Oh boy, where I do begin. Well for starters, Sony, what the hell is this crap, what are you doing. The fact you want to start a cinematic universe with no relation to Spiderman at all, is totally messed up. You’re desire to make a movie on Venom, I character I enjoy very much, and take him in this strange/bizarre direction is totally unnecessary. Better yet, the fact that you want to take characters within Spiderman lore and make standalone movies on them, is just something I can’t wrap my head around. “In Association with MARVEL,” don’t make me laugh, this was all on you Sony. Marvel knew very well they didn’t want to be a part of this crap. I’m sorry for this rant right here, but this is coming from a guy who’s favorite superhero is Spiderman and it pains me to see a character that I enjoyed watching as a kid, completely wasted. The interactions with him and Spiderman is something I may never see up on the big screen thanks to this film.
But, enough rambling, let’s talk about the movie itself. Well of course as a movie on its own, it’s pretty bad. This is not a well-thought-out start for Sony’s Marvel Universe.
The tone of this movie is all over the place; it doesn’t know whether it wants to be serious or funny. Granted there were funny parts in it, but a lot of it misfired or came off cringy. The writing presented was sloppy. There is a six-month jump in the first 10 minutes of the movie and the characters are not given enough screen time before the jump to make you actually care for them. Also, the jump also brings forth another problem with the villain, Riot. Riot, like Venom, is a symbiote who needs to bond with a host to survive and thrive. So Riot’s brilliant plan is to stay in an old lady’s body for six months doing god knows what in Malaysia. Only after six months, Riot decides to continue his excellent plan of going to San Francisco to find a suitable host for him. Another example is when there a scene where Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), enters into a convenient store to stop a robbery during the day. After this, he walks out and its nighttime.
That goes right into the pace of this film which is really bad. At times the movie is going at a snail’s pace, especially in the first. Then at other times, it goes super fast.
The action ranged from fine to bad. The worst one was when Venom/Riot was fighting towards the last act and you couldn’t tell who was who. Their dark bodies lying in the dark background, at night, doesn’t work out at all. Plus the camera work was right up into the action so you couldn’t tell what was happening. It seemed like I was watching a Michael Bay Transformers movie. I would say the “best” was probably the motorcycle chase scene.
In terms of the actors in the movie, they do give off good performances. But as mentioned, you’re not given enough time to really dive into their lives thoroughly. The interactions between a lot of characters didn’t come out natural. Now I will the say, the interaction between Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom I think worked. I liked the banter they had with one another and I wished there was more of it. But that’s not saying much because it’s not executed that well. Especially when Venom all of sudden cares for Eddie, to which he wants to protect Earth for some reason.
Another thing I liked is Venom himself, mostly. His design and voice are the best qualities of him. This is definitely a more comic-looking Venom than what we got in Spider-Man 3. But like I said, his flip-flop characterization was baffling.
When I was watching this movie, it reminded of a really bad movie and a pretty good movie. First there was “The Predator,” the beginning started very much the same with a spacecraft crashing down into Earth. As I was watching I thought to myself, a good start here. The other movie is “Upgrade.” Both movies feature an actor that looks exactly the same and have another being in them that they have no full control of, to which it gives them superhuman abilities.
The last thing I should bring up is the mid-credit scene. The scene basically introduces Cletus Kasady or Carnage. He is played by Woody Harrelson wearing a laughably bad red wing. I get it Sony, you want him to look like the character from the comics. But come on, that was dumb.
Now that’s all I got to say, I hope you enjoyed my review and rant on Venom. Sony, please, just give these characters off to Marvel. The damage is done, don’t ruin it more. But with an $80 million opening, I doubt that’ll happen.