When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.
The latest Marvel film to hit cinemas is ‘Venom’, a film focusing on a villain from the ‘Spider-Man’ comics who is played here by Tom Hardy. Hardy plays Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist who becomes bound to an alien life form after he breaks into a research facility for ‘The Life Foundation’, a bioengineering corporation ran by Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). I found ‘Venom’ to be an odd film and it’s clear the filmmakers aren’t exactly sure how to tell this kind of story, as it awkwardly moves between dark body horror, comedy and action to varying degrees of success. You can tell a lot has been cut out of the film to ensure a 12A rating and there are key plot developments that just happen without the necessary scenes to set them up. The success of films like ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’ should have cleared a path to making ‘Venom’ at least a 15, if not R-rated, but it seems to have caused conflict for the filmmakers that plays out on screen.
Despite this, there are elements to enjoy about ‘Venom’. It is occasionally humorous and Hardy has a strong presence, and even the messy tonal shifts are quite fun to follow at times. The script is predictable and there’s limited depth given to any of the other characters (partly a result of scenes being cut I suspect) but as mindless escapism without the heavy handed approach of some of Marvel’s recent efforts I liked it. As it starts to lean into the Brock/Venom dynamic it finds some joy, even as the ‘Venom’ character’s motivations make no sense, and the action sequences are fast and frenetic, if not always clear to follow what is going in.
‘Venom’ isn’t the dud some would have you think, but it is a clear example of the end result that can occur when a film is chopped apart in post production to satisfy the ratings board. That being said, a superhero film clocking in at around 90 minutes today is a rare thing and should be cherished!
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Michelle Lee, Mac Brandt and Jenny Slate