Colin Froment & Brian Cohen – Co-editor-in-chief & 1851 staff
Spider-Man supervillain Venom swings back into cinemas in his self-titled film, “Venom,” released on Oct. 6. The film highlights the character’s anti-hero persona on a path of redemption in a film separate from any Marvel film released.
Investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) attempts to revamp his career by investigating the Life Foundation and its sinister founder, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). This causes him to be forcibly bonded with the alien symbiote Venom, giving him superhuman strength, shapeshifting abilities and a constant hunger for human beings. Brock must learn to find the balance between his morals and the symbiote’s cannibalistic intentions in order to take down the Life Foundation.
And the film does get as interesting as it sounds – for the most part.
“Venom” really struggled with pacing. The first half of the film is a large, dull exposition that takes a slow approach focusing on Brock, making fans wait what seems like forever for him to actually become Venom. Once the symbiote finally emerges, there is more excitement to witness, but then the movie feels rushed as it progresses. As the predictable climax comes to a close, the audience is left thinking, “wait, that’s it?”
The film left little time for character development for the supporting cast. Drake is about as generic as it gets when it comes to devious corporation CEOs, even when attached to the murderous symbiote, Riot. Michele Williams as Anne Weying had stand out moments that set her apart from other superhero love interests, but it doesn’t completely make up for some personality flaws she displays in the beginning of the film.
On a less darker side, Hardy proves to be the perfect choice as both Brock and Venom, mixing two very distinct personalities into one character with such ease. The monster unleashes brutal action scenes and displays signature dark humor to create the film’s funniest moments. With a visually striking and frightening appearance, thanks to detailed visual effects, Venom looks ripped straight out of the comic pages for enjoyment.
With a rushed plot that begins at a snail’s pace and dull characters, “Venom” feels like an unfinished product but with a little glimmer of a potentially fun flick. “Venom” is like Play-Doh, a messy but entertaining pile of goop that kids might not want to eat a second time around.