Just a quick sum up of the movie (without spoilers) before we actually get into the review. Venom is about a reporter named Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy), that has had a bit of bad luck with his attempts to uncover big stories. Through a series of events he investigates a company lab called the Life Foundation. This leads to him becoming “infected” with our favorite symbiotic parasite Venom. Now the Foundation wants the parasite back, and he has to stop another of his kind from bringing back more symbiotes to Earth, or humanity would end up completely wiped out. There is more to the story, but if I told you the whole thing you wouldn’t have a reason to watch it.
Story: 9.8/10 *this section may contain spoilers*
The writing in this movie was great. Everything flowed properly, there were no hang-ups about “how did we get from here to here?” it just works. There are only one small reason why this didn’t get a perfect 10, and that is the relationship between Venom and Eddie. What I mean by this is that the two seem to get along fairly quickly, and the only explanation the movie gives is that they are both ‘losers’. Now I understand that when Venom comes out he has full control of the body and that they are fighting a common enemy, but I just feel as though at the very least verbally the two of them would be out of sync and have disagreeing ideas on what action to do next. This would make it a little bit more realistic, but also could play into the comedy aspect of the movie as well. But this is only a minor flaw, so minor actually that I didn’t even think about it until a friend brought it up in conversation. So, Mike if you’re reading this, congrats you ended up giving this movie a lower score by using logic.
Special Effects: 9.8/10
The special effects for this were top notch. Sony really improved on the special effects of Venom since the Spiderman 3 adaptation of him. There were a few scenes that the special effects were “unrealistic” (I use this word lightly of course) and overall they were very minor but it still stuck with me. One of these scenes, which is the most irrelevant, is when Venom temporarily takes over a dog, and the dog’s eyes became a strange unnatural black color like you’d see in an exorcism type movie. It’s a very minor touch but it still took me out of the immersion for a split second. The other one was when Venom and the other symbiote host were exposed to the loud sounds, which is known to be one of the symbiote species few weaknesses, they hosts (being Eddie Brock and an unnamed character) began to have violent freak-outs. During this time the symbiotes can be seen almost immerging from the body in a fashion that I can only relate to an old film practice of showing a persons’ skeleton when they become electrocuted. It’s this weird half Venom half Eddie moment that really didn’t sit well with me. The main reason being is that the symbiotes are not emerging from the body during this scene, and this is obvious due to them being weakened and the textures don’t look solid, the symbiote looks almost like a mist overlapping the body. These scenes were done in an attempt to show that the symbiotes and their hosts are experiencing the same pain, which for storytelling/artistic purposes is very well done, but it still just doesn’t look right. I could be overanalyzing, but that’s just how I am.
Casting is probably one of the most important aspects of what makes a movie good or not. You could have a solid story and great special effects, but if the person you cast just doesn’t fill the role you need them to the movie still tends to fall flat in the long run. As for the casting of this movie, I don’t think they could’ve chose anyone better for the main cast. Tom Hardy truly brought his character (Eddie Brock) to life, and I honestly can’t imagine anyone else having played this role. He gave what I consider a perfect portrayal of a New York investigative reporter turned giant screw-up would be like. Couldn’t be happier with that casting decision. And let’s not forget the antagonist(s) Carlton Drake/Riot, played by Riz Ahmed. Going into this movie, I wasn’t too sure what to think of Riz Ahmed taking on this role, simply because I am unfamiliar with his previous work and just going off his appearance he didn’t strike me as someone who could be the walking tank Riot, but he proved me wrong very quickly. The thing that surprised me most is how quickly he was able to “flip the script” going from this smooth talking, conman type that was convincing people to do the experiments and inspiring children and turning into this near moral-less killer that the host of Riot would need to be. Now let’s talking about the two people who I’m excited to see take on bigger roles in the future, the first of which being Michelle Williams who plays Anne Weying, Eddie’s love interest. For those of you unaware, Anne Weying eventually becomes another symbiote called She-Venom, and we get a small little glimpse of this in the movie. Now this doesn’t mean that in this current Venom cinematic universe that we will ever get to see She-Venom as its own character, or that it will ever be mentioned again, but the possibility of it is something to look forward to. And I feel as though Michelle Williams does an amazing job playing Anne Weying just simply as plot furthering character, but I feel like she would do amazing taking on a larger role such as She-Venom in the future. The other actor I’m excited to see more of is Woody Harrelson who is going to be playing Cletus Kasady, otherwise known as Carnage. For those of you unaware of who Carnage is Venom’s main enemy throughout his respective series’. Carnage is like if you took Jack the Ripper and Jeffrey Dahmer, mixed them together and gave them Venom’s abilities. Carnage is not one to be messed with, and Cletus (Carnage’s host) is someone that shouldn’t be messed with either, being a sociopath and serial killer. I’ve always liked Woody Harrelson, because to me he has always had this slight bit of crazy about him, and now for this role he gets to really let that out and show us just how crazy he can really be.
Overall Rating: 9.9 / 10 A+
While I’m aware that the movie got some negative feedback from critics and some fans, I still thought this was a very solid movie and story that did the character justice. I very much look forward to how the story will continue, especially with Disney buying up most of the Marvel characters. I’m sure there’s somebody out there who disagrees with me, and that’s okay, I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on either my review of the movie or the movie itself.
I know it’s a little late, but I’m going to say this on every Marvel post I make.