Venom- A Review

Posted: 10/15/2018 in Uncategorized

Venom is not a Marvel movie…at least not a standard one. The critical consensus of this film has been quite vitriolic. Critics hate it, fans like it…and it will assuredly earn a sequel. Hardy’s talent is unquestionable. The visuals regarding the Venom character were surreal. Hardy’s chore is hard as he must sell a relate-able character channeling an alien parasite. That he must do so without the use/access of the source material, namely Spider Man is a challenge. How did Sony do with this one? My review give my opinion on the matter below.

This is an action packed romp. Hardy makes Brock his own. He is an edgy real time journalist who acknowledges past mistakes but through fearlessness and bravado will not move past them. Michelle Williams is Anne Weying, his fiance. If Hardy works his ass off to present an empathetic depiction of a relatively unlikable loser, Williams does just the opposite with a pained grin and the intimation that this was a paycheque gig and little else. Williams is an Oscar level actress .She is genuinely capable. Here she simply goes through the motions. Her relationship with Eddie seems forced and its dissolution devoid of an investment.

Riz Ahmed plays Drake Carlton, head of the Life Foundation. He is a megalo-maniacal businessman whose plans for saving mankind are simply insane. Ahmed presents a fairly bland villain. He is vile and does terrible things particularly with human experimentation involving Symbiotes, but really he is just there and any number of actors could have played his role. Jenny Slate as Dora Skirth is somewhat empathetic as a doctor who seems the potential healing aspects of their alien discovery. Her waking up to the reality of things and reaching out to Brock sets the wheels in motion for the reporter’s return after a disastrous action taken against Carlton during a guerilla style interview.

Hardy sells the movie, including the performance as the harried journalist wanting to help people and via his interactions with his passenger. Hardy voices Venom with a heavier, modulated tone and personality. The dueling personas is where the film shines. I was impressed with how much humor Ruben Fleischer brought to this film. Many, many purists will find the humor juvenile in spots and balk at the jokey dynamic between the two. I personally found the take refreshing, including Venom’s challenging Eddie, calling him a ‘pussy’ on one occasion for his fearing heights and wanting to leave the Foundation by  conventional means The banter ranges from desperate invading influence to nearly buddy cop territory. The simple fact is, that Sony/Fleischer had to make their “own” Venom, one who is still definable and pays due homage to the source material of his origins with a heavy focus on the “Lethal Protector” arc including living in San Fransisco after being forced out of New York

This Venom could not be an embittered creature whose sole purpose is destroying the man who rejected him, Ol’ Webhead- it instead becomes a tale of a partnership and a uniting of kindred spirits of two personalities deemed ‘failures’ in both their respective environments. A horror dynamic frames the film via another symbiote making its trek to America after leaving a crash site. A brief reference to an astronaut named Jameson give a proper shout out to the source material

The effects regarding Venom were superior and didn’t overrun the film. Their subtle introduction before full on transformation of his enhanced shared form worked perfectly. His mass, facial appearance and disturbing propensity toward eating the heads of evil doers pay due homage to the comic source from whence it comes. Though moments of violence are tamed by both humor and a PG 13 rating ,enough demonstration of this creature’s violence and strength made its way onscreen.

The end credits opens the field via a cool cameo into what will certainly be the main antagonist in the next film. I have to say though, that attempting the follow up with less that an R might be self defeating. Though having some problems and probably pissing off hardcore fans, Venom succeeds in being a crowd pleasing super hero actioner with enough caveats to ensure its worthiness of a sequel. A final sequence prior to the end credit  does sell it perfectly as a Marvel movie. Venom was very good, maybe not outstanding, but certainly well worth your time.

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