Venom? More like Poison…
October 13, 2018
Venom, a superhero movie produced by Sony Pictures, was released in the US on October 5 and faced a flurry of criticism. Going into the movie, I have to admit that I wasn’t all too thrilled either. After watching the trailer where Venom called someone a “turd”, my gut reaction told me that the movie was going to be a pile of turd as well.
I guess I was right, sort of. The movie follows Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an undercover reporter, who gets infected with an alien symbiote and struggles to coexist with the symbiote to take down an evil organization. There’s loud explosions, stereotypical, one-dimensional villains, and off-placed humor—in essence, everything there needs to be in a typical superhero movie.
The movie wasn’t absolute trash—there was definitely some enjoyable parts. Tom Hardy was fantastic as Eddie Brock and perfectly captured the behavior of a twitchy, insecure reporter. I also genuinely enjoyed the conversations between Brock and the symbiote. They didn’t feel forced at all and were the best parts of this movie’s humor. However, the highlight was undoubtedly Venom himself. The movie really does the character justice—when he first appears on screen, I was terrified. The portrayal of Venom’s brutality, along with his incredible strength and speed, are very convincing. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring a few diapers with you to the theater.
The movie picks up really slowly, and I got extremely bored in the beginning. Amidst the annoyingly loud music, it gets a lot better once Brock is infected with the symbiote and starts doing “Venom” things. When Venom starts causing chaos and destruction, leaping tall buildings and breaking things, drooling all over the place and eating people, that’s when the movie really starts to shine. But the movie is not without its faults. The brilliance of Venom was not enough to outweigh the bad parts of the film, such as the uninteresting side characters and the god awful villain, Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed. The movie also falls victim to the superhero movie formula, which pitches the protagonist against an antagonist with similar powers to an ultimate “fight to the death.”
Surprisingly, the movie has a lot of humor, a lot of which I feel is unintentional. Much of it comes from Hardy’s brilliant portrayal of Brock as a insecure loser, but at other times, the acting becomes so ridiculous and over-the-top that the audience can’t help burst out laughing.
Overall, the Venom movie was just alright. At its core, Venom is a Spider-Man villain, and it’s difficult to make a movie about a villian without the hero. What makes it worse is that Venom’s origin and how he became infected with the symbiote is closely related to Spiderman, and the absence of the webbed superhero really weighs this movie down. Nevertheless, I feel the filmmakers did a good enough job with what they had. Compared to Spider-Man 3’s depiction of Venom, played by Topher Grace, this iteration of the anti-hero is definitely a step in the right direction. In ten more years, when Disney buys the rights to every franchise, maybe Marvel’s take on the character could be better? One can only hope…