“Venom” had several issues, prior to release. Tom Hardyblatantly said 30-40 minutes of his favorite footage was cut, the film was going for the R rating mostly for the gore attribute, the rumors appear too be true that “Spiderman” is not in the film and apparently will likely not be involved in the “Venom” standalone trilogy.
“Venom” director Ruben Fleischer (“Gangster Squad”, not a fan of “Zombie land”) doesn’t seem to know how to keep a great comic book action movie going. We only get a pinch of plot in the intro, as a spacecraft returning to Earth crashes on re-entry. It turns-out there’s some important cargo on board: samples of an alien life form. And one of the creatures escapes.
The crazy scientist Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) in control of the mission has convinced nearly everyone he’s working on a cure for cancer and wants to make the world a better place. Hardy’s Eddie Brock is an investigative reporter with his own TV show, who tries to reveal the truth. In the process he eventually becomes one with the parasite/symbiote.
It took nearly an hour for the movie to set its plot up. There are several scenes that play-out like a bad romantic comedy. This includes numerous corny moments involving Eddie’s relationship with fiancée Anne, played by Michelle Williams, the weirdest scene with a lobster tank.
The rest of the supporting cast includes Riz Ahmed (“Nightcrawler”) who at the tail end is holstering his on parasite/symbiote no surprise there, Jenny Slate(“Gifted”) and Reid Scott (TV’s “Veep” and “Great News”).
The coolest thing with “Venom” is the actual design of Venom the creature who takes over Eddie’s mind and, when he gets really angry, his entire body. Venom is one of the cooler looking on-screen CGI comic book characters of recent years. But while the action scenes involving Eddie/Venom are welcome following the long opening drought, each fight scene seems to get worse. Very little of what happens is unpredictable on top of that nearly every fight takes place at night time.
The 3D format was not used at all though, there seemed to be several scenes were it could have elevated the action. The final battle with a rocket and the two symbiote creatures fighting was poorly done, for one it was really dark and very hard to tell what was going on.
Venom does go back and forth on the comedic train to more serious like Marvel to DC with his one-liners. But for the most part he’s quite psychotic. Hardy single handedly saved this film from the trash pile. Hopefully with the set up of the post credits scene the sequel will have better luck and see some Carnage. I’m curious if the missing 30-40 minutes that Hardy mentioned will be part of theBlu-ray/DVD release.
PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language)
They do push the rating limit here IMDB has a pretty good description
- Venom bites three people’s heads off (one off-screen). No blood visible but it is graphic for a PG-13 film. On the second occasion, you see the headless body get thrashed around.
- Strong language for a PG-13 superhero film. Contains an f-word, 21 uses of ‘sh*t’, including 2-3 uses of ‘bulllsh*t’ and one use of ‘pu**y’
I give it a C+