By Kaylee Brewster
One-and-a-half out of four
“Venom” should be vicious and exciting, but it ends up just being a bore.
Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is an investigative journalist who loses his job when he digs too deep into the practices and experiments of scientist Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). He loses his fiance, Anne (Michelle Williams), and his job and ends up spending his days staring into the bottom of a bottle.
However, when he learns that Carlton is doing even shadier things, he decides to intervene. That’s when his problems really start; he becomes infected with an alien parasite, a symbiote called Venom. When Venom takes over, Eddie has no control and no one is safe.
It’s hard to sum up the plot of “Venom” because, in reality, nothing much happens. The film is slow to get moving and slow to progress. There isn’t a clear, focused driving point to the story; it’s mostly whatever whim Venom follows next.
In a movie that has one of the most violent and aggressive aliens in Marvel comics, there’s not a lot in this film to show that off. Sure, Venom attacks people but he talks more about biting people’s heads off than he actually does it. The film dazzles with some special effects and cool moves and abilities Venom has in fights, but none of the action scenes lasts longer than five minutes, which is mostly why the film drags. It seems there was some major last minute editing to get a PG-13 rating instead of R, which would help explain this.
Then, toward the end, it all comes to a crashing halt. All of a sudden the climax arrives and it’s over. As the credits roll you’re left wondering, “Wait, that’s it?”
Not only is there no plot and little action, there are no characters. Sure, there are people doing stuff on the screen but there’s nothing to them. While Eddie is the main character, you don’t feel a strong connection to him. Not even the villainous Carlton’s evil is developed enough to get a hateful reaction from the audience. The characters feel like they’re there because they have to be to make a movie, not because they are real or engaging the audience with a story.
Hardy is no doubt a great actor, as his performances in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and television’s “Peaky Blinders” show, but even he seems to struggle with portraying Eddie and Venom. There are comical moments as Eddie figures out his relationship with Venom; their back-and-forth dialogue generates some laughs. However, I’m not sure whether that tone and take on Eddie and Venom works or if takes it over the top.
In short, the film is a disaster from beginning to end with not much to redeem it. “Venom” is supposed to make a mess with his victims, not his movie.