Venom would have been a great superhero movie…if it came out in the early 2000s.
Since then Marvel Studios has perfected the formula with other studios slowly finding their way. Unfortunately, Sony is still making superhero films under the influence of producer Avi Arad, who at the height of his career gave fans director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Venom ranks somewhere between his Amazing Spider-Man and Warner Bros Halle Berry Catwoman. Despite Marvel being associated to the film, Venom is in no way connected to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nor does Spider-Man show up or is mentioned in the film.
What’s really disappointing is the pedigree behind the film namely director Rueben Fleischer. He found a great balance between horror and comedy in Zombieland but with Venom the tone is all over the place. For a film that was sold as horror/science fiction film, Venom actually plays out more like an unfunny version of Jim Carrey’s Me, Myself, and Irene.
Tom Hardy appears to be channeling Christopher Reeve‘s Clark Kent. Hardy plays Eddie Brock like a cartoonish buffoon. Hardy’s performance however isn’t anywhere near as bad as Riz Armed‘s Drake. Armed is sorely miscast as the film’s primary villain. Speaking of poor casting, Michelle Williams who plays the love interest of the film is just that, the love interest. She adds little to nothing to the film.
As for Venom himself, he looks okay, I mean he’s a gob of black goo with teeth. It isn’t until he starts to be played for laughs that he becomes as ridiculous as Hardy himself. The climatic battle is a poorly rendered CGI-fest that even a DC Film would be ashamed of.
However the biggest joke of the film is the tag at the end Spoilers Ahead:
In an attempt to set up a possible sequel Eddie Brock visits Cletus Kasady in prison for an interview. Not a bad idea until it’s revealed that Kasady is portrayed by actor Woody Harrelson in an awful looking raggedy anne wig spouting a cringe worthy line about causing “Carange” when he gets out. *facepalm*
With that said HipsterZOMBIEJoint gives Venom a well deserved 3 out of 10. Save your money and just watch the Eminem Venom music video.