Movie Title: Venom
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. 52 min.
Who did I watch with?: Stephie
Where did I watch it?: Regal Stadium 12 – Swansea, MA
Venom is a great comic book movie that allows Tom Hardy to chew the scenery and opens up a potential path forward without Spider-Man for Sony’s Marvel movies. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) is a dark side equivalent of Elon Musk. Instead of smoking weed with Joe Rogan, he is retrieving aliens from a space asteroid and conducting human experiments in an attempt to alter the genetic makeup of humanity. Not cool. After sending up a mission to retrieve the aliens the space ship burns up on re-entry and a symbiote is let loose in the wild where it raises some hell.
Meanwhile, the specimens that are returned are inserted into homeless people to see if Drake can find a match that will be compatible with the symbiote’s DNA. One of his scientists gets in touch with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) with the information. Eddie is more than a little jaded. He believes Carlton Drake ruined his life single-handed though he had something to do with it. Eventually, he comes around and checks out the tip which leads to his infection by Venom. Brock slowly builds a strong connection with the symbiote who conducts an inner monologue with Brock that is simultaneously disturbing and hilarious. Eddie struggles with his new found companion and that sets the plot for most of the movie until Venom realizes that more than one of his compatriots survived the return to Earth.
The design of Venom is great and definitely helps with the action segments. The humor was unexpected and I was very happy that they didn’t choose to go an extremely dark and gritty route with the movie. Venom is a dark character, but he can also be a lot of fun.
The one complaint I have about the movie is its editing and creation of the final cut. In a perfect world Venom would be rated R. The violence in the movie was not filmed to be implied or comical. This leads to some choppy editing and some seriously bad continuity at certain points in the movie. It was clearly intended to be more graphic, but was cut to make a more audience friendly cut. Hopefully, this will make it possible to produce a Venom 2. Normally, I am very opposed to director’s cuts. If it was really that good you would have left it in the movie. In this case, I understand the reason for the cuts and I can only hope there will be a director’s cut released. The post-credit scenes set up a promising future for a potential Venom franchise. Fingers crossed.
Venom is a delightful movie for any fan of our beloved anti-hero and anyone that hated tap dancing Toby Maguire in Spider-Man 3. Venom is redeemed. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)