Venom: Dumb and fun

Leonardo Paley

The fate of “Venom” has been in constant question since it was announced. Functioning outside of the MCU, and after Marvel had bought the rights for Spider-Man, expectations for the film were low. Somehow, Tom Hardy and Director Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”, “30 Minutes or Less”, “Gangster Squad”) were able to capture the essence of Venom almost perfectly.

Admittedly, the plot for the film is mediocre at best. The film takes too long to introduce its title character into the spotlight, the villain is generic and unexplained, and the supporting cast isn’t given much thought of depth. That being said, when Venom does finally show up, the film picks up significantly.

Despite a lack of a captivating overarching story, the relationship portrayed between Eddie Brock and the symbiote Venom is well done and amusing at times. Tom Hardy’s ability as an actor certainly carries the film. Emmy Award winning actor Riz Ahmed is given a disappointingly weak antagonistic role. Ahmed plays a cliche one-note villain in the vain of Obadiah Shaw or Gillian Murphy; wealthy beyond imagination and running a company that does shady work behind closed doors.

The film also takes the time, similar to this year’s “The Predator,” to add in a message from the antagonist about the doom our planet faces due to global warming, which in this context feels even more out of place than it did in “The Predator.”

One of the things the film does manage to do well is the action sequences. Fully utilizing the new Sony Picture Studios post production stages, the film’s visual effects are fun to view in theaters, despite being mostly spoiled by the film’s trailer.

Despite a slow first act and a lackluster finale, the second act and the build up to the finale capture the character of Venom immaculately, and are entertaining to sit through. There is something to be said for films that are able to capture the essence of a character well. While Venom is certainly not a great film, for fans of the character it is a relief to see him handled well, and an enjoyable watch. If you’re not a fan of Venom as a character, it’s still a decent movie, but it may be best to wait for it to be available on a streaming platform or to rent.

Rating: 2 / 5 Sails

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