Venom Film Review
Well, it’s here. It’s finally here. The first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it has Tom Hardy in the lead role. I’m talking about Venom of course.
Tom Hardy is Eddy Brock at the start of the Venom movies. An investigative journalist who will find himself in a bit of a pickle with his fiancée Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) and with Carlton Drake, the CEO of the Life foundation. But after the Life Foundation finds a comet that contains life forms, they’ll bring the specimen to Earth in order to make a successful symbiosis with a human host. One of those symbiotic lifeforms will transfer himself in the body of Eddy Brock, and well, things will get ugly for the Life Foundation afterward.
I was surprised by the initial negative reception that this movie got when it was released. And it’s because of that negative reception that it took me so long to actually sit down and watch Venom. And yes, it has some pretty bad parts (character development, script being a major problems) but I found it perfectly decent and watchable in an overall reception to be honest. Yes, it’s not the best movie that Marvel/Sony had rereleased but it’s very enjoyable. But let me start off with the good part. I loved the interaction that eddy had with Venom when he was inside his body. It was very Jeckyll and Hyde but with a modern twist. Their repartee had humor, with and defiance and it was fun to watch actually.
I also loved the CGI, the design of the symbiotic lifeforms (especially Venom and Riot) and I adored the setting of the action scenes. The streets of San Francisco worked wonders for those scenes and frankly they were exciting to watch in the last third of the movie. But I find it hard to believe that a movie in which the lead character has such great chemistry with a CGI character, has very little chemistry with the rest of the living/birthing characters. That’s especially true in the Eddy/Annie scenes. They’re painful to watch and their relationship shifts into very different stages of stiffness throughout the movie.
However, of the things I didn’t liked in Venom, was the poor casting choices that were made in almost every character. Main or supporting. Tom Hard tried his hard to be invested and engaged (not always succeeded) but many things in his performance needed improvement, not just his shifty American accent. And don’t even get me started on Riz Ahmed and Michelle Williams. Even when she was first cast in the movie, I’ve said that it’s a terrible mistake, and now I hate to admit it, but I was right. And actress like Williams don’t belong in a movie like this. Not that she doesn’t have the talent (God knows she does) but it’s not in her nature as an actress to be in blockbusters. She’s more quiet and delicate in her delivery and that’s why she stands out like a sore thumb here.
And Riz Ahmed (whom I adore) had the misfortune to be cast in the most generic cliché billionaire/tech villain i’ve seen in recent times. With a different script, Carlton Drake could have been a memorable villain, but he could do so much with what he was given. In fact I can’t help to say that besides him, none of the rest seem to fit in the jobs that were given. I can’t imagine Tom being an investigative journalist as much as I can’t imagine Jenny Slate being a PHD scientist. Why? because they didn’t look the part and were not relatable or convincing for that matter.
But when I look back at Venom as a whole, yes, I agree that it’s not the movie we’ve been expecting. The first half (albeit messy) is much subdued and calm compared to the second half of the movie. Yes, some plot holes are not that easy to ignore as some others are, the dialogue is something silly, but I found myself actually wanting to sit through the movie with the same excitement and focus as I had at the beginning of the movie. So, can’t be all that bad right?
I know I know… It’s bad but I expected much worse based on the first reviews.