Film review by Claire Durrant of the comic-based movie Venom starring Tom Hardy as a journalist who is taken over by a symbiotic parasite.
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Journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is trying to expose Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) of his questionable and twisted experiments at Life Foundation. During Eddie’s investigation, he discovers an alien symbiote, which merges with him. Naming himself Venom (also Hardy), this parasite grants Eddie superhuman strength and ability. Together they agree to take down Drake and the other symbiotes who want to control Earth.
Calm yo’ tits…stop being so venemous!
It’s been a while since I’ve critiqued a film, and honestly I feel out of the loop. It may be silly to share this, but I need to get something off my chest. Here it goes – guys, Venom was…okay.
I know right?! But – calm yo’ tits!
Now, Venom is by no means a great film, but it is in no way deserving of the hate it’s receiving. I hear people say the film is as bad as Catwoman (2004). No – it is not. Venom isn’t even the worst Sony produced superhero film – FANT4STIC (2015) still earns that shame. All I’m saying is that Venom still has enough merits to deem the film watchable, even enjoyable at times.
It is fair to say that Tom Hardy is a likeable actor. People enjoy looking at his face (when it’s not covered in a mask) as well as listening to his voice (when it isn’t embellished). Venom supplies both. Unfortunately however, Hardy’s acting at times lacked charisma and poise. That being said, the acting all round was not at a high standard – even from Michelle Williams, whose usually high calibre work deserves so much more than the girlfriend trope.
That being said, the split personality of Eddie and Venom (which works as an internal buddy-comedy film of sorts) was an element I immensely enjoyed, despite people wanting and expecting a darker toned film. The CGI design of Venom and the symbiotesis impressive; with Venom looking sinister, wicked and strangely oily. The action scenes were also well choreographed and edited.
The biggest issue I had with the film was its 15 rating. Venom could have benefited more from being an 18. Films like Logan (2017) and Deadpool (2016) have proven that darker comic book films can be financially and critically successful. It’s a shame Sony couldn’t take that same risk, especially since the story and character of Venom is dark, evil and horrific. There are scenes in the film in which characters are killed in gruesome ways. Heads are bitten off, throats are slashed, yet there is not one drop of blood. It’s sickeningly disappointing!
With a threadbare story, villain and pace, I can understand why people are upset that a beloved anti-hero didn’t get the standalone film it deserved. I for one hope the filmmakers learn from their mistakes and get green lighted for a better sequel.
Just, please calm down your hate for what is only a mediocre film. Don’t be so venomous!
For more, see the official website.
Cast and Credits
Director: Ruben Fleischer. Avi Arad Productions/Columbia Pictures Corporation/Marvel Entertainment/SPE et al.
Producers: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Matt Tolmach.
Writers: Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, Kelly Marcel.
Camera: Matthew Libatique.
Music: Ludwig Göransson.
Sets: Oliver Scholl.
Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Reid Scott, Scott Haze, Jenny Slate.