Director – Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad)
Starring – Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight Rises), Michelle Williams (Halloween H20, But I’m A Cheerleader), and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Dead Set)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3/5
I’m known mostly for my love of no budget horror and cult films. People often hit me up to review their backyard flicks with no budget or experience and I typically enjoy them all. However, it wasn’t always that way. My childhood movie experience was just like every other child for the most part. My first theatrical visit was the Robin William’s film Jack, I used to rent Space Jam and The Big Green almost every weekend before I became a horror addict and my first ever VHS purchase was Howard the Duck. Hell, my first DVD purchases, which were after my horror addiction, was Spider-Man and Little Nicky. I love no budget horror but I still have a soft spot for big budget popcorn flicks.
When it was announced that Venom would have a stand alone film I was apprehensive to say the least. When Tom Hardy was attached I was a little excited but deep down I knew it would be a train wreck. When the film hit theaters I was unable to check it out. Not long ago I was sent the press release for the blu release of the film. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows guerilla journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy) who is tasked with interviewing a billionaire with a history of taking advantage of the poor and homeless. Eddie calls him out for his history and loses his job after he uses information he obtained from his girlfriend. He soon finds himself without a job and single and a story he starts following leads him into the labs of the billionaire that got him fired where he becomes a host to a parasite symbiote known as Venom. Venom was one of several collected and brought to Earth to be studied but they have broke free and plan on using a spacecraft to bring others like them back to Earth and turn it into a feeding ground. Now Eddie and Venom must stop them from leaving before humanity is wiped out completely. **Spoiler Alert**
I didn’t know what to expect from Venom. Always found it strange that there was a movie set around a super villain without a hero to fight him. After seeing the film I can say that it works for a popcorn flick but it was almost like watching a train wreck in some aspects. A popular character was changed massively in order for it to fit like it does but it was still entertaining.
The acting in this one is decent but nothing phenomenal stands out honestly. I’ve watched several films where Tom Hardy was amazing. Sadly, this film pulls a mediocre performance from him. His action scenes are fun at first but even those become boring and mundane. The same can be said about the rest of the cast. The characters are extremely boring and one dimensional with very little redeeming qualities. The carnage cameo was very underwhelming as well. The cast needed better direction.
The story for this one would have worked in tow with an actual superhero film. Venom as an anti-hero just doesn’t work. Maybe if it was a brief team up with the likes of Spider-Man it would have worked as long as he kept his evil edge but by making him a hero of sorts takes away the trademark that made him so enjoyable in the comics and cartoons. Aside from that the story is pretty cut and paste from other comic adaptation which created a pretty bland experience with some fun moments scattered throughout.
Finally, the film is full of visual and practical effects. Most of the practical effects are used minimally but the visual effects are hit and miss. The full shot of Venom is cool but when they use the half Hardy and half Venom shot it looks like shit. Some of the minor shots of the symbiote moving looks cheap as well but we do get some shots where it looks fantastic. Overall, Venom is a shit film but god damn was it fun. With all the faults aside I did enjoy myself. If you want something to toss on, eat some popcorn, and drink a beer to I would highly recommend this one. If you want something to open your mind or redefine a genre then look elsewhere.