Quick Hit: Just absolutely bonkers.
I will be the first person to tell you that Venom is not a good movie. Having just recently scrolled past my rating, I’m sure you’re wondering how I can rate something as high as I did and start a review that way. But here’s the think – Venom is nuts. I mean flat out, pedal to the medal bonkers at times. It’s fascinating in the way it’s fascinating to watch nature documentaries about predators. Here, my intelligence is probably the prey, and Venom the movie, and the character is here to eat my brain.
Venom stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a bro (it sure seems like it anyway) who runs his own program uncovering things in a newsy type way. He’s dating Anne (Michelle Williams), who is eventually run off by the fact that Eddie is more into his job than his relationship with her. Eventually, he runs afoul of Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), an Elon Musk stand-in that doesn’t like when Eddie starts poking around in corners. Eventually Eddie loses his job, and the then whistleblower Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) contacts him about some homeless that have gone missing from the area. This leads Eddie to encounter Venom, who is a parasite from another world.
There’s a lot of crap going on this movie on. The dialogue is fairly awful at times, and Drake comes off like a cartoon. There isn’t a whole lot of reason for Michelle Williams existence besides to be a spur for Hardy. But the movie really gets a kick when Eddie starts hearing voices – and some of the best moments of humor within the film come from the Odd Couple relationship between Brock and Venom. Hardy, who voices both, goes totally to the mats with his performance. He sells everything, even a poorly written obsession with tater tots that never quite makes sense within the context of the story. The movie is fairly violent but far short of what I would have enjoyed seeing from Venom, who is shockingly violent in the comics. I mean, we’re talking about a character that eats brains – what would you expect?
The end of the movie turns into the normal hero fights a villain with the same power set but stronger type that we’ve seen too much of, and it’s here that Venom is at its worst. I can partially excuse cartoon characters, and even the cliché ending of it all. But the fact that at this point, the effects, which had been serviceable on the border of good, downgrade into a mixture of shadow and movement that almost doesn’t make sense to your eyes. There’s very little that I was happy about at this point, and that’s unfortunate, because there’s enough around the edges to make Venom good, if not great.
The biggest thing I can say is go in with low expectations and you’ll probably leave happy. Venom can be wildly entertaining, if only from the perspective of watching Tom Hardy go nuts for two hours. I’m giving it a “C+”. If you want to check out a better version of this movie with a similar looking actor, go watch Upgrade.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"