I cannot begin to describe how excited I was last year when it was first announced that a solo movie about Marvel’s greatest anti hero was in the works. That excitement built more when the cast was released and the first clips were leaked across the Internet. I didn’t want to believe the bad reviews this week, but after walking out of the theater tonight, my expectations were almost completely crushed.
Venom follows Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), a San Francisco journalist with a seemingly normal life until he encounters Carlton Drake (a thrift store version of Elon Musk still played very well by Riz Ahmed), the billionaire president of the Life Foundation. After coming into contact with one of the Foundation’s symbiotes, which are lifeforms from another planet that attach themselves to a host. In the case of the symbiote Venom, he chooses Brock as his own personal victim…er, host.
I can describe the entirety of Venom in two words: missed opportunities. There are definitely good pieces of material in the film like the cinematography and visual effects, but let’s dig into a few major criticisms.
The script, at times, sounded like it was written a bit immaturely. It threw in unnecessary lines and sometimes the cringe factor that comes with cheesy superhero comedy was more than I could take.
While I didn’t find much chemistry between Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams (who portrays his fiancee Anne Weying), I did love the relationship between Brock and Venom himself. You see them truly become a team in the second half of the film, where the action picks up and the story finally starts to build. Act one is just simply boring.
Despite a cameo from the great Woody Harrelson and good work from the brilliant cast doing the best with what they were given, Venom fell far from grace in my mind. I genuinely expected it to take the top spot on my best-of list of 2018, but it just didn’t…add up. It hurt that Sony didn’t go for an R-rating as well…because nothing good is rated PG-13 anymore.