You know, I really wanted to like Venom. I really did. I thought surely it couldn’t be as bad as the reviews suggested. Surely it couldn’t possibly be THAT bad, right? Turns out I was right, it wasn’t as bad as the reviews suggested.
It was much, much worse.
Venom feels like an early 2000’s superhero movie. That alone should be enough to condemn it, considering the early 2000’s were dark, dark times for Superhero flicks. Anybody remember the 2004 Jennifer Garner Elektra film? No? Just me then.
Nothing about Venom strikes me as particularly good. It’s not very fun, the comedy is unintentional and only occurs due to how ludicrously bad the film is and the CGI isn’t exactly amazing either. But, let’s take a deeper dive into the film and figure out exactly where Venom fails.
Venom is about a man named Eddie Brock who becomes broken and destitute after losing both his girlfriend and his home. Six months later, he’s given a tip off about human testing taking place in a nearby lab facility. Brock explores the facility and is infected with a parasite. It is this parasite that makes him into the titular Venom. Now, the Venom symbiote and Brock must learn to work together to defeat the evil symbiote (I do wish the evil mirror villain trope would just die off, it’s boring as sin). It’s a cliched and dull plot, one that barely holds up its own weight.
The cast is decent, at a push. Tom Hardy stars as the titular Venom, alter ego Eddie Brock. He’s fine when he’s not putting on that abysmal accent. Still feels like this was little more than something to pass the time to him though. This isn’t Tom Hardy from Legend or Mad Max: Fury Road, he doesn’t even come close to hitting the same levels of quality as he did in those films. Riz Ahmed stars as the villain, who is so forgettable I’ve just had to google who the villain actually was. Carlton Drake apparently, known as Riot when his parasite infects him. He’s alright, but I vastly prefer his performances in Nightcrawler and Four Lions. Michelle Williams also stars as Brock’s ex girlfriend Anne Weying. She’s awful, I can’t quite remember the last time Williams was good in any role. And that’s the entire cast. It’s a fairly small cast, perhaps the reason why the film feels so paltry and small when it should feel like a grand epic.
As already mentioned, the CGI is next-level bad. Picture the 2011 Green Lantern film’s CGI in your head. Now imagine if it was made on half the budget. It’s really that bad. The final battle is just a big CGI goo fight.
Oh and I have one final gripe to pick with this film. So there’s a scene during it where Eddie is being scanned in an MRI and he starts convulsing pretty heavily. The Doctor actually has the nerve to ask a man who’s shaking more than a bottle during an earthquake.
Overall, Venom is awful, with few actual positives on its behalf. The last five minutes are quite possibly the only bearable part of the film and the protagonist is completely and utterly insufferable.
The best action film of 2001.