Sony’s new film doesn’t bring the action or tell a good story.
By Cody Yarbrough, Staff writer
The anti-hero and cannibalistic archnemesis of Spider-man known as Venom has finally gotten his own solo movie. The character has all the elements for a good story, cool powers, moral ambiguity, and a terrifying design, so what happened?
Before I get into the bad I’d like to look at the good. First things first, Tom Hardy is great in this film. He continues to show his range as an actor by playing the light-hearted but pessimistic Eddie Brock, the main character and host of Venom. If I’m honest his acting is the most immersive thing in this movie. The comedy is also a highlight, with most of the jokes being funny and timed perfectly. Most of the comedy comes from the banter between Eddie and Venom inside Eddie’s head as they constantly disagree on what to do next. The first action scene is really entertaining as well, the way Venom pulled and jerked his host out of danger while Eddie freaked out over his new-found strength blended comedy and action perfectly and was really enjoyable to watch.
However, that is where the redeemable qualities of this film end and the problems begin. Most of this movie is long periods dialog with bursts of short confusing action scenes. Half of the dialog doesn’t even relate to the story and ignores the fact that venom even exists. The action starts off pretty cool with the scene I mentioned earlier but as the movie goes on it starts to rely too much on CGI and begins to look like a video game cutscene. When the final battle occurs it the bad CGI takes away from the drama and makes the scene feel goofy and rubbery instead of intense.
The movie’s story is as generic as you can get. There is no exciting twist, no interesting dynamics between characters, and no real build up towards the climax of the film. Believe me when I say that you’ve seen this same story dozens of times before in different movies like Spider-man, Catwoman, and the Punisher. The bad guy is rich and wants to get richer no matter who he hurts, the hero is poor but wants to help as best they can, and they both get similar powers to help achieve their goal. Even the romantic side plot in this movie has been played out several times, with the love interest having almost no character outside of being in love with Eddie.
The biggest problem with this movie is that it’s only “Venom” by name, nothing about this movie has what makes everyone’s favorite cannibal great. Instead of a cold-hearted killer with a taste for human flesh, Venom is portrayed like someone’s roommate who always has a serious case of the munchies. At a certain point, he’s even Eddie Brock’s wingman, helping him win back his ex. While most of the jokes Venom delivers-and there are quite a few of them-are good and can get a laugh, it feels strange for them to come from him. In fact, most of the dialog between Venom and Eddie is just jokes and gags, only towards the end do they start to connect.
Venom isn’t just a bad adaptation, it’s a bad film. Fans of the character and newcomers alike will find themselves checking their phone during the movie wondering when it will end. I get the feeling that if this movie was an original concept people wouldn’t even give it the time of day. I can’t say whether this movie will flop or succeed but what I do know is that Venom will be forgotten before the year is out.