Movie Review: Venom

Sony’s attempts to continue trying to make a Spider-Man cinematic universe. Unfortunately for all involved, they chose to try to do a Spider-Man character without the help of Spider-Man. By some reports, it doesn’t even exist in the known Spider-Man universe. However, it seems Sony believes they can try and build a universe without the help of Marvel.

After viewing the film, it has dawned on me that this film will appeal to anyone that has no knowledge of the character. Even people that saw Spider-Man 3, they will be thrown from the completely reworked origin story of the character. The mere plot, as to how Venom got to Earth, will frustrate fans of the character. Without dwelling on the comic nerd aspect, it is important to look at the issues as a film.

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Venom is a klusterfuck of a movie. The narrative is all over the place. We are introduced to the symbiote, who somehow manages to travel halfway across the world without knowing how to travel. It takes nearly an hour before Venom makes contact with Eddie Brock. Even a bit longer before it officially becomes Venom. The narrative spends a lot of time expanding Brock and Carlton Drake’s character.

“God has abandoned us… I won’t.”

It is difficult to understand the choices of Tom Hardy’s character. There are many times when he is charming, but he seems to have a disorder. Riz Ahmed’s portrayal of the sinister billionaire evil science guy is cringe-worthy. He was short of tapping his fingers together like Mister Burns. Jenny Slate’s Dr. Skirth was a waste of film. The character’s only service was to bring Brock back to link with Venom.

It has been wildly reported, and confirmed, that Michelle Williams took the role for the money. As well as the ability to work with Hardy.  While she did do the best she could with the role given, she was wasted in this film. It reminded me of Rachel McAdams’ role in Doctor Strange – a role beneath her. However, some of the best moments were from her. That wig was distracting though.

Like a turd in the wind.

Ruben Fleischer’s direction was all over the place. While he tried to pack in as much backstory into the film, he sort of forgot about the plot. The plot seemed to expand when the story needed it. The symbiotes were about to be the Spider-Man version of Predators? His filmography is about as scattered as the film. With hits like Zombieland and episodes of Superstore and Santa Clarita Diet. He, also, made 30 Minutes or Less and Gangster Squad.

If you have no clue as to the original origin story of Venom, you will enjoy the film. It is designed as light summer box office fare in October. Talented actors are wasted on a disjointed script. Fast CG action made it difficult to see what was actually happening. However, if you know the character – maybe he’s even your favorite – it’s a bit better than Spider-Man 3. But, not by much.

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