April 1rst, 2022 will be remembered as the day when the human race reached its peak, for that was the day when Morbius was released in cinemas worldwide, earning over a trillion dollars within a week and an astonishing 302% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes from both critics and audiences. North and South Korea ended their decades-long feud as border guards abandoned their posts to go watch Morbius; police officers and criminals put aside their differences to sit side-by-by side in theaters, and families depleted their life savings, their children’s college funds, and sold their houses and cars to buy enough tickets so they could see Morbius thousands of times.
I, too, am one of those who fell under Morbius’ spell: ever since the film was released on home media, I have spent 23 ½ hours a day, every day, analyzing Morbius. Existing sorely on Morbius-themed popcorn and Morbius energy drinks, I have pored over every single frame of Morbius, analyzed every word, the camera angles, the use of color and framing, stopping only to sleep for fifteen minutes and spare a few seconds every now and then on other articles for my site. But all my efforts have paid off, as I have concluded that Morbius is the movie of all time, a movie that will still be watched and celebrated hundreds of years from now. The elderly, on their deathbeds, will ask their loved ones to play Morbius again so that they can depart this life watching the living vampire declare, “It’s Morbin’ time!” and children will frolic and play with actors in Morbius and Milo costumes in Morbinland theme parks.
While I will not live long enough to see that joyous future, my work spreading the word of the morb is not yet completed, for there are six people on Earth who think that Morbius is really a mediocre vampire superhero film. Thankfully, I am here to show them the light and prove that Morbius is the greatest film in history by comparing it to the previous greatest film of all time: Citizen Kane. For decades, snobby film critics and the Hollywood elite have beaten into film students and the common folk that Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time, a most laughable claim if there ever was one, and a claim that I will now show to be 100% false by comparing the two films in several categories, such as the title, poster, plot, main characters, side characters, antagonists, conflict, cinematography, special effects, music, best scene, ending, and cultural impact. You may think this will be no contest, and you’re right: Morbius is going to win by a landslide.
To begin, let’s do a quick summary of both films:
1. Morbius is a 2022 film directed by acclaimed Swedish filmmaker Jorge Daniel Espinosa that follows the saga of a doctor-turned vampire as he struggles to remain his humanity while battling to save New York City from his best friend who has also turned into a vampire.
2. Citizen Kane is a 1941 film directed by a frozen peas spokesperson that follows the saga of why some old dead guy liked a sled so much.
Let the battle begin!
A movie’s title can sometimes make or break a picture, for it has to grab perspective viewers and give them an idea of what the film is about. Good examples include, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Towering Inferno, and Sharknado. Compared to these evocative titles, both Citizen Kane and Morbius are lackluster: Citizen Kane implies that the story is about some citizen named Kane, and Morbius gives no clue what it’s about. But by being similar to ‘morbid,’ it suggests something dark, yet mysterious, resulting in a curiosity that draws people in to find out what it’s about.
Citizen Kane’s poster shows some guy looking down at a woman. There’s no hint about what the movie’s about, and the marketing team had to resort to telling us that the movie’s terrific and everyone loves it! But ask any literary agent and they’ll tell you that a great story doesn’t need anyone to tell you it’s terrific, and doing so is a sign that the creators know their work isn’t actually terrific.
Morbius’ poster doesn’t resort to telling you how terrific it is: it shows instead uses a stylish teal and black color scheme, and the image of a man who’s both a man and a snarling man-beast to instantly grab your attention, informs you that a new Marvel legend has arrived, and uses the color red on the title, hinting that whatever is going to happen, there will be blood. Citizen Kane, by comparison, does not have blood, which is why it fails.
Citizen Kane’s story follows some reporter named Jerry as he tries to figure out why a dead guy said ‘Rosebud’ just before he died and what kind of man he was. Jerry eventually gives up, never learning what ‘Rosebud’ means. Man, what a loser.
Morbius’ story follows doctor Michael Morbius, a genius doctor who has dedicated his life to helping mankind. One day, while experimenting on a cure for his rare blood condition, he unknowingly transforms himself into a vampire, granting him extraordinary powers, but at the cost of constantly needing human blood. Worse still, his childhood friend, Milo, has also become a vampire. With time running out before he permanently loses his humanity, Morbius must fight to not only stop Milo, but the darkness within.
Citizen Kane’s protagonist is Charles Foster Kane. He was once a nice little kid before becoming really rich and taking over a newspaper and getting an ego the size of a planet and subsequently ruining all the friendships and relationships he ever had before dying alone and reminiscing about a sled.
Morbius’ protagonist is Michael Morbius. Unlike Kane, he is a good man who strives to help those around him, and even when he is turned into a vampire and given extraordinary powers that would allow him to dominate and destroy everyone around him, he refuses to use those powers and tries to get rid of them while simultaneously trying to save his lifelong best friend from the same condition, and a government determined to hunt him down for a murder he didn’t commit. And throughout it all, Morbius constantly tries to do the right thing, no matter the cost to himself, making him not only a hero for our time, but the hero of all time.
Citizen Kane’s side characters are boring. How many of them have become staples in pop culture? Can you name any of them off the top of your head? No? I thought not. Pfffft.
Morbius’ side characters, however, are a complex and wildly interesting bunch. Among them are:
*Morbius’ research assistant, Martine, who’s willing to work with Morbius even after he’s turned into a vampire, and also sacrifices her life to give Morbius the strength he needs to defeat Milo, only to then be resurrected as a vampire herself.
*FBI agent Simon Stroud, a tough, competent, yet fair man who owes his life to Morbius for the artificial blood Morbius invented, which is what allowed him to survive being wounded in Afghanistan. Yet, tragically, he has to hunt down Morbius, seeking to bring him to justice. But unlike so many other fictional, power-hungry or by-the-book agents, Stroud doesn’t compromise his morals to accomplish his goals.
*Alberto Rodriguez, Stroud’s partner, who appears to be nothing more than your typical, bumbling comic-relief sidekick, having no comprehension of feline behavior or how litterboxes work. Yet, he is surprisingly brave and unfazed at the prospect of facing off with a vampire, and shows no fear when the time comes, proving he’s far braver than most mortal men.
*Dr. Emil Nicholas, who helps sick children and acts as a surrogate father to Morbius and Milo, trying to be kind and understanding to both, but unconsciously favoring Morbius, with tragic results.
*Nicque Marina, who only appears a few times as a reporter for the Daily Bugle, who is clearly infatuated with Morbius (making her an audience surrogate for everyone on Earth), but who is dedicated to telling the truth and doing her job.
*Nurse Kristen Sutton, a kind and well-meaning nurse who’s brutal death at Milo’s hands made me cry harder than when Jack turned into a corpsicle in Titanic.
Every face in Morbius, no matter how briefly they may appear, is so memorable that they put every other supporting cast in every movie ever to shame.
Citizen Kane has only one antagonist: Kane himself, who, while pursing wealth and power, alienates everyone around him and ensures he’ll die alone, the fool.
Morbius faces not only the government during his cinematic journey, but also Milo, his best friend. Though crippled by a rare blood disease that leaves him weak and barely able to walk, Milo is fabulously rich and has helped fund all of Morbius’ work into curing their condition. Yet, when he takes the cure that turns him into a creature of the night, Milo goes on a blood-drenched rampage through the streets of New York City. But despite his viciousness, Milo still genuinely cares about Morbius and wants him to embrace being a vampire, too, so they can be best buddies forever and eventually take over the earth, complete with awesome castles, capes, and being suave, sexy creatures of the night.
Citizen Kane’s conflict revolves around what ‘Rosebud’ means. Can you imagine anything more boring?
Morbius’ conflict centers around Michael Morbius’ desperate attempts to hold onto his humanity after becoming a vampire, while simultaneously trying to stop Milo’s rampage though New York City. Success will mean having to kill his best friend, and failure will mean losing his humanity and leading to the deaths of countless people.
In the cinematography department, Citizen Kane is surprisingly good, featuring complex camera moves and excellent cinematography with many memorable shots that have stood the test of time.
Unfortunately for Citizen Kane, Morbius’ cinematography is the gold standard for all films forever: besides being in vibrant color instead of boring black and white, Morbius has lots of pretty shots of New York City, highlighting man’s achievement in taming his environment, allowing him to create grand settlements filled with millions of people living peaceful, happy lives. But these shots subtly reminds us that if Morbius doesn’t stop Milo, all of these people will die, giving each shot a subtle menace and dread.
Plus, the film is a masterpiece of a wide and varied color palette, from the 80’s inspired credits, to the white, green, and orange subway, to the aforementioned colorful cityscapes. Plus, thanks to advanced filmmaking techniques, Morbius has many shots of Morbius flying through the sky, fighting Milo in slow motion, and plunging through a half-built skyscraper, shots that the salesman of frozen peas couldn’t even dream of using. And to cap it all off, there’s this awesome shot of a menacing green hallway at night with a vampire hopping around.
Does Citizen Kane have a spooky, green hallway at night with vampires hopping around? Didn’t think so.
Citizen Kane‘s creepy bird is certainly memorable.
Morbius is filled to the brim with breathtaking computer generated images that allow actors Jared Leto and Matt Smith to do feats that are physically impossible, such as displaying enhanced strength, flying through the air, using echolocation, battling through a half-built skyscraper, and even summoning thousands of bats to aid them in battle. Could Charles Kane summon bats to help him battle his enemies on the campaign trail? I think not.
Can you hum a single tune from Citizen Kane? Yeah, me neither.
Morbius, however, has a swelling, heart-stirring soundtrack, but nothing can top the auditory masterpiece that is ‘Off The Meds’ by EKSE, with it’s timeless, heart-wrenching lyrics:
‘I poop my answer, yes,’
‘Poop my pants’
‘Poop my tent’
Sorry, Bernard Herrmann, but your noble efforts have been morbed!
To it’s credit, Citizen Kane does have a few memorable scenes that have endured throughout the years, like him talking before a poster of himself, clapping furiously after humiliating his wife like the bastard he is, him whispering, ‘Rosebud’ before dying, and the revelation that Rosebud is a sled.
Trying to pick the best scene from Morbius however, is more difficult than when Hercules embarked on his 12 labors. While I was tempted to go with the now-legendary scene of him saying, “It’s Morbin’ time!” and morbing all over Satan while on top of an erupting volcano, I ultimately chose what will surely be remembered as the greatest scene in movie history: Milo dancing.
Why is this scene the best scene ever? There are many reasons:
1. It has a shirtless Matt Smith doing pushups.
2. The architecture and look of the room, complete with black and white marble, mustard-colored curtains, and ‘color-inverted zebras being shot at by arrows’ wallpaper.
3. The joy of seeing a crippled man finally gaining a perfect, disease-free body and celebrating being able to move pain-free without the need of a walking stick.
4. The music, with its timeless lyrics, such as, ‘I poop my answer, yes,’ ‘Have sex!’ “Poop my pants,’ and ‘poop my tent.’
5. Milo’s dance choreography, which puts every musical ever to shame. Somewhere in the afterlife, Fred Astaire is weeping at both being able to see such talent, and grief that he was not able to life up to Milo’s standards while he was still alive.
There is no competition: Milo dancing is pure cinematic gold. When I one day depart this mortal coil, I want to watch this scene on repeat, with the last words my dying brain ever hears is ‘poop my tent’
Citizen Kane ends with Jerry mulling over everything he’s learned about Kane, coming to the conclusion that he doesn’t have a clue what Rosebud means and gives up, presumably to go home and cry while gulping down ice cream to soothe the pain of his failure as both a reporter and a man. And as he’s no doubt eating his way to type two diabetes, we, the audience, see Kane’s belongings being burned, including his beloved sled, Rosebud. That’s kinda sad, I guess.
Morbius ends so heartwrenchingly that I can barely type this without tears staining my keyboard: Despite all his efforts, Morbius is forced kill his greatest friend and end his rampage of destruction before flying off with his bat friends to an unknown future, leaving us to wonder if he has held onto his humanity or given in to his inner vampire… but the mid-credits teaser sequence, in which Morbius teams up with the Vulture – Spider-Man’s greatest, most famous, and most dangerous foe – reveals that he has indeed fallen to the inescapable grasp of evil, and that the noble doctor is no more.
Such power. Such gravitas. Not even Shakespeare himself could craft such a heart-wrenching tragedy.
Citizen Kane’s lasting impact on pop culture is to allow professors at film schools to feel special by telling their students over and over that Citizen Kane is the best film in human history. Too bad they won’t be able to do that anymore!
Morbius’ impact on pop culture is difficult to determine, only because it’s been a year since it came out, but all reliable sources say that no other film or franchise will ever have as great an impact on human culture. The output of Morbius merchandise, fan art, fan videos, clothing, theme parks, happy meals, shampoo, and Halloween candy has surpassed Star Wars, Jurassic World, LEGO, and every franchise ever, and will doubtless continue to grow in popularity for centuries to come.
When we compare the winners in each category, it becomes clear that this is no contest: Morbius clobbers (or should I say, morbs) Citizen Kane in every aspect. Kane, once the pinnacle of cinema, is no longer the king, or even a pretender to the throne. Morbius has come and morbed all over Kane, and is now the king of the mountain, the zenith of humanity’s creative endeavors, and the greatest film of all time, bar none. This movie is what God created us for; our time to ascend to the stars and take our place alongside our peers throughout the cosmos has come, for we have proven that we are worthy of joining them with the cinematic tale of a doctor-turned vampire, leaving Citizen Kane to fade into dust, as it rightfully should.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pop some more Morbius popcorn and watch the movie for the 9,528th time. Because it’s just that good.