Michael (Jared Leto) is a doctor in Biochemistry. From a young age, Michael was always terribly ill as his body has a rare blood disorder. In the present day, Michael continues to live with the disease, studying with hopes of one day finding a cure. After conducting several tests and always hitting a dead-end with his results, Michael decides it’s time to take the ultimate risk. But the only catch is, Michael could come off worse for trying it.
After travelling to a secret location, Michael welcomes being brutally attacked by a large swarm of bats. Michael returns home with a new revelation and creates a serum that could be the cure he’s been trying to make for many years. After basic trials are successful, Michael decides it’s the right time to test on a human and naturally nominates himself. While the results at first are extremely positive and life-changing for his body, he soon has a desperate thirst for blood and transforms into something else entirely.
Mobius is located within the Marvel multiverse. However, when and where this film sits is a question that I’m not sure I can answer confidently. The plot is basic and highly generic, almost as if it was made in the 90s. The film never leaps out of its comfort zone or tries to be overly different from other Marvel films before other than introducing a new character.
This is a much darker film visually, but also darker with its kills and violence. Given the violent nature of this film, parents should be mindful about taking their young ones- after all, this is a vampire film. While I’m not normally a fan of Jared Leto as an actor, he is thankfully quite impressive here and feels fitting to play a vampire-like vigilante. There are moments where certain aspects of creativity are slightly pleasing, such as how Michael has a supersonic hearing ability and how he can leap and jump at a fast pace.
But as a Marvel fan, it kills me to say how disappointed I am with this film for many reasons. Firstly, the pacing and cuts between scenes are disastrous. Most scenes feel disjointed and out of place. Some scenes confused me, and I often questioned if I missed something. It feels like it’s received many edits and cuts, turning it into a giant mishmash of scenes that make a movie. There are attempts to be mysterious with plot and reveals, but it’s all far too predictable (again, basic and generic plot). Aspects including who the villain is are predictable and feel familiar compared to other films before it. The film does contain a romance, but for the sake of spoilers, I’m just going to say it doesn’t feel believable and instead comes across being highly forced.
While the camera work has little moments of creativity, for the most part, the director enjoys many close ups with what feels like a shaky handheld camera. While I enjoyed Jared Leto, the rest of the cast felt weaker and were poorly used, such as actor Tyrese Gibson. He plays the leading detective investigating the various killings across the city and is hunting for Michael. But his character does very little on-screen other than looking serious, saying a few words and then repeating. The actors here are far more capable, but sadly they are held back. The marketing is also misleading. The trailer would have you think the film is packed with gags and jokes (like most Marvel films, right?), but what I witnessed in cinemas was completely serious. This serious tone remains for the majority (ok- apart from one joke, but that’s it).
Overall, Mobius has great ingredients, such as Jared Leto playing a vampire-like vigilante within the Marvel multiverse. There are a few aspects that feel creative, especially Mobius himself. But sadly, I am disappointed. Its biggest flaw is the editing between scenes which feels disjointed and sloppy. I am left with more questions about plot details instead of provided with entertainment and excitement. Fight scenes are challenging, side performances are given very little to do, and their characters serve no real purpose. The marketing was also misleading, giving Marvel fans the expectation of jokes and gags, but this isn’t the case. This film should have shined brightly like glitter on a vampire. Instead, the results are dull, familiar, predictable, and simple.