Venom: An Entertaining, yet Flawed Introduction to the Anti-hero
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
First seen in Spiderman 3, Venom played by Topher Grace hit all the right notes as the black supervillain. Once again, Venom is back, beefed up with a sinister face and, of course his trademark tongue. The movie hits all the right notes in terms of a horror-superhero origin story, but the shoddy script and the formulaic storyline ends up making the movie a muddle between heroism and slapstick humor.
Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) loses his job as a reporter and strains his relationship with Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) while he investigates Life Foundation, headed by Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). Eddie’s investigation at Life Foundation leads him to a symbiote, where they eventually amalgamate to become Venom.
Venom is single handedly lead by Tom Hardy’s impeccable acting who never slacks in his performance as a helpless, confused and broken individual who is yet to come in terms with his loss. Eddie becomes the perfect match for the symbiote Venom who manages to entertain with the dark humor. Riz Ahmed plays his role with mysterious poise, and who is least assumed to play the host of the Riot symbiote. Sony could have retained the spoilers of revealing Riot’s identity in the clips and the movie that could have worked for the movie.
Michelle Williams’ role is reduced to the role of an extended cameo and a distraught girlfriend who helps Eddie in an unexpected sequence. Venom tries to bring out the chemistry between the symbiote and Eddie and it works through-out the movie, especially in the climax sequence. There are sequences where Eddie jumps into a helpless Venom while fighting Riot and Venom coming to rescue Eddie, after being struck. There is one dialogue where Venom says that he is a loser in his world just like Eddie. Despite being self-centered characters, the chemistry between the two in the end credits, hints at a change in the characterization of Tom Hardy and Venom in the sequels.
Sony has tried to cash in on the popular anti-hero with slapstick humor followed by Marvel’s Deadpool, and it has worked in parts. Has it tried to reach the standards of a Marvel superhero movie? No. Venom is entertaining; it is an unabashed fun film with plenty of don’t-mess-with-me style fights and dialogues. The CGI is impressive and the transformation scenes with Eddie are on point. There is plenty of scope for Venom to become a cult superhero horror-comedy movie. The first end-credit scene featuring Cletus Kassady (Woody Harrelson) shows us there is still light at the end of the tunnel.