Leave it up to Sony to attach the Marvel brand to a huge celebrity name like Tom Hardy and still manage to disappoint the audience. Honestly, messing up a Marvel movie is almost as impressive as messing up a Star Wars movie. Looking at you Kathleen Kennedy. I’m not saying Venom was a terrible movie but in terms of the MCU, as well as Tom Hardy, it was a colossal disappointment. Let me break it down further in this Venom movie review.
If you’re a big fan of Spider-Man then this movie will mean nothing more to you than the average joe sitting next to you in the theater. If you’re a Deadpool fan and are hoping for maybe some gruesome deaths performed by Venom, save your money. This is a movie about Tom Hardy playing an outspoken beat reporter, named Eddie, on a mission to expose evil people that commit crimes against humanity. Image Joe Rogan reporting for Vice to air on TMZ. As ridiculous as that sounds, it didn’t bother me too much because what other kind of reporter was Tom Hardy going to be able to portray?
Can you guess what happens next? That’s right, Eddie asks the wrong evil rich guy the wrong questions and gets his life turned upside down. Is that going to stop hard-core beat reporter Tom Hardy from investigating? Hell no. After gaining access to his evil laboratory, Eddie is getting proof of his evil research techniques when he gets infected with an alien virus, Venom. This is where the movie finally started to pick up. Unfortunately, the first part of the movie was dreadfully slow.
Tom Hardy’s performance of communicating with the voice inside his head, telling him to do evil things when no one else can hear him, is quite entertaining. Although entertaining, it wasn’t as humorous as Deadpool’s 3rd wall breaks and didn’t feel as original as Upgrade, which also came out earlier this year. Not only did the relationship between the main characters and the extremely dangerous internal voices mimic each other but Logan Marshall-Green’s performance in Upgrade even reminded me of Tom Hardy quite a bit.
Venom had plenty of great actors yet managed to suffer from very disappointing performances. Eddie’s love interest, played by Michelle Williams, felt very forced. Although Michelle Williams has proven to be a very competent actress, I couldn’t help but imagine Kate McKinnon’s role in Masterminds. This is mostly due to the fact that the character felt so artificial that it could have been written for a comedy. I swear, they even had the same fake smile. Speaking of characters that reminded me of comedy roles, Jenny Slate played a quirky scientist. Although Slate has been able to play fine roles previously, I couldn’t stop thinking of her character in a skit from the Kroll Show.
Riz Ahmed played the antagonist, which sounds great because on his amazing performance in The Night Of. Unfortunately, Riz was just not able to pull-off the evil version of Elon Musk that he was scripted for. As I previously mentioned, Tom Hardy gave the best performance in the movie. Although I wouldn’t normally imagine Tom as a reporter, he did a fine enough job and was entertaining with the internal conflict between himself and Venom. That being said, it wasn’t even close to Tom’s best performance and I expected much more for his debut in a Marvel movie.
Per usual, the Chairgatin’ movie review scoring system consist of American flag recliners, which are good for obvious reasons, and fedoras which are bad, also for obvious reasons. 5 recliners represent the best and 5 fedoras represents the worst. I’m awarding Venom two recliners; an entertaining action movie that was disappointing flawed overall.
Overall, Venom was a massive disappointment, as I initially mentioned. It wasn’t necessarily a bad film but debuting Tom Hardy in a stand-alone Venom movie deserved so much more. Director Ruben Fleischer was also responsible for Zombieland, which made the mediocrity of Venom that much more disappointing. I guess that’s what you get when you put a PG-13 rating on an R-rated character like Venom. If you plan on making a movie about an alien that eats human heads, I recommend following the Deadpool route.
At the end of the day, I blame the script. Although the action scenes were entertaining enough, the beginning of the film was painfully slow and failed to build any real emotional connections to the characters. This inevitably made it feel like just a massive waste of time but excellent opportunity to go to the bathroom. The script even managed to create extremely dull performances from very capable actors. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when Sony is responsible for delivering a movie with such high expectations.
PS: the first post-credit scene somehow got me more excited for a Venom sequel than the movie itself. That being said, the second post-credit scene reminded me of an animated short before a Pixar movie and I regretted waiting to see it.