When Eddie Brock, a report based in San Francisco, starts investigating Carlton Drake he discovers and merges with the alien symbiote Venom. While this leaves him with superhuman strength and power, Venom proves to have a dark side that Eddie has trouble controlling.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: D)
Those who are familiar with the character of Venom from either past Spider-Man movies or the comics will recognize why this movie fails to satisfy right away: instead of creating a movie that stays true to the character of Venom, Fox Studios decided to change the fundamental base of the character. In other words, they turned him into a hero. Instead of exploring the much more interesting (and MUCH darker, Venom is a villain in every sense of the word) storylines from the comics, they bafflingly gave him a redemption arch. This is the first and most devastating mistake that the movie makes, and everything that comes after just becomes a confusing mess. Even the tagline Marvel decided to attach to the film (“The world has enough superheroes”) becomes mystifying after watching this movie, as it directly contradicts what actually happens in the movie.
The only standout moments from this movie are provided by Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises), who does his best with the character Marvel/Fox gave him. He manages to eke out a few intense scenes and some laughs along the way, but ultimately even his best efforts suffer from studio tropes and end up mostly falling flat.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR FAMILY?
Venom is rated PG 13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language. Parents should be aware that there are a lot of intense sequences of violence. While those sequences don’t result in a lot of gore, Venom does eat the heads of several of his enemies on screen and off. In addition, guns and hand to hand combat are used frequently and often result in the deaths of characters.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Everyone has a right to a life they chose.
For a truly great Tom Hardy movie, look no further than the MMA family drama Warrior, which is one of our favorite films of the past decade. Rent or buy it here.
Lindsi Neilson currently works for Brigham Young University in the Theatre and Media Arts department, and is a freelance technical director and stage manager for several theatre companies in the Utah Valley area. In her free time she loves photography, stand up paddle-boarding, running 5k’s, reading, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and (you guessed it!) watching movies. For more of Lindsi’s writing visit lindsimichellephotography.blogspot.com.