REVIEW: Critics Eat Crow as “Venom” Soars

I know why I do better than most fans watching these movies. Why I don’t run screaming from the theater, trying to remove my eyes with my own thumbs.

I don’t have any expectations of fidelity to the canon materials.

This Venom is a parallel Universe version of the character. A version which has never known Spider-Man, an Eddie Brock who is both a crusader and a loser, in the same breath. A selfish individual inclined to look out for himself first and everyone else interests second.

“Answer Man” Thaddeus Howze

This Venom is an alien parasite brought to Earth as part of an invasion force.

All the canon comic Venom history erased and replaced in forty minutes or less. Brock has a hot girlfriend whose banter is sharp and her apparent affection for Eddie is misplaced given how scruffy Hardy looks through this entire flick.

Eddie Brock isn’t lovable but he isn’t completely reprehensible either. Brock is a less than ideal guy in a less than ideal world. He still a protagonist because in the end, he cares about something other than himself, if only just a tiny bit.

I have shared all you need to know. The movie cuts and replaces everything. Brock lives in San Francisco, not New York. The skyline shots are gorgeous. Eddie works as a crusading video investigative journalist, not too far from being a reporter.

When Eddie’s case takes him across the path of an eccentric and monstrous CEO named Carlton Drake, an evil Elon Musk with a taste for bioengineering and building rockets. Carlton’s constant conversational TED talks gave me both his personality and something to hate about him. Despite his diminutive stature, he is a villain with no moral boundaries.

I am surprised that there was so much hatred toward this movie. The origin story is simple, alien symbiotic lifeform hopes to attack and destroy the Earth, replacing and eating Earth’s apex predator.

Then the love story occurs between Brock, a crusading loser prone to throw caution to the wind, and an alien invader who realizes, he stands more to gain by staying on Earth, than by eating it all at once.

Once the two of them get together, it turns from a budding romance into a buddy cop movie. If one of the buddies was a pile of sentient slime and the other buddy was just a skip and a jump from being Hobo of the Year.

The final part which most people would have trouble with but I didn’t was the fight between the symbiotes, Venom and Riot. Most people would complain the fight was too ornate and was incomprehensible to the viewing eye.

This didn’t bother me. The very nature of their fight was designed to appear so fast, we, as Humans, can barely keep up. Their fight was frenetic, savage and without easy precedent. I know the rant will be the CGI wasn’t perfect, but I remember when a creature like Venom and interacting in Live Action couldn’t be done, arranged or even contemplated once upon a time.

The movie feels as if there were a few spots where scenes may have been and instead were missing. Another mild oversight I can easily forgive.

Brock’s former girlfriend, Anye Waying, felt strange to me. I wasn’t sure if she was meant to be strong but loving, or was she just a dominant personality in comparison to Eddie. Their failed relationship was the only sad part of the movie. So much so, even Venom felt for her.

There were a few plot holes, inconsistencies and the like but if you had to ask me if I liked it, I can say, very much so. It is fast, fun, and a bit frantic. No there wasn’t as much character development as I would have liked but since this was really about Venom and Brock, I think their relationship was properly fleshed out over the course of the movie.

Was this a perfect movie? Not by a longshot, but it gets the (B) rating from me because, the scenes with Hardy talking to himself as Venom were amusing, quite meta and all things considered, he appeared to be committed to his role as the Morphing Crusader. If the post trailer is any indication, we will have the opportunity to see Venom eat his way across the screen again.

7.75 of 10. Cruelty, action, off-screen violence. Hardy hams it up both as Brock and as Venom. Other actors phone it in but I wasn’t there for them. The Venom screen appearance was clean and appropriately awesome. I am ready for another helping, please.

-30-

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