Should You See It?



There seems to be a point when critics and the audience find themselves at odds against each other. Sony Pictures’ “Venom” is a prime example of this debate, currently sitting at a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. Conversely, It is maintaining an audience score of 89%. There has also been confusion on whether or not this film is connected to Spider-Man at all, but to make it clear, this movie makes no mention or connection to Spider-Man. “Venom” is the first of Sony’s own marvel universe, separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ironically, this new film universe is centered around Spider-Man characters, excluding the wall-crawler himself. Controversy aside, the film is out, critics are appalled and audiences are enthralled. What do I think? Well, before critiquing the movie, we should take a look at the subject matter and its origins.

The Venom symbiote first appeared The Amazing Spider-Man #252 as Peter Parker’s sleek, new suit. After being separated from Spider-Man, the suit bonded with Eddie Brock and made his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #299 and #300 in 1988. Eddie Brock, in the comics, is a brute of a man. He’s a more than avid weightlifter and reporter, whose life was ruined all within a single day. Eddie Brock and Venom were created as the perfect foil to Peter Parker/Spider-Man by artist Todd McFarlane and writer David Michelinie. The new villain was a hit with readers and quickly became one of Spider-Man’s most recognizable foes. The question is, how does he work in a movie? Going one step further, How does a Venom movie work without Spider-Man?

When reviewing this movie, I had to look at it from two sides. One, how it works as a film and two, how it works as a comic book adaptation. As a translation from comic book to movie, “Venom” succeeds. As a film, it’s mediocre. The character of Eddie Brock, portrayed brilliantly by Tom Hardy, has some changes to his character. However, these changes are for the better, making his character an easier protagonist to follow and somewhat likeable. When Eddie suits up as the titular character, he looks like he was pulled straight from the comics, excluding the infamous spider symbol that is absent from his chest. Almost everything in the movie, feels as if it were a comic brought to life. Unfortunately, that can also be to the film’s detriment. “Venom” has some odd humor like the comics, but sometimes it doesn’t translate well. It’s a minor gripe, but it is noticeable.

The movie’s writing is weak, but is saved by some key character moments and Tom Hardy’s energetic performance. Though the movie is packed with phenomenal actors, their skill is put to very little use. Michelle Williams’ character, Anne Weying, is intriguing, but is halted by her lack of chemistry with Tom Hardy. Her character was given more to do than I thought, particularly in one key scene that I found extremely enjoyable. Riz Ahmed, who portrays Dr. Carlton Drake, is a run of the mill bad guy, but I don’t think that it hurts the film. He does what he needs to do as an antagonist and he’s not trying to reinvent what it means to be a villain, he’s doing solely what the plot calls for. That can be said for the majority of the film. It’s pretty average, but stands out with unique and exciting character moments. Unlike other franchises, the whole movie isn’t geared towards setting up other movies. It’s relatively self contained, at least until the post-credit scenes, which is more than worth waiting for.

The film is accompanied by composer Ludwig Göransson. Göransson also composed other works such as “Creed”, “Black Panther”, and worked closely with Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino). To Göransson’s credit, the soundtrack emulates the character of Venom, but doesn’t stand out from any other typical movie score. There are moments where the music is extremely vibrant and chilling, setting the mood, making the movie feel a bit more “alien” (in a good way).

The visual effects of “Venom” vary, looking great in most shots, but some look very mediocre. Venom himself looks great, but there’s a battle in the final act that becomes very hard to follow and is muddled with an overuse of cgi.

Though the film has spotty cgi and a weak script, “Venom” is fun to watch. It’s entertaining at the very least and is definitely worth the price of admission. Again, as a film, it’s mediocre and seems very standard. This film does have really good moments though. The film is good, but it’s not great. That’s why I give “Venom” a 7/10. Do you agree with my review? Comment below and let me know what you think of Sony Pictures’ “Venom”.