Venom (2018) gives us Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) an investigative reporter who sets out to expose Dr. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), a genius slash megalomaniac, genetic corporation magnate; and his unethical experiments involving alien “symbiotes” and humans. While snooping around Drake’s lab, an accident resulted in Eddie being taken over by “Venom”, one of the symbiotes. Hi-jinks ensue as Eddie and Venom tries to control each other and make sense of their new bodies, with Drake hot on their heels.
The word is underwhelmed. The second word is disappointed. I wonder why they made Venom PG-13? I wanted Dark! Gritty! Nasty! Blood! Guts! I wanted my skin to crawl as I watch Venom take over Eddie! I wanted to see blood as he bites people’s heads off! But the PG-13 rating kept things on the down low and it kind of made me sad. With the kind of character Venom is, I wanted this to be strictly for adults with high horror and psychological thriller elements, with comedy bits. I wanted Venom to be sinister yet devastatingly hilarious. I mean yeah, this is a Marvel film, but Deadpool was an R-Rated gamble, and that turned out to be a success.
The first half of the film was a bit of a drag. And plot holes can be found. This is normal of any comic book movie. And overall I don’t think the said plot holes in Venom took me entirely out of the story. But when the other elements (ex. tone, atmosphere, character etc.) aren’t working as good as you’d like, said holes can appear more glaring. Like they say the symbiotes eat up hosts from the inside right? Eventually killing them before moving on to a new host. And yet Riot was able to live for quite a bit of time inside the same human host. Same goes with how Venom does it with Eddie. They say the symbiote and human bond is a tricky one and Drake has been through countless of homeless people with no match. And yet Venom quickly jumped bodies from a dog to Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). It is quite unusual too that Venom would be sensitive enough to suddenly feel affection towards earth in a short amount of time. Also, he’s Venom for chrissakes. Now the action sequences, save for the apartment fight, barely registered. They lacked um, teeth.
Tom Hardy did a bang up job though, his physical performance and manic energy gives this movie a teensy bit of the edge that I was looking for. And he has some nice banter sequences with Venom. But he can only do so much. Riz Ahmed’s villain on one hand, is as bland as dishwater. Michelle Williams as Anne Weying did the best of what was given (but what was up with that wig?). I wanted more of Dr. Dora Skirth because Jenny Slate is awesome and because I think her character would make for a good sidekick, as well as give the audience a meatier take on inner workings of Drake’s The Life Foundation (a genetics corp.) and the whole made-up science of symbiotes.
Overall, the movie is a bit of a mess, and not the good kind. But really, why do we have a sensitive, polite Venom?!
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars