Welcome to Mandatory Movie Battles, where we pit two movies against each other in an all-out war for movie dominance. In this edition, we’re delving into the world of movie vampirism with a battle between Morbius and Twilight . Actors playing vampires are a cinematic tradition, but movies like Twilight and Morbius make us question the validity of that legacy. While these movies are undoubtedly the low bar for the vampire genre, they also beg the question: Which is the better of the two? God help us.
Cover Photo: Sony Twilight is a movie that is very much a product of it’s time. And yet, it still manages to feel more modern than something like Morbius . In many ways, Morbius might a top cantidae for not only one of the worst movies of the year, but one of the worst superhero movies of the last two decades. This isn’t to say that it’s one of the worst movies ever made, because it’s not. Despite our extremely low expectations, however, there’s no denying that Morbius is a disappointment. Seriously though, we’d rather watch Twilight than sit through another viewing of the trash fire that is Morbius.
Overall Winner: Twilight
MMB: Morbius vs.Twilight
Jared Leto is a performer known for providing audiences with a slew of over the top performances. While Morbius is relatively reserved for the actor, the writing is so bad that the movie doesn’t give him much to work with. On the other hand, Robert Pattinson plays Edward Cullen like a sexually repressed weirdo goth, which at least makes the performance more interesting than whatever Leto was trying to do in Morbius .
Aside from the usual powers inherent with Vampirism (super-strength, speed, enhanced senses), both Twilight and Morbius offer different takes on unique Vampire powers. The latter introduces transvectional flight (mildly cool) and the downright laughable “bat radar.” While the idea of a sonar-type power could have been interesting, the fact that there’s no differentation between the powers of the hero and villain is only something Morbius could pull off. Conversely, the powers in Twilight vary from vampire to vampire, so at least there’s something remotely interesting going on there.
Neither Morbius or Twilight can be considered movies with great dialogue. While the writing in the former is just plain bad, at least the writing in the latter is good-bad. There’s nothing about the dialogue in Morbius that is even remotely interesting or dynamic, especially when aided by the cast’s robotic delivery. On the flipside, at least the dialogue in Twilight was fun and somewhat self-aware. Hell, there’s one point where Edward tells Bella “hold on spider monkey” as she grips onto him like a spider monkey. Now that’s cinema, folks.
Both Twilight and Morbius feature daywalking vampires, meaning that they won’t be killed by direct sunlight. While the former is famous for introducing bedazzled vampire skin into the larger cannon of vampirism, the latter features just the boring old grey, wrinkly-skin look. Morbius also leans a little too far into the “realistic” design of the character, which makes the movie feel like a generic Bat-Man (or is it Man-Bat?), we can never really tell. At least Twilight had the balls to do something unique and different with Vampire lore.
Considering that Twilight came out 14 years before Morbius , the latter is much more polished than the former. Especially by modern standards, Morbius has the objectively better visual effects. However. The fact that the effects in Morbius lack any sens of practicality (see: X2 ) is ultimately the reason why we’ll take that that silly Vampire baseball scene in Twilight over anything in Morbius .
If there’s one element that any good vampire character needs, it’s a proper pair of fangs. Neither Morbius or Twilight passes this litmus test. Morbius is the type of character where all the teeth in his mouth are fangs, meaning that the moment he bits into someone’s neck, a bloodbath should erupt. While the vampires in Twilight don’t have traditional fangs, all of their teeth are flawless and razor sharp for when some de-limbing needs to take place. At least in Twilight the violence is appropriate to th e subject matter.
The first Twilight was never really an action-heavy picture, but rather a modestly-budgeted tween drama that just so happens to have small bits of action. Morbius, on the other hand, is a big-budget tentpole film that somehow forgets to be exciting. Not only is the action in the film lackluster, but it is objectively hard to follow at certain points. There’s no sense of geography, or even stakes for that matter. Ultimately, the action scenes in Twilight are not anything to write home about, but at least they’re understandable.