Film Review – Venom (2018)

Title – Venom (2018)

Director – Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland)

Cast – Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Woody Harrelson, Jenny Slate

Plot – Reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) becomes inhabited by a symbiote power that unleashes a terrifying alter ego known as Venom that he must learn to control if he is to save his city and those he loves from a deadly threat.

“You should be extremely afraid”

Review by Eddie on 08/10/2018

There’s no doubt that Venom is light-year’s away from being a good film (it’s also more entertaining than a fair few haters have made it out to be) but thanks to the tireless work of its leading man, Ruben Fleischer’s film almost overcomes its various flaws to be the killer off-kilter comic book movie fans were clamouring for.

More than likely victim of studio interference in the end-game (star Tom Hardy only recently made headlines suggesting around 40 minutes of the film was left on the cutting room floor), Venom struggles hard to find its grove between generic comic book origin story 101, anti-hero trying to do good and a big bad that is so tiresome and eye-rolling that it’s hard to care much at all but it never stops Hardy from giving it his all as reporter turned alien host Eddie Brock.

Fighting against a film that wastes its large budget on tiresome and forgettable action scenes (the film generally lacks a good set-piece), amateur editing and a thoroughly boring support cast led by Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate and Riz Ahmed, Hardy dives head first into his role and tries to single handily give Venom the spark it needed to succeed in embracing its zaniness.

Much like Ryan Reynolds slipping into the Deadpool suit like a match made in movie heaven, Hardy feels like the man made to be Brock/Venom and as his down on his luck reporter begins his life as a duel being, Fleischer’s film shows glimpses of what could’ve been had the studio had the guts to commit itself to joining Hardy in going after the true spirit of this creation.

It’s often laugh out loud hilarious seeing Hardy learning to deal with the new voice in his head (ever wanted to see Hardy sit in a tank full of live lobsters fully clothed?) and his new powers and at various times in these instances, Venom becomes a genuinely funny and excitingly fresh feeling comic book movie but these instances are always fleeting as Fleischer’s lifeless directing and Venom’s tired plotline take hold once more.

Fleischer’s whose been in a funk since his breakout hit Zombieland allows Venom to become one of the most glaringly obvious cases of an actor trying their best to elevate a film they’re in in quite some time and one hopes that as the film turns a profit, Hardy will stick around for further adventures that hopefully learn from the mistakes made here as this property feels far from D.O.A should the studio and future filmmakers match their actor at his game.

Final Say –

There’s a lot wrong with Venom and its following of the rule book is both tiresome and unfortunate but there’s no denying Hardy’s brilliantly bonkers lead turn is worth the price of admission alone, even if everything else in Fleischer’s film leaves much to be desired.

2 ½ newspaper vendors out of 5

15 responses to “Film Review – Venom (2018)

  1. Great review. I agree with you about this movie. I don’t think it as terrible as some are making it out to be, but neither is a fantastic superhero movie. However, Hardy’s performance in the movie is probably the best thing about Venom. He literally carries the movie. I think if it was someone else, I would’ve hated the movie.

    • Man your so spot on ha, Hardy really does give his all and when his allowed to take centre stage with the more random material, he makes it all work.
      E

  2. Excellent review! I couldn’t agree more with the points you raised- however, I don’t feel like 40 minutes would’ve made that huge of a difference for the film in retrospect. If this wasn’t in SONY’s hands and if they had the balls to go all the way with the Venom character it could’ve been great- but in the end, it’s just another generic superhero film.

    • It’s so intriguing that Hardy said some of his favourite scenes were cut, I hope we get to see an extended edition or something on home release, I get a sense there was some goodness cut from the theatrical cut.

      But your right it wouldn’t of helped the rather bland story and pointless side characters.
      E

  3. Great review, though I doubt I’ll see this one before it lands on Netflix next Spring. I’m sure many people have expressed annoyance over the idea of a Venom with no Spider-man, but for me, the divorce of the two characters is a truly lamentable tragedy. The first Spider-man comics I picked up as a kid were graphic novels that collected the stories of Parker’s own struggle with the symbiote, and subsequent, inadvertent creation of Venom. It wasn’t the Peter Parker we’ve seen in the movies – but a 30 year old man, who was beginning to grow content with the fact that many of his classic enemies had been defeated. What made Venom so compelling was that he knew Parker, knew he was Spider-man, had all his powers with more strength, and cancelled out the spider-sense so Parker never knew where he was or when he was coming for him. And that barely scratches the surface of the depth of storytelling that has intertwined these two characters for the last 30 years. Separating them so thoroughly and completely is a monumental betrayal of all the great writing that has made the character of Venom who they are… I am so disappointed that Sony forced this film into existence as an obvious quick cash grab instead of allowing the deft hands of Kevin Fiege to find a suitable place for them in the MCU.

    • Some very true words spoken there mate!

      Do you think they still plan on morphing Hardy into the larger MCU? I get a sense he would be a great addition done right.
      E

  4. Funny thing is, all this Venom stuff leaves me very nonplussed as I’m a huge Spidey fan but of the 1960s/1970s Steve Ditko/John Romita era. I never even saw Peter Parker marry Mary Jane etc. so much of this later Spidey mythology leaves me cold. It does look a very odd movie although I’m a big fan of Tom Hardy- perhaps at last he has hit the big time and has his own franchise to fool around in. I expect I’ll catch up on this on rental in the Spring.

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