By Ceara Kelly, Staff Writer
After the disastrous attempt at the famous Marvel character Venom back in Spider-Man 3, Sony tried to take another swing at it once again. Unfortunately, Venom was yet another miss. This bizarre movie is perfect for your classic edgy middle schooler, but for anyone who doesn’t listen to Eminem as a form of rebellion, it’s just laughable. Instead of taking the hardcore “it’s not a phase mom” route like they did all those years ago, Sony decided to go for a more humorous take. If only any of the jokes landed. Venom suffers from a severe case of taking what is normally an R-rated character and trying to make them more family-friendly, leading to lacking dark humor.
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Plot really isn’t important in this film. Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is somehow possessed by sentient space goo with a taste for human heads and now they are on the run. The villain’s motivation was unclear. An antagonist can be simply evil, but Carlton Drake was less villainous and more a whiny brat who wanted pet aliens. The majority of the movie is just ridiculous fight scenes that aren’t even shown past the first initial punch or two out of fear of pushing up the rating after they used up all their wiggle room with their naughty big kid words.
There’s also very little logic involved. Giant slime monster taking over a person’s body aside, it’s just ridiculous. In the massive chase scene, the villains are working to capture Eddie and study his and Venom’s relationship, and yet they’re throwing explosive drones at him and taking kill shots. Not to mention before he even uses any powers, Drake is saying he’s never seen anything so amazing. Eddie literally was just riding a motorcycle on the wrong side of the street. Five minutes later, the head henchman is shocked by Venom’s powers despite getting beat to a pulp by them not that long ago. The continuity in this movie is nonexistent.
The characters are even less consistent. Eddie Brock himself is a morally riotous nice guy who ruins his fiance’s career just because and then becomes a drunk. Carlton Drake (who is, of course, the only non-white person), lacks all personality other than “I will kill people to go to space.” Venom just decides to save the world because he used to be called a nerd by all his slime brethren. No one had more than one character trait! The only plus of these one-dimensional characters was the hilarious buddy cop dynamic Venom and Eddie had. If this was supposed to be a buddy cop movie, it would easily be above a five, but it’s not; it’s a crummy PG-13 attempt at a morally grey, violent anti-hero who’s allowed to swear.
The visuals for Venom were also a little ridiculous. When Eddie Brock was entirely hidden in the slime of his new parasitical best friend it looks great. Venom looked amazing and accurate to the comic counterpart. Unfortunately, anytime we caught someone with a Symbiote inside them mid-transformation, it looked horrible. It was less Venom flashing over Eddie’s face as he takes over, and more like Kidpix stickers were being stuck on Tom Hardy’s eyes.
In the long run, Venom had potential but was produced with both the wrong rating and genre in mind. While it was fun to laugh at, it’s not worth seeing more than once, seeing as it’s only a step above Venom’s previous cinematic appearance. With a sequel perfectly set up and likely to happen, the roots placed by Venom can create a wonderful comedy if Sony is willing to make the leap and not continue to make Hot Topic’s next big merchandise line.
Watch the trailer here: