Movie view: Comic book hugs hit the mark in Spider-Man spin-off

With Spider-Man: No Way Home online at the sixth highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and a third Venom film currently in development, the comic book universe inhabited by Peter Parker and his adversaries continues to expand with Morbius.

Based on the DC Comic bloodsucker character created by Roy Thomas, director Daniel Espinosa’s film introduces audiences to the enigmatic anti-hero Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto).

Suffering from a rare blood disease, Michael has dedicated his life to preventing others from suffering the same fate as his good friend Milo (Matt Smith).

In pursuit of a medical breakthrough, he ignores the advice of his mentor (Jared Harris) and takes a dangerous gamble that revitalizes his ravaged body.

Michael’s fiancée, Dr. Martine Bancroft, is stunned by the physical transformation, but her newfound strength and superhuman abilities come at a terrifying price.

Michael must hunt and drink human blood to feed the darkness that has been unleashed within him.

Succumbing to horrific new urges, Michael goes on a rampage across town, putting him squarely in the crosshairs of FBI agents Rodriguez (Al Madrigal) and Stroud (Tyrese Gibson).

7/10

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (PG)

The Sega video game franchise’s turbocharged blue hedgehog lives to shoot another day in an exuberant sequel, helmed by returning director Jeff Fowler, that offers thrills and spills on par with its 2020 predecessor.

Calibrated to appeal to young audiences with breathless action sequences, broad physical humor, and the rubbery-faced antics of Jim Carrey as the arch-deranged villain Dr. Ivo Robotnik, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 follows the model of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the introduction of the Dark Guardian Units of Nations (GUN), which protect Earth from alien threats, and a big reveal tucked away in the end credits.

A third film is already in development with a spinoff feature of Knuckles, the red echidna assassin voiced with growling intent by Idris Elba, who is determined to honor the memory of his late father – a nice parallel to the loss of his life. a mother by Sonic. -appears in the first film.

Ben Schwartz continues to infuse the title character with childlike exuberance, but Carrey inevitably steals every scene with his extravagant theatrics, aided by voluminous fur.

After 243 days in “Portobello Purgatory” on the Mushroom Planet, Dr. Robotnik successfully harnesses the power of a discarded Blue Hedgehog Feather to send a distress signal across the universe.

Knuckles answers that call and teams up with Robotnik to locate the Master Emerald – an ancient power source once guarded by Sonic’s owl mentor, Longclaw (Donna Jay Fulk).

Owls and echidnas have been at war for centuries. The quest for the gem leads to Earth where Sonic (Ben Schwartz) lives in Green Hills with Sheriff Tom Wachowski and his wife Maddie.

While her surrogate parents travel to Hawaii for Maddie’s sister’s wedding, Robotnik and Knuckles decimate the Wachowski household in search of the legendary emerald. Sonic vows to defeat the echidna assassin and Robotnik’s mechanized army, aided by a new ally: the flying fox Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), teased briefly at the end of the first film.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 ups the action bar with an MCU-poking snowboarding sequence and a final showdown against a gargantuan version of a video game automaton. A flimsy plot can’t endure the two-hour running time, but Carrey is an endless source of unbridled mischievous fun.

6/10

THE BAD GUYS (U)

Leopards can change their spots – or at least put on makeup to cleverly conceal them – in a crazy computer-animated creature feature film directed by Pierre Perifel.

Based on a series of graphic novels for young readers written by Aaron Blabey, The Bad Guys is set in a heavily stylized world where humans and anthropomorphic creatures coexist in uneasy harmony.

The wise anti-heroes of this concrete jungle are five debonair wolf-led bank robbers, whose senseless heists nod reverently to Ocean’s Eleven to the point that when Chief Lupine speaks kindly to a discerning target, she counters, “Don’t Clooney me!”

Screenwriter Etan Cohen atones for 2018’s deplorable comedy Holmes & Watson with snappy dialogue, colorful characterization and fast pacing, including at least one plot twist and the looping release of thousands of helpless guinea pigs from a animal laboratory. A running gag involving noxious gas puffs long before the 100 minutes are up, but the gags hit more often than they miss and a distinctive aesthetic blends traditional 2D hand-drawn art with digital magic to stunning effect .

6/10

Daniel K. Denny