When venom was initially announced, comic book readers approached the film with heavy caution, because of the portayal of Venom we saw in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Having Tom Hardy attached to play Eddie Brock/Venom was the solid touch needed to cause some fans to turn around to give it a chance, but is it worth it?
The film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel. The film stays in the vein of the origin story but pulls out swiftly as leaving room for new & creative approach to the lore of the character. Venom follows Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), a journalist who stumbles onto a Carlton Drake’s plan to fuse humans with Symbiotes, alien being that want to take over the world. While trying to take down Drake. Brock gets a taste of the Symbiote for himself & is pulled into a battle that ultimately will have him saving the world or helping to take it over with the Symbiotes.
If you’re planning on seeing this movie with the intent on seeing the on-edge Venom you’ve seen in the earlier comics or seeing Venom rip his enemies apart, you might want to wait to see if Sony will drop an unrated Blu-ray or DVD. The action was solid, the cutaways from the violence were not. Everytime you felt you were about to see Venom in all his glory, you were with a cutaway from the violence, which made the universe feel watered down. My main gripe with the film is that it took a character that emodied fear, terror & chaos & turned him into a literal joke. Also, the dumbing down of Venom was an insult. Venom, the Symbiote, was very childlike & even told Brock that he bonded with him mainly because they were both considered losers where they came from. At times, I did feel like I was watching the 1987 film Innerspace. The relationship between Brock & Venom felt like the relationship Martin Short & Dennis Quaid had in Innerspace. However, the relationship between Brock & Venom wasn’t all bad. In fact, I enjoyed their sometimes cheesy tit-for-tat moments. But hey, Venom looks better than he did in Spider-Man 3.
I enjoyed Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock & I appreciate how Sony swapped the initial goofy Eddie Brock they showed us in the first trailer for a more stable Eddie Brock. Riz Amed’s Carlton Drake/Riot was dreadful. Nothing about Drake made him seem as deadly as the story wanted you to think. Even as Riot, the character did a few tricks against Venom that might’ve caused an explosion of applause had we not lived through 1997’s Spawn. The battle between Venom & Riot seemed like a virtual rollercoaster that ended in front of a poorly CGI splatter painting of Venom & Riot. Michelle Williams as Anne Weying was forgettable. Without getting into too many spoilers, comic readers will notice that Sony jumped the gun with her character. It’s as though the writers skimmed through a number of solo Venom comics, threw them at the wall, picked up the ones that landed face down & pulled key parts of their story from the pages & put it on the big screen.
Fleischer had some hits & misses here & although the film wasn’t a complete waste to me, I do feel that for the first Venom film, him & the writers didn’t approach the character well enough to help Venom land well on his first outing. Is the film worth a weekend trip to the movies? Yes. Sony is going to have to make sure that they push out something grand the next time around if they don’t want to disappoint. Oh & Woody Harrelson. No, just no.
- Venom & Eddie had some humorous moments together
- Hardy's take on Eddie was well-balanced throughout the film
- Forgettable villain & side characters
- The overall feel of the film felt more like a pure comedy
- Venom was incredibly watered down & too much of a good at times
- Weak story