Venom has been the coolest Spider-Man villain since the webslinger first encountered him.
In my eyes Venom is to Spider-Man as Joker is to Batman. This is an absolutely massive character to see on the big screen and as such should carry quite high expectations. We haven’t seen him since Spider-Man 3 and we all know how that movie went. You would hope Sony kept all of this in mind while planning a whole new universe for Venom.
I’ll start with the general premise of where the Venom (2018) takes the character. Making Venom into an anti-hero is actually an idea with merit and not even very out of the blue as he has been in that position in previous stories. The lack of Spider-Man himself was also rather surprising to me but I can see why it was done and I don’t think it’s a deal breaker. Once again we’ve also seen it before in previous stories.
As an origin movie it’s pretty standard to have to wait a fair amount of time before getting into the fun part yet I feel like we have to wait just a little too long in Venom (2018). Other movie series generally make this wait more than bearable with interesting characters and stories like Bruce Wayne or even Peter Parker. However this time there is Eddie Brock and in this universe he’s just not all that fun to watch, he’s just a guy with a life that sucks.
Once the movie does start to kickoff it does get more fun and a lot of that is carried by the visuals. Venom (2018) has some great action scenes and chases but it’s best to just sit back and enjoy the ride during them as nothing absolutely spectacular happens. On the topic of visuals, the starring symbiote himself does look charmingly menacing and you can almost feel the impact of anything or anyone he strikes down.
While Venom might look great his dialogue is where I really started questioning the film. It’s almost as if the lines were just copy pasted from the Saturday morning cartoons I watched at 9 years old. Don’t get me wrong they worked great for the cartoons but it just felt so out of place in what was meant to feel like a more (but not 100%) serious film with plenty of violence and eating of heads.
Overall it felt like Sony were trying to do too many different things that don’t mesh well together. There’s all the forced comedy that goes from start to finish combined with some fairly intense action scenes at times containing some pretty violent ideas. It felt a little too childish for an adult yet I wouldn’t really take young children to see it.
Venom (2018) is definitely one of those movies that’s fun to watch with some mates but don’t expect anything to stand out. I certainly cringed at a few moments and unfortunately it was just enough to put myself off. I’m interested in the path Sony is taking with the new Universe but if they fail to make Venom of all characters exciting then I’m not very confident I’ll enjoy any sequels.
Running Time: 122 MIN
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott
Production Studio: Marvel Studios
Distributor: Sony Pictures