One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar® winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
For in-depth thoughts on Morbius, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here.
The 4K UHD Blu-Ray of Morbius offers a slight uptick in quality over the already striking accompanying Blu-Ray, making it a truly impressive effort. One of the most satisfying aspects of this 4K presentation is the balance in contrast. More than most Marvel films, Morbius finds itself taking place largely at night or at the very least drenched in shadows. The Dolby Vision presentation allows for a much stronger command of these elements with greater depth and finer delineation. The black levels stay deep and inky with great detail even in the most unsparing lighting conditions. The highlights in the film are likewise more defined with whites more pure and balanced and no instances of blooming to be found. These benefits should not be overlooked when it comes to this format.
The increased range of the color spectrum also dazzles without fail. The HDR/Dolby Vision enriches the colors from already impressive to out of this world when it comes to vibrancy. While lighting and the hues of clothing are often pretty subdued, there are elements of the lighting throughout the city and within the production design that radiate off the screen, and some key special effects also add splashes of color to the proceedings. Skin tones appear a touch more natural with healthy doses of crisp detail apparent on faces such as the stubble of Michael Morbius. Fine detail is also a showcase with the texture of costumes and within the production design finely delineated in even the most subtle instances. The visual effects can often be a bit unsightly, but this is a core problem and not an issue with the transfer. The Blu-Ray is rock solid, but Sony has delivered another tremendous transfer on this latest 4K release.
This 4K UHD Blu-Ray utilizes a Dolby Atmos track that gives the already-active 5.1 track a greater sense of immersion. From the opening moments of Morbius at the cave full of bats onward, the film utilizes nearly all of the surround speakers consistently during both the quieter moments and the numerous kinetic and action-oriented bits. The implementation of the height channels are insane in the best way as they make the environment much more three-dimensional, especially when it comes to the bats flying all around above you.
The low end effects from the subwoofer give moments big and small a substantial boost. Atmospheric sound effects are rendered precisely within the mix so that directionality is never an issue. The film also really satisfies when it comes to the music, and this track fills the room in a notable way. The score is one of the stronger aspects of the film. Dialogue is crisp and clear without ever getting lost amongst the music or sound effects. Morbius has been provided a track that will not leave you wanting more. Sony has really delivered with this one.
- Outtakes & Bloopers: A nearly three-minute collection of flubbed lines, fouled up takes, malfunctioning props and stunts, laughing fits and more.
- Lights, Camera, Action: A nearly six-minute look at the work of director Daniel Espinosa, the team he brought on board, the themes and style he wanted to bring to the picture and more.
- Defining The Anti-Hero: A five-minute exploration of the dual nature of the character, what drew Leto to the role, the evolution throughout the film, tackling his “origin story” and more.
- Doing The Stunt Work: A five-minute examination of the action in the film, how Espinosa wanted to execute certain elements in a practical way, the work put in by the performers and more.
- The Good, Bad & Ugly – Supporting Cast: A nearly four-minute look at the performances, what each actor brought to their role, the bonds that formed with one another and more.
- Nocturnal Easter Eggs: A two-minute journey through some of the Easter Eggs peppered throughout the film.
- From Human To Vampire – Visual Effects: A five-minute look at the special effects work in the film and the larger intentions by the team.
- Theatrical Marketing Materials: This disc provides an array of brief, amusing promotional material including Press Tour (2:52), Lore (1:05), Universe (0:56) and Stain (0:36).
Morbius has been subjected to a lot of exaggerated takes and memes since its theatrical release, even going so far as to convince Sony to re-release the film to disastrous results. Is this film an abomination that ranks among the worst that cinema has to offer? Not really, but it is also not particularly good either. The greatest crime against this film is that it is mostly dull. All humor associated with this movie has been thrust upon it because none of the potential humor really works within the movie itself. The performances are uninspired and the visual effects feel dated and unnecessary in a way that we should be way past in 2022. If this franchise continues, it needs a huge creative overhaul, especially in the script and behind the camera. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released a 4K UHD Blu-Ray featuring a stellar A/V presentation and a decent assortment of special features. Beyond the memes, the film will likely mostly be forgotten in a few months, but if you do choose to pick this up, you will be treated to a great technical presentation.
Morbius is currently available to purchase on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the 4K UHD Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.