I didn’t pay an ounce of attention really when Venom was announced. Another Sony attempt at a Spidey character that I’ve come to know and love over the past 30 years…not going to lie, very low expectations, especially with the last Venom we got on the big screen.
As time went on, my interest piqued slightly with the announcement of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. Still, I kind of ignored it. I assumed we’d get a the bulk of the film as an origin, build up and teases, and then we get Venom in the final act.
Once the first trailer in February dropped, my fears were eased substantially. I didn’t rush out opening night, and I avoided most reviews and spoilers. The previews showed us Venom, and I thought that would be something reserved for the big screen reveal.
I started noticing a lot of positive buzz. More and more friends saying very good things, and my various social media feeds seemed to very positive, so I gave in. I’m glad I did.
Venom strays a bit from the origins I knew 30 years ago, but, in context and bringing things to current…it makes so much sense how Venom comes to life on Earth, and how the symbiote eventually joins with Eddie.
Speaking of Eddie, Tom Hardy crushes it in the role. He does an absolutely incredible job of showing so many sides of a character in a short time. As a long time fan who is well indoctrinated in most things Venom, the first 30-45 minutes or so really seemed slow to me, but I understand why it was needed.
The film does a good job establishing this Eddie Brock and building a universe around him. It shows us what drives him, shows what he loves, we see him be scared at times, a bit of a pushover when he’s not investigating…and then we get to see how all those things change as the symbiote starts bonding more and they communicate.
I honestly thought we were going to be teased for most of the movie with this symbiote in him, then magic happens, much sooner than I expected Venom appears, and business picks up substantially. I caught myself smiling ear to ear.
There is a lot of chaos and destruction, often times pushing the limits of that PG-13 rating, though I feel a hard R would have benefitted this one. Some of the big action gets a little muddled, things move so quickly, a lot of this film is nighttime in the dark…obviously Venom is dark, visually I would have enjoyed some more contrasts and feel like they did a disservice to the city where it all takes place.
The way jokes are interwoven are really good and it all feels natural. The banter between Eddie and Venom is glorious, and Venom doesn’t mind taking a solid dig.
The bad guy, I mean…it’s a tired concept. It’s basically another smooth talking mad scientist. Don’t get me wrong, acting wise I thought he did well and possessed the charisma a character like that would need to get people to get behind him.
Seeing Eddie and Brock start to form that literal bond was a lot of fun. Seeing Venom start to takeover when needed was cool and the way Eddie slowly came to grips with being together with Venom was enjoyable.
Oddly enough, and how it works is beyond me…it almost turns into a buddy cop flick on steroids as they really start working together. We even see some compassion peak out of Venom occasionally. This movie also does a good job of pushing Venom as an anti-hero instead of just a big scary bad guy.
They do a lot of very cool things with the symbiotes throughout the movie, and nothing ever really felt forced. There are a lot of little nods and some stuff jumped straight out of the pages of the books.
I could just keep going and going. It was a really fun ride and one that should be enjoyed on the big screen. Some superhero previews as well. As always stick around after the credits. Especially for the mid credits scene if nothing else. Actually, I’m demanding you stay for the mid-credits. The end of credits scene is nice too.
Solid cast and a solid story. I can’t believe how much I enjoyed Venom. Give it a shot, it was a very fun ride and there’s plenty of potential for more to come! If you’ve seen it, let me know why you thought! Until then, excelsior!