Review: Venom

Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.

Plot: When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Runtime: 112 min

Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 30% & IMDB 7.0/10 — Subject to change as the movie is in theaters.

Trailer (see below)

Review:

I always have an expectation when I go to the movies. Sometimes I expect to be blown away, sometimes I know it’s going to be a drama-filled-epic with big names, directors, Oscar buzz… you know what a mean. Other times I’ll expect something fun and light-hearted or your typical summer blockbuster superhero or action star. Venom has turned out to be somewhere in between absolutely everything.

I’ve begun to hate critics who bash every single movie that hits the big screen. Maybe I think about it wrong, but if you go into every single movie thinking it’s going to be a 10, you’re always going to be let down. I’m not going to waste your time trying to force you to think positively if you hated the movie, I just need everyone questioning this movie to know it’s not as bad as people are making it out to be.

First thing to note is the interaction between Eddie Brock & Venom; it was perfect and it was funny — as it should’ve been. Essentially you have a human being and alien substance trying to mix where the human being feels more powerful with (near) endless capabilities & the alien needs to survive off the host. In order for both of them to get what they want, (survive) they need to work with each other, make deals, rules, etc.

Eddie & Venom are both in a situation they don’t understand — hence the weird banter, arguments and harassment of each other. All of it seemed realistic to me because nobody would act normal if this was happening to them. Honestly, it was pretty funny and I found myself laughing with the movie more times that I thought I would of. Note that I was laughing with the movie, not at it.

Without getting into spoilers – there are specific scenes where Eddie is acting out in public and doing crazy things to counteract what’s happening inside of him. It was over the top a few different times, but once again, how would you expect someone to act? I enjoyed it.

One of the weaker parts of this film was the villain, or the “badder guy.” It almost wasn’t needed at all, because there is absolutely no depth to this character – he is just put there as a means to an end. Most of his scenes were stepping stones to what ‘ultimately’ was going to happen. What Carlton Drake is trying to accomplish is evil and genius at the same time… I wanted a deeper dive into that. In my opinion, he needed longer scenes with more room to explore and showcase the madness.

I would’ve been fine with more time inside the interaction between Eddie & Venom.

One of the few things floating around is the idea that it should have been Rated R. Could it have benefited from being even darker? Probably, but it’s such a vague thought being thrown out there with no idea what the studio would have done with it. There would have been more gore, more death, maybe darker experiments shown with the symbiotes in the lab? I never felt like certain aspects were lacking because of the PG-13 rating, but that could just be me. I don’t want to push an excuse for what anyone might think it ‘could have been.’

It also doesn’t help that Tom Hardy mentioned that 40 minutes “he liked the most” were cut from the movie.

Michelle Williams had a smaller role than I thought she would, (especially from the trailer) but I was fine with that once the plot started rolling into place. I think her role in the movie made sense and she ultimately will have a larger role if a sequel is going to be made… there is more to discover.

The one thing that was typical that happened was that the last 15 minutes turned into a CGI fest. The big scene at the end of the movie was awesome, there was so much going on that I needed to lean back in my seat to make sure I was comprehending everything happening on screen. The symobiotes phasing in and out… it was pretty bad-ass.

There are two post-credit scenes, but technically there is just one you need to pay attention to. You will get a tease at a potential Venom sequel mid-way through the credits with the introduction of another villain. No spoilers. The second post-credit scene is an extended look at the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. If you are looking forward to that then it’s something you’ll enjoy. Outside of that you can leave after the first scene.

At the end of the day don’t let me or any other person writing a review about Venom detour you from going to the theater to see it. If you want to see it, go and do so, then decide for yourself.

If you ask me, I’m on the side that liked it and I would recommend you go and see it this weekend. Go in knowing it isn’t a 10/10, it isn’t the ‘typical’ Marvel styled movie, but it’s worth a look. I’d like to see a sequel and I hope the money comes in to make that happen.

Cheers,

Matt.