SYNOPSIS: One of Marvel’s greatest and most complex characters takes center stage as Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) becomes the host for the alien symbiote Venom. As a journalist, Eddie has been trying to take down the notorious founder of the Life Foundation, genius Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) – and that obsession ruined his career and his relationship with his girlfriend, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). Upon investigating one of Drake’s experiments, the alien Venom merges with Eddie’s body, and he suddenly has incredible new superpowers, as well as the chance to do just about whatever he wants. Twisted, dark, unpredictable, and fueled by rage, Venom leaves Eddie wrestling to control dangerous abilities that he also finds empowering and intoxicating. As Eddie and Venom need each other to get what they’re looking for, they become more and more intertwined — where does Eddie end and Venom begin?
worth your time”
Venom reminds me a lot of Michael Bay’s Transformers.
An alien race of super
creatures comes to earth, one bonds with a good guy and
one bonds with a bad guy, then a bunch of special effects,
action sequences and a romantic subplot ensue until the
For its credit, Venom is
not an unentertaining movie. I enjoyed many of the
individual parts that made up the film. There were a lot
of moments that had me and the rest of the audience
laughing, and much of that was because of Tom Hardy’s
performance as Eddie Brock.
Hardy’s acting made the
movie for me. His character was the likeable loser and
Hardy sold it. With his wise cracking demeanor balanced by
an endearing heart for people, Eddie Brock is someone you
want to root for. If only he didn’t suffer from something
many of the characters in the movie were written with:
Honestly, everyone in
this movie is an idiot. The main antagonist, Carlton Drake
(Riz Ahmed) is an idiot who is inconsistently written as
either a futurist who wants to see humanity reach the
stars or a misanthrope who prefers aliens to people. Eddie
Brock’s girlfriend Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) is dumb
for being too trusting of an alien symbiote and not
trusting enough of her fiancé of many years. And Eddie… is
also an idiot for just making a lot of bad decisions with
The poor writing of these
characters is indicative of a larger problem for Venom,
and that is that of its plot. I felt that a lot of scenes
were contrived just for the sake of the plot happening.
Characters partook in actions not because they were the
most logical things to do, but just because that’s what
would drive the plot further. This kind of lazy writing
led to so many plot holes, I struggled to keep up with
what was going on from one minute to the next.
At one point the
climactic villain of the film, a symbiote named Riot that
only really shows up for the last few minutes, tells
Carlton Drake “we need to find Venom.” You would think
then that Venom is integral to Riot’s nefarious plans.
Nope. Riot then immediately forgets about retrieving Venom
and goes on about his business. At another point, Venom
tells Eddie Brock that his world is going to end. Quite
ominous and sinister no? Well then Venom has a change of
heart and wants to save the Earth. Why? “Because of you,
Eddie,” said the symbiote… Huh? That’s not really
explained any further and it left me wondering how the
parasitic alien had such a quick and dynamic character arc
after doing nothing but fighting goons.
Speaking of fighting
goons, the action scenes were really good! When you
finally see Venom in action, it’s a sight to behold. The
special effects for the combat holds up well in most
sequences, and I think the fight choreography was very
solid, especially in the first fight in Eddie’s apartment.
The film does a good job of making Venom seem monstrous,
which is an element that was missing in his appearance in
the third Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie. The way Venom
lopes on all fours is menacing, and his proclivity for
eating faces is perfectly grotesque for the character. The
problem is, there just wasn’t enough Venom in Venom.
The titular character
doesn’t show up until well into the film, and after his
true beastly form is revealed, he still prefers to hang
around in Eddie Brock’s head most of the time. This is
sometimes alright because the dialogue (monologue?)
between Eddie and Venom in his thoughts is funny for the
most part, but I felt that the directors couldn’t decide
on a tone whether they wanted the symbiote to be comedic
or creepy. For reference, one moment Venom is describing
how he will eat a man, the next he’s calling Eddie a
“p***y.” This just felt off to me.
There’s a lot of things I
can say about this movie having inconsistent plot and
logic, with characters changing motivation and
explanations for symbiotes being tossed out the window
within minutes, but I won’t go into spoiler territory.
This movie is fun enough if you turn off your brain and
just want to see Venom kick some tail, but even then
there’s not enough of that in the movie to justify the
entire thing. I’m a big fan of the character of Venom, and
I was left disappointed.
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