Published on January 29th, 2019 | by voxx0
Sony once again attempts to kick off a cinematic universe after the terrible ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ series swung straight into a brick wall, with the second best character they still have the rights to, Venom. For those who don’t know, Venom is the creation of Todd Mcfarlin and rival to everyone’s favourite wall crawler after he destroyed Eddie Brock’s carrier and rejected the symbiotic alien trying to bond to him. With their combined hatred, together they became one of the most iconic comic book characters from the last few decades.
I was very young when I first encountered the character. I was a six year old comic fan when my father introduced me to the black suited Spider-man, which blew my little mind. However, when it developed into Venom, my excitement levels went through the roof and as such I received a DVD of the Spiderman animated series with the character’s entire episode, and the game Ultimate Spider-man for the Xbox, in which you could play as him. Venom was a big part of my childhood, with me and my dad literally bonding over the character, which I guess could explain my enjoyment of this mess of a film.
The plot follows Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), investigating the Life Foundation for his show in hopes of finding out where the homeless are disappearing to and what secrets the CEO, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), is hiding. However, this is at the cost of losing his show and his love, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), and his life slowly spirals downwards. The Life Foundation’s secrets, meanwhile, involve bonding aliens known as a symbiotes to people, in hopes of creating new life. When one escapes and bonds to Eddie, Venom is created. What follows are high speed chases, dark but fun comedy, violent action and symbiotic goofiness.
Starting with the negatives, the first half of the film drags for what feels like decades. It feels rushed yet slows at the same time, with nothing interesting going on to keep the viewer invested. This isn’t helped by the fact that the villain is so generic he might as well be a piece of paper with a scary face drawn on it. However, I wasn’t expecting him to leave a lasting impact and it met the low expectations. No character reacts to any situation in any believable way, such as the calmness among people about this giant monster that eats people on a regular basis, with a very confused pacing throughout.
Once the symbiote bonds to Eddie, however, the film quickly kicks into gear as the star is the best part of the entire thing. Tom Hardy is definitely putting in amazing effort to portray the two characters, providing a great dynamic and chemistry with himself. Not only is he comic book accurate with his violent yet goofy attitude, but also his genuinely funny line delivery and an very entertaining fighting style. I loved the horror vibes from the action, with heads being bitten clean off and people being thrown around like rag dolls. Oh, and the final battle taking place on a rocket like the animated series was charming to say the least. Finally, I really like how this is a villain film. I have seen many films attempt this, such as ‘Maleficent’, but in this case Venom and Eddie are selfish people and work for themselves, which is just how I like the character.
Overall, ‘Venom’ is a mess, but unlike Sony’s last attempt I found myself having dumb fun with it. Aside from the beginning hour and the terrible pacing issues, this dumb fun was enough to overshadow a lot of the second half’s flaws. This is by no means a well written movie, but as a 90’s cheesy popcorn flick it feels just right. Certainly not the best but certainly not the worst.
- By Samuel Wood