Extremely disappointing. The directing and style felt flat and uninspired, as well as tone-deaf, uneven and messy, and the pacing felt sluggish and it takes way too long for Venom to show up. In all honesty, the only parts that I liked were the Venom scenes. He was a really entertaining character, even if it takes a while for him to arrive.
Tom Hardy’s acting was fine, but his attempt at an American accent made it impossible for me to connect with his character or take him seriously, especially with him interacting with American actors. Granted, he was nowhere near as bad as Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3.
The supporting characters never worked. Michelle Williams had nothing interesting about her. Jenny Slate was completely miscast and I never bought her character. Riz Ahmed tried his best, given his weak character.
There is also something else I noticed. The movie desperately felt like it wanted to be set in New York, but it couldn’t do that because Spider-Man is in New York, and setting this in New York would have been too on-the-nose, so they set the movie in San Francisco.
Side note: If you are wondering if there is a scene at the end of the credits, there is a sneak peak for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, but keep in mind, you will have to wait through 15 minutes of end credits. Not even joking.
Venom takes the massive, viscous and vicious dark alien "suit" from Ted Raimi's Spider-Man 3 and Marvel Comics that had bonded to Journalist Eddie Brock and gives him his own story to rampage through. Eddie here is a decent man trying to bring down an utterly unethical scientist named Carlton Drake who is willing to experiment on and kill innocent human test subjects in his pursuit of fame and curing human frailties. When an alien parasite is discovered, Drake immediately begins lethal human testing while seeking out suitable hosts. Eddie and his fiancee, Ann, are both fired from their jobs when Eddie blows an interview with Drake. Things go from bad to weird when Eddie gets a scoop that leads him to Drake's lab and the Venom organism bonds with him. The two, merged, find common cause to stop Drake and another version of the parasite from causing the destruction of Earth by a full-scale invasion by the creatures. Violent, fast-paced and fairly faithful to the source material, Venom can entertain fans of the anti-hero as well as those new to his brand of chaos.Erik M.
I saw this movie in theaters.
It was actually much better than I anticipated. I went into this movie with low expectations and having already spoiled a bit by online reviews by the likes of Doug Walker.
As far as a film goes on it's own... it isn't really all that bad when you break it down and look at it. The pacing is choppy at some points and the editing was awful in several situations. In fact I'm pretty sure the whole plot hole about the old Asian lady taking 6 months to find the little girl was probably the result of bad editing. But the characters aren't really all bad. The villain works, even if his motivations are weak and unexplained. But the actor behind the role did his best and really made him have a strong presence on screen. I just felt the Symbiote he got paired with, Riot, was to singular.
The acting from Tom Hardy was really well done, his talents shining through in the otherwise dull spectacle of a typical Sony film. The movie oftentimes couldn't decide what genera or tone it was going for, switching between horror suspense, to straight up hero action, to dark comedy, to buddy comedy, or just straight up comedy. Movies can switch around like this and work, but this one does not. When there are interactions between Eddie and Venom where the film turns into a more buddy comedy, it really works great. If the whole film had been done that way, it could have been great!
But as it is, the movie was held back. Trying to be too dark and serious at times with the subject matter, but constrained by a PG-13 rating. And even for a PG-13 film... it felt censored. It was like borderline PG. It really feels this movie was killed in the editing.
And I've even heard that Tom Hardy has stated that a lot of the film was cut out, including most of his favorite scenes.
This movie really had potential, but fell flat in too many aspects. There is also the strange thing of Venom existing in a world without Spider-Man. They tried to make it work with a more original origin story here... but still it looms over the film like a shadow and something missing. Seriously, having a Venom movie without Spider-man is dumb. Like what if they decided to make a Joker film set in the 80's without Batman?.. oh wait.
Now one thing, and spoiler alert... in the end credits scene, it's revealed that Woody Harrelson is in prison playing the part of Cletus Kasady. Who is the psychotic murder that becomes Carnage... I can not wait for the sequel now! I can fully get behind Woody playing that part and I'm super excited to see how he does it. The movie will be a ton of fun just for him alone. Just hopefully they learn from this film and improve the next. Like... if it's a film about Carnage... you can't do PG-13. You just can't. Learn from Logan and Deadpool.
I'm right on the fens of giving this movie 3 and 4 stars. I would give it 3 and 1/2 if I could. I'll just round up to 4 stars.
Mistake Status: I saw a few in theaters, forgot most of them by the time I got home but submitted the 3 I remembered. Like all superhero movies, I'll get to it eventually and really break it a part. That's my bread and butter
Plot hole: At the angle of descent and the speed it was traveling (still burning from reentry even), when the space shuttle crashed in the opening of the film, it would not have left much of anything behind. The kinetic explosion that would have resulted would have downed the forest around it for a good distance leaving a crater, and the clean up crews would have been lucky to find any piece of the ship itself still intact bigger than a football. Much less been able to find any discernible remains of the crew. Yet bodies were being taken out in still relatively good condition. And probably most unbelievable is that the glass containers holding the Symbiotes were not even broken.Quantom X
Venom: You come in here again, in fact, you go anywhere in this city preying on innocent people and we will find you and eat both your arms and then both of your legs and then we will eat your face right off your head. Do you understand?
Venom: Yes. So, you will be this armless, legless, faceless thing, won't you? Rolling down the street, like a turd in the wind. Do you feel me?
Robber: What the hell are you?
[Venom's face partially opens to reveal Eddie's face]
Eddie/Venom: We...are Venom.
[Venom's face fully reforms]
Venom: On second thought.
[Venom kills the robber].
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