By Dave B.
In Venom (2018), disgraced journalists Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) attempts to revive his career and reclaim his life by uncovering a heinous corporate scandal involving illegal experimentation on San Francisco’s homeless population. An accident finds Brock bonded to the eponymous alien symbiote and he must learn to harness the great powers at his disposal in order to save the Earth from a cataclysmic invasion, while keeping the symbiote well-fed enough that it doesn’t begin to devour Brock’s own body.
I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one: the critics are waaaaaay off on the degree to which they're slamming this movie. I’m not going to say that Venom is a great movie. I’m not even going to say that it’s a top Marvel-associated movie. You generally know what you’re getting into when you watch a superhero movie and I’m in no way implying that this one of the great ones. But it’s entertaining, fast-paced, and Hardy’s fake New York accent didn’t bother me nearly as much as I assumed it would. On entertainment value alone, there’s nothing about Venom that makes me believe it deserves it’s current 31% Critic Rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s 35% Critic Metascore.
I do have two fairly significant complaints about Venom, however. Firstly, the script is lazy as hell. For example, there is absolutely no buildup to explain the Venom symbiote’s evolving motivations throughout the movie. One moment it’s an amoral killing machine; the next moment…not so much. The human villain isn’t completely one-dimensional, but he’s pretty close. The same applies to pretty much every secondary character, as well. Further, writing a Venom movie to ensure that it does not get an R rating is simply foolish. The success of Deadpool and Deadpool 2 prove that an R rated superhero movie can make a lot of money if some actual effort is put into the script.
Secondly, the movie’s special effects and action sequences are merely average. All things being equal, it may seem picky to complain about something being average, but in this case, all things are not equal. Venom is made by Sony in association with Marvel and most Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies traditionally do a better job of creating immersive, enjoyable fight sequences. The ones in Venom simply aren’t up to par with ones in MCU films and that fact doesn’t bode well for Sony’s Marvel Universe.
In short, Venom is adequate. If it’s intention is to be somewhat mindless fun, it succeeds and I’m recommending the movie. However, my suggestion is that those who are interested in seeing it save some money and wait until it’s on a streaming service before watching it. Even the most ardent Marvel and Venom fans may find it hard to justify the expense of seeing this movie in the theaters.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.