With Marvel and Warner Bros. practically dominating screens right now with all their superhero movies, it should come as no surprise that other studios are desperate to jump on that speeding train. The latest to take the leap has been Sony with their latest action flick, Venom.
A film riddled with problems, Venom tells the story of selfish and not-very-nice-guy Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who, after losing his career and his fiancé in one move, breaks into the laboratories of the Life Corporation to try and uncover some evidence of unethical human testing and accidently becomes host to a symbiote brought back from outer space. With frightening new powers, Eddie must work with the vicious parasite in order to save the world from an invasion.
There always has been and always will be those movies that you see the poster for and think, ‘uh that’s going to be awful, but I know I’ll end up going to see it.’ For my partner and I, that was Venom. This film suffers from a lot of problems, the most glaring being that the majority of the budget was given to special effects studios rather than writers. Sitting through the credits and seeing just how much of them is devoted to CGI and sound is probably the most interesting thing about this film. The problem is that Venom is not made for anyone. It’s definitely not expressly made for fans of the comic because that’s too niche of an audience, but it’s not really inclusive to people who don’t know the character or story, or (like me) only know Venom as a villain from the Spiderman franchise. This mindset really screws up the experience because it’s very hard to get your head around the idea that Venom here is actually something of a ‘hero’.
Of course, if there had been more effort put into the writing of this film, it might have turned out better. The relationship between Eddie and Venom is actually kind of fascinating and I would have liked to see it develop a little more. As it stands, this slightly comedic banter goes on minutely between the two and then it’s all fist fighting and CGI battles; all of which are so overdone I couldn’t actually follow what has happening. There’s a real problem of genres happening here because, obviously Sony was hell-bent on making an action movie with comedic elements, but didn’t really know how to make it work without copying Deadpool. A bit of a catch-22 I guess, but the result still stands and Venom does not make the grade.
The performances are all fine I guess, but rather generic and I have to admit I’m getting pretty fed up with this movie trope of the villains being the ones to voice genuine concern about the state of the planet and humanity. Some of the stuff that the villain here talks about in terms of his motive for ‘being evil’ is actually totally what’s happening outside our doors right now! Maybe, instead of clinging to that archaic theme of science being evil and the humans who use it bringing about the end of the world, movies could model their villains after real ones; like the ones who go into a place of worship and shoot it up, or the authority figure who hand-waves it away with “should have had more security”!
I hate to get political, but ARGH!
Anyway, Venom: in the right hands, it may have had potential, but as it plays out on screens, it’s just another mindless action movie that exhibits a Studio’s desperate attempts to swipe some of that green from the fountain of cash.