The anti-hero genre made a big splash when Deadpool burst onto screens two-and-a-half years ago. Now, Sony has decided to try their hand at getting audiences’ attention with a not-so-super hero in the form of Venom. The character of Eddie Brock/Venom is interesting, but it falters in delivering a solid plot. While Venom is way more enjoyable than the majority of critics make it out to be, the film is plagued by a weak script, confusing plot, and lame villain. However, I give Tom Hardy a lot of credit for putting his all into playing Eddie because you can tell how much he wanted this film to work.
If you don’t know who/what Venom is, he is a symbiote alien life form that needs a living host to live and thrive in. Venom follows journalist Eddie (Hardy), who loses his job and fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams) when he goes too far by asking the wrong questions during an interview with evil mastermind Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). Drake’s company is masking their real motive of completing illegal human trials of paring symbiotes that were retrieved off a comet in space and homeless people. With Drake causing lots of death, Eddie’s goal of exposing the truth takes a startling turn when he accidently has a symbiote take up residence inside him.
Venom has a cool running time of less than two hours, yet it takes a solid half hour before the titular character makes his first appearance. There is too much Eddie trying to be a decent guy and expose evil through journalism before the real story gets going. Once Venom is introduced and merges with Eddie, the film gets significantly better in terms of entertainment value. I found Venom’s one-liners to be very funny and add a much-needed comedic spin on the film. Hardy’s conversations with himself (i.e. Eddie talking out loud to Venom, who is inside of him) make him appear to be totally nuts, but these are the best scenes of the film.
The film would have been a lot better if it had been given an R-rating instead of PG-13. Yes, there is a lot of action and several instances of Venom biting people’s faces off, but there was incompleteness without blood and gore. For the inevitable sequel, Sony should really consider going in a darker turn, especially when they will be fully introducing Carnage (played by Woody Harrelson) into the mix. I really feel Venom would still have made a lot of money and found its audience with an R-rating.
There also needs to be some major script improvements for the sequel. Venom has too many inconsistencies and plot holes to make it anything more than decent as a whole. For instance, Venom declares early on to Eddie that he came to Earth to eat all of the humans and take over the planet. Not long after, he decides not to follow along with the other symbiotes’ plans and wants to stay on Earth without eating all the people, which made no sense and came out of left field. However, the humorous relationship between Eddie and Venom works rather well. I have a feeling that the comedy was unintentional, but I found quite a lot of good and bad to laugh at.
Thankfully, Venom isn’t terrible and is enjoyable to watch. I was never bored, and the short running time helped keep things moving. Some of the action sequences were fun and better choreographed than I expected. I was also very happy that Williams had a sizable role when the trailers made it appear that she wouldn’t have many scenes. Even though most of the plot made no sense, I did like Venom and will give the sequel a chance. There is room for improvement, but it’s not a terrible start.
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