Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Investigative journalist Eddie Brock attempts a comeback following a scandal, but accidentally becomes the host of an alien symbiote that gives him a violent super alter-ego: Venom. Soon, he must rely on his newfound powers to protect the world from a shadowy organisation looking for a symbiote of their own.
It has been a few months since we have seen a superhero movie, so it was only a matter of time for one to come out after the blockbuster season but before the holiday season. While Venom seems like the best possible film to be released in October, that fact that it was produced by Sony; who tends to not really care about their properties and focus more on making as much possible, would make anyone nervous before watching this movie. While far and away the worst superhero movie of the year, Venom is at least enjoyable enough where you if already like superhero movies and are fine with turning your brain off for 112 minutes, you should have a pretty decent time.
The film follows Eddie Brock (Hardy), a reporter who finds out that the head of the Life Foundation, Carlton Drake (Ahmed), has been committing criminal experiments on poor people for the purpose of expanding his company and providing valuable resources for the world. When Brock breaks into Drake’s lab, he discovers an extraterrestrial life form known as Venom that merges with Brock. The new team of Brock and Venom must figure out how to navigate their new relationship while also avoiding being hunted down by Drake’s men. Where I do think the film does a good job is that it keeps the audience entertained for most of the runtime. The action sequences are an absolute mess, but they are the type of mess that is fun to watch. Sometimes people want to see a sloppy, CGI mess of a fight, and this movie thrives in those scenes. I was also surprised with the direction the film went regarding the relationship between Eddie and Venom. I expected a much more serious and intense relationship, but the two seem to have good banter and have some funny one-liners that once again keep the audience happy. Where the film really could have benefited is the movie probably would have been much better if it was allowed to move forward with an R-rating. I understand Sony’s decision to go with a PG-13 rating would allow the film to make more money, but sometimes quality is more important than profit. The Venom character is known for being dark and evil, but the way it was handled in this movie was buffoonish and lazy. The Venom character that was supposed to be one of the strongest villains that Spider-Man faces ended up being this wimpy loser who just wants to take advantage of Eddie Brock, a different wimpy loser. While the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films are far from perfect, at least Spider-Man 3 provided an interesting dynamic between Eddie and Venom and displayed the relationship for what it truly was. While this film will certainly appeal to casual action movie fans and those who want to see every superhero movie, most others will either be bored by the typical story or annoyed and just how busy the action sequences are. This is a shame, because the acting talent and source material could have created a highly entertaining and borderline groundbreaking film, but instead we got a studio that did not want to take any risks and played it safe, resulting in a significant decrease in quality.
Overall, Venom took a storied concept and idea and made it barely more entertaining than a Transformers movie. Sure the jokes are funny and the action sequences are fine if not messy, but there was so much more this film could have done. Venom is what happens when you combine the worst parts of Deadpool with the worst parts of Upgrade. Far from the worst film of the year, Venom’s entertainment value is not enough to hide it from the serious flaws the film has.
Overall Score: 4/10