, but worse films have come from this partnership. The film falls beneath even the low bar set by the Venom movies, carefully maintaining all of their flaws with none of the oddball charm and a couple of new failures for color. Those movies, the second one especially, found themselves swept under the rug shortly after release. The parts that people recall are the misguided attempts at universe building which continue to fall flat. Morbius is terrible, but could it have hoped for a better outcome, even with a better film?

Any concept can be made into a good movie with the right presentation, creative vision, or excellent collaboration. There is a reality in which Sony signed the deal to make a film out of Morbius, The Living Vampire, and turned out something decent, if not excellent. The comic books are derivative and always remained somewhere in the B-tier of popularity, but there are good bones in them somewhere. Director Daniel Espinosa’s previous film Life was a decent concept well-executed, so his name attached was a good sign. Of course, creative vision is rarely a major concern in this type of project. The film was undoubtedly hacked to pieces in editing, or ran through multiple rounds of rewrites to create the studio-approved product that was eventually released. Morbius lacks anything that feels unique or special, it’s utterly soulless. Even if it had been well-executed, that would only make it a waste of good talent.

The current social media response to Morbius is the most fun anyone is having with the film, and it’s driven primarily by people who didn’t see it. The joy of trolling a terrible film, even as its tiny army of defenders joins unanimously, would’ve been absent if Sony had put out something half-decent. For all its faults, there’s some unique charm to Venom that is curiously absent in Morbius, leaving it a derivative blank slate. It’s more reminiscent of The Covenant or any other mid-2000s edgy teen action flop than any of Marvel’s output. It’s a remnant of a bygone age, itself a topic of easy mockery in its heyday. And, in every conceivable way, there’s more value in that than there is in another subpar superhero movie.

Morbius 2022 horror movie

The “Morbiussweep” movement probably has a few more days and several hundred great jokes left in it. Fans of mocking bad movies haven’t had a layup like this since Ghostbusters: Afterlife. There’s no objective measure of fun had in the experience of a film, but it’s hard to argue that the net loss of enjoyment felt by the few that saw the movie beats the net gain of fun the internet has had making fun of it. There’s a fair argument to be made for making terrible films as a public service. So, thanks Sony. Here’s hoping every superhero movie is either as brilliant as Spider-Verse or as dreadful as Morbius.

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