I will admit I was very excited when I saw the first teaser trailer for Venom. The Spider-Man comics were some of the few that I read growing up and the character of Venom was always intriguing to me. I liked the he was the opposite of Spider-Man and that he eventually became Spider-Man’s rival. That’s enough of me geeking out to Venom.
This is the second time we have seen Eddie Brock/Venom on the big screen. We first saw Venom on the big screen in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, which I thought was not a good movie and definitely the worst installment of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. I don’t have enough time to explain everything that was wrong with that film.
This is a time where comic book/superhero movies are everywhere. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers, DC Extended Universe, Justice League, Suicide Squad and X-Men just to name a few. Venom follows Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy, one of my favorite actors) who plays an investigative reporter living in San Francisco. He is investigating the Life Foundation corporation and Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) and finds out they have begun human trials to take these “symbiotes” and see if they can bond with human hosts to complete full symbiosis.
Eddie is on to something but things take a turn for the worse for him. He steals information from his fiancé Anne (Michelle Williams, not one of her best performances) which leaves his personal life in shambles as he loses his job and his fiancé. Six months later Eddie is approached by Dr. Skirth (Jenny Slate) who wants to help him expose Drake and what his corporation is doing. They break into the lab and he does find the evidence he needs but he also discovers that they are conducting human trials and even recognizes one of the test subjects. She inadvertently transfers the symbiote to Eddie.
Eddie immediately notices the changes and is the first human to successfully complete symbiosis with the symbiote. The symbiote introduces himself as Venom and explains that the symbiotes are looking to invade planets and possess the inhabitants of each planet. Venom makes a deal with Eddie, that he will spare his life if he helps the symbiotes achieve their goal.
I don’t want to reveal the ending of the film because I want everyone to experience it on their own. I will say that I really enjoyed the gritty, dark tone of the film. I was originally hoping that this would be an R-rated film so it could be a bit darker and more graphic (like Logan, one of my favorite films from 2017). I know they kept the film PG-13 just in case Venom decides to appear in the MCU.
See why Tom Hardy and Venom are a symbiotic dream team in the #1 Movie in the World for a second week in a row. pic.twitter.com/Zcn4DljauP
— Venom (@VenomMovie) October 18, 2018
I really enjoyed Tom Hardy’s performance in this film. The relationship between Eddie Brock and Venom was fun to watch and to watch it develop throughout the film. You can tell Eddie starts to enjoy some of the abilities he gains from being bonded with Venom. Hardy does a much better job than Topher Grace, who portrayed Venom in Spider-Man 3. Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed and Jenny Slate are good in supporting roles and I thought Ahmed, in particular, was a decent antagonist. I also felt that the movie was the right length and it didn’t really have any parts that seemed to drag or that ever really lost my interest.
This film has been very successful and I would expect a sequel to be coming out in the next couple of years. I like this idea because it will allow seeing how Venom has adapted and changed since we last saw him. The only SPOILER I will post in this review is that they do have some post-credits scenes that do an excellent job of setting up the sequel with the next potential antagonist.
Many critics have been bashing this film but I will say that I enjoyed this film and I do think that they have room to improve with the sequel and it would also be interesting to see if Venom does make an appearance within the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next couple years.
Venom movie grade: B-