Venom (2018) movie review
Venom stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a reporter who finds himself infected with a symbiote called Venom. More likely you will just know this as the Sony Spider-Man spinoff that’ not really a spinoff because its kind-of a reboot for the villain turned antihero in this representation. And don’t ask me if it is connected to anything, because I just don’t know or care that much to o the research into such a subpar movie! I do know it is connected to the DC universe though! Because they say Kryptonite, to naturally the only thing that could mean is that Warner Bros. and Sony let Superman be connected to Venom, not that comics exist. Silly YouTube.
For some season, critics hate Venom. What is harder to believe for me is how much audiences seem to like Venom. Granted if literally all you want in your superhero movie is Tom Hardy, you might like Venom, however if you want an actually decent film with a sensical story, unique characters, and just anything new added to the genre, you can go see anything else instead. After I saw it though, opening night actually, I just put off writing this review for some reason, I just didn’t care at all about it.
Now that is not to say it is awful, or even as awful as critics say. As I mentioned before, Tom Hardy is quite good. He delivers an expectedly charismatic performance that manages to convince you that the some of all of the 40 minutes cut from the film would absolutely make it better. The dynamic between Hardy’s Brock and Venom was also quite entertaining and had me laughing several times. Honestly though, that is almost everything positive I have to say about the movie. I guess the visuals were good when it wasn’t so dark and chaotic you couldn’t see, and Michelle Williams was good, but she and Hardy have no chemistry together in the film.
Honestly, this film feels like it was an indecisive mess from the beginning. The tone jumps all over the place, the humor sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, it is definitely made to be PG-13 and wants to be an R by implying lots of violence and showing very little, and the sudden and constant character changes feel lazy and inexplicit. Honestly the writing disappointed me overall. It was almost always so obvious that it felt like they did a rough draft intending to add some depth later, but just decided they could do well enough without a revision. I mean everyone ever saw it, so I guess it paid off for them to not find a better word than ‘loser’ to describe its central characters on three separate occasions. Nolan is less on the nose.
I really disliked the action sequences as well. Even the ones that didn’t look like Michael bay directed them either features such nonsense like over-the-top kamikaze drones and dozens of armed men in black vans working for a medical research corporation to situations where you have to suspend believe about character choices that you just learned. Speaking of character choices, the story arcs feel forced and unnatural, only ever driving the story forward instead of working hand-in-hand with significant character change. Even the way Tom Hardy becomes Venom happens because the plot needs to to be silly and unbelievable enough to happen.
Now if you do believe that a movie is only as good as its villain, than Venom is terrible. Granted I don’t actually believe that, but Carlton Drake is absolutely a terrible villain. Aside from having no backstory or motivation, the film actually gives reasons to like him before having him to the villain checklist of killing underlings, standing menacingly all the time, looking at a screen and shouting “Don’t let him get away” as if they were planning on it, and just lots of more things that are so uninspired I don’t even blame Riz Ahmed for his incredibly campy performance. It is all direction, and none of it works. Plus when another villain thing happens it becomes laughably bad for many reasons.
Last scene in the trailer, a big bland score, a plot that gets way too big for no reason, and a laughably ridiculous after credit scene that actually had me skip the final after credit scene are just a few more complaints I have about this movie. I actually went into this expecting to be more fair than I was, but all in all, I enjoyed this film about as much as The Predator, except that was funnier. So yeah, if you want to see Venom, go for it. I don’t expect to change any opinions, just to state mine. I thought it was pretty bad. 4/10.