By John H. Foote
(BOMB) In Theatres
My late colleague Nick adored super hero movies, I mean he loved them. Watching the latest Spider Man – No Way Home (2021) I could almost hear him beside me giggling like a school girl when Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, both former Spider Men, showed up in the film’s final third. I suspect Nick would have wet his pants in glee when the two made their appearances in the film and then the villains they fought, my God, I can hear his squeals of delight. That last Spider Man film would have been Nick’s wet dream, with all due respect. Nick helped me see what was good, and sometimes great about super hero films, especially The Avengers – Endgame (2019) which was colossal and often deeply moving. At the very least he got me to give them a chance.
I still believe there are far too many of them, and we need a break, a few years without them maybe, but I get the love he had for them, and I try not to be so hard on them.
However … Will Smith and this mess out of Hollywood in the same week?
I can say with absolute honesty that I had begun to forget about Moribus moments after I saw the thing. Endured it is more like it, because I certainly was not experiencing anything remotely good about the film. Though 2022 is looking like a potentially great year at the movies, this one will be well represented on 1o worst lists and is an early candidate for the Razzie Awards.
Yes, Moribus is dreadful, in fact it might be the worst super hero film ever made, worse than Batman and Robin (1997), worse than The Green Lantern (2011). A terrible movie on every level leaving me asking what an obviously gifted actor, Jared Leto saw in the script to push him into this mess? Leto is an Oscar winning actor for his mesmerizing performance in Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and deserved a nominated for his performance in House of Gucci (2021). He would be my choice to portray Jesus Christ in a film about Christ, but so far no takers, not even Terrence Malick in his upcoming film about Christ, The Way of the Wind.
Leto portrays a brilliant doctor suffering from a rare blood disease that has left him virtually a cripple and will end his life at some point. So off he goes to offer himself to vampire bats, and apparently the merging of his blood and DNA with that of the many bats turn him into some kind of super hero. But in doing so, he also becomes “a scientific vampire” and the artificial blood he has created is not enough to sate his hunger for blood.
So is this a horror film or a super hero film?
The director, Daniel Espinosa, cannot make up his mind, or perhaps like the rest of us could not heads nor tails of the terrible screenplay he was working from. Could this be the reason for the seemingly endless delays and reshoots that delayed the release of this messy film? Very likely. And what we are left with is just, well, stupid for lack of a better word. It all looks impressive, thanks to fine cinematography and some decent effects, but it goes nowhere and adds up to one big waste of time.
I like Leto and believe he has some great performances left in him, but he is out of his element here, going at it far too intense and serious to make it any fun. Cast Nic Cage and you might have had a fine film, he would at least know where to have a good time. Leto goes at it like he is expecting another Oscar. No way dude, not for this junk.
April 1, oh I get it, it’s a joke. They were kidding …
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.