HiFi Public recently checked out a screening of Venom, thanks to Star Cineplex. We, just like everyone else on the internet, thought it would not turn out to be a good one. Critics on the internet, such as renowned reviewers on IGN, did not praise the movie. Coming out after watching a screening of it, however, we feel it has been a better movie than most said it was. SPOILER WARNING as we’ll be talking about a few details of the movie not shown in the trailer.
The plot takes a back seat in the first ever Venom movie. It’s not quite as engaging as many of the better MCU films such as Winter Soldier. There are no plot twists, nothing groundbreaking harlot-wisest wise, it’s a pretty run of the mill affair. It’s worth noting that the Venom movie, even though associated with Marvel, does not tie into any of the MCU movies. At least, not in any way that was explicitly mentioned. The story of the movie revolves around the Life Foundation. They sent a spaceship out for recon, which found millions of alien life. These aliens are called symbiotes, just like in the comics.
As the spaceship returned with samples of said life, something goes wrong. One of the symbiotes, later revealed to be Riot, is a leader of the species. This Riot manages to break out of it’s container and infect the Captain of the shuttle, Jameson. If that name sounds familiar, that is because he’s the son of Spider-Man’s biggest critic, J. Jonah Jameson. The plot revolves around the Life Foundation killing homeless people in the name of science. Eddie Brock, disgraced reporter thanks to a run in with the Life Foundation’s CEO, finds this and goes to investigate. This is when he bonds with Venom, and the movie becomes a completely different genre.
Up until this point, the movie was not a comedy. Sure, there were jokes here and there, but the movie seemed serious. Venom, however, is not. He is a funny symbiote who in his words is a loser on his home planet. This is when the movie truly picks up. This also marks the point when we stopped caring for the plot.
Eddie Brock is played exceptionally well by Tom Hardy. Hardy really shines in this movie and makes the role his own. He also voices the Venom symbiote. Venom is the most interesting character in the movie. Even though the trailers make him out to be a badass, he really is not. He’s a real softy on the inside. Even though his original mission is to go back to his own planet and bring an invasion force, he changes his mind because of growing fond of Eddie and his world.
The rest of the cast is just kind of there to support these two protagonists. Michelle Williams plays Anne Weying, Eddie’s ex and his love interest in the film. Riz Ahmed plays a competent antagonist in Carlton Drake. The role could have been better if he was given a better script. Overall, this movie is a story of Eddie and Venom trying to work together, and in a buddy cop way that really works.
The Venom symbiote really shines in the action scenes. The CGI is done well, but it’s nothing special in this day and age. The main gripe I have about this movie is it being rated PG. Without an R rating, it’s exceptionally difficult to portray Venom’s violence. Tom Hardy has mentioned that 40 minutes of the movie has been cut, scenes that he said were his favourite. This makes me think that an R rated directors cut could be on the way, which would be a way better movie than the family friendly Venom. The movie does a good job of making Eddie look clueless as Venom takes over. Venom also looks like an idiot at times, but never when he’s fighting.
Venom is a deeply flawed movie. It has many problems that many superhero movies suffer from. The Venom symbiote is introduced almost halfway into the movie. The characters, aside from Eddie and Venom, are woefully underdeveloped. The ending is also a glorified CGI battle that many have loathed in recent years. The trailers of this movie also did a bad job in portraying that it would be closer to Deadpool than The Dark Knight. Yet, it is a stunningly entertaining movie. We enjoyed watching one of our favourite anti-heroes finally get the right treatment on the big screen. It was a movie that never took itself seriously, yet handled the symbiosis of Venom and Eddie with a surprising degree of maturity.
All in all, it’s a better movie than the critics give it credit for. A solid action-dark comedy, we would give this movie a 7 out of 10.
Watch it on Star Cineplex. It’ll be running this entire month.