Was ‘Venom’ Really that Bad?
It’s been a week since Venom, starring Tom Hardy, has hit theaters. Since then, reviews have not been too kind to it, although moviegoers seem to have the opposite opinion. So what’s the verdict? Is Venom really that bad or is it worth seeing on the big screen? Here’s our spoiler-free review.
Before we get into it, let’s clear some things out of the way. No, this movie is not part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it does not exist in the same world as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. This is also not a sequel to the infamous Spider-Man 3 in which Venom appears for a short while, played by Topher Grace. Venom is its own movie with no connection to any other iteration. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it.
Tom Hardy stars as Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist living in San Francisco. Life becomes rough when one of his stories has a negative impact on his life.
The movie starts off fairly slow as we get to know Eddie and his quirks. Other reviews have said negative things about the pacing of Venom but I see it as a good thing. Most comic book movies fail to flesh out their characters before getting into the bulk of their stories. Venom does a good job at introducing Eddie Brock to the audience before he becomes the anti-hero.
However, he’s the only character who is fleshed out in this way. The protagonist, played by Riz Amed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), is one of the first characters we meet, however, we’re not really given a decent explanation to his motives or logic. The intro to the movie sees Amed’s character coming into possession of various Symbiotes that he wishes to perform tests on in order to utilize their abilities to help mankind- or his own ego.
I’d be lying if I said that Venom wasn’t corny at times, but it seemed intentional to me. The campy nature of the movie works for a story with such fantastical subject matter. I mean, how good can a movie about sentient space slime really be? I think the movie does well with the characters it’s given.
The real movie begins when Brock is introduced to the Symbiote known as Venom. The dynamic between the two is what really keeps the audience interested and genuinely entertained. There is some laugh out loud moments between the two characters that get you really invested in them as a pair.
The movie falls apart a bit within the plot. Without giving anything away, the plot seems very rushed and very little is explained when it came to the relationship between the Symbiotes and their goal.
Venom is introduced as comic-relief more than anything, explaining very little about what his goal is. In fact, when we finally find out what his goal while on Earth was, it’s extremely underwhelming. Lazy writing forces him to immediately change plans, which I’m guessing was the writers’ way to force a reason to have the hero and villain oppose each other.
Overall, the action was great and the character dynamics were where the movie really shines. Tom Hardy does a fantastic job at winning the hearts of the audience. Fight and chase scenes will keep your eyes locked on the screen and jokes are squeezed in to keep you laughing.
Look, Venom is not a great movie by any means. But it’s also not as bad as the reviews from the mainstream media. Does it have flaws? Yes, but what movie doesn’t? It’s highly entertaining and the story easy to follow. You’ll enjoy the movie regardless and leave satisfied.
Also, don’t forget to stay for one mid-credit scene and one end credit scene. Both are underwhelming.