Sony’s Venom movie is not a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It should not be compared to an MCU movie. If you do that, you probably will be like most of the critics who have watched the film, and not enjoy it. The movie isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely not as awful as people are saying. Is it bad? Sure. Is it fun? Absolutely.
The story is pretty basic. Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a journalist who can’t resist getting to the bottom of things, and in one particular instance with Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) of the Life Foundation it costs him his job. He’s reduced to becoming a lonely drunk after he hits rock bottom.
The Life Foundation is a pretty basic “evil movie company”, and Riz Ahmed is your pretty basic evil villain. He doesn’t really have much emotion throughout the entire movie, and is pretty forgettable. His motives are also a bit laughable. When one of his employees (Jenny Slate) can’t take the awful things that Drake is doing at the company any longer, she reaches out to Brock, and gets him inside the Life Foundation’s headquarters.
Without giving much away, Brock accidentally gets attached to a symbiote, and Venom is born.
There are definitely plot holes in the film, and the general plot itself is pretty silly, but if you’ve been a fan of Venom for a while, I find it hard to believe that you can’t still enjoy this one. The relationship between Eddie Brock and Venom is great, and very entertaining. Watching Venom and Brock go at each other is a spectacle in itself. Hardy goes all out for this one, which I can’t really say about the other actors in the film. They’re just kind of – there. They’re not bad performances, but they’re definitely forgettable.
There are also some cheesy moments involving Venom’s reasoning for wanting to stay with Eddie Brock rather than go back to his own planet – but come on. It’s Venom. It’s supposed to be a little odd – and a little ridiculous.
I see a lot of complaints saying that Spider-Man is sorely missed. For me, that’s not the case. Sure, it would have been cool to have Spider-Man in the film, but the movie didn’t suffer because of his absence. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man wouldn’t have even fit in this one. Yes, it also would have been cool to see the two on screen in a movie (Spider-Man 3 doesn’t count) but it’s also good to give us something new, and not retread old territory for the characters.
I also saw a lot of complaints about the CGI, but I found it to be pretty on point. Riot is an interesting villain (though his motives don’t really make much sense), and the look conveys that.
The legitimate gripes I saw for the film involved the tone. It does seem to be all over the place at times, but it’s not as though it doesn’t make sense or leaves you confused about anything. People suggesting that the movie belongs in the 90’s aren’t exactly wrong, but it still works today. It’s as if Ruben Fleischer couldn’t pick a tone to go with, and just went with this. It’s kind of a horror, comedy, drama – all mixed into one.
All in all, and like I mentioned earlier, if you’re a fan of Venom and have wanted to see this character served some justice on the big screen, I’d say this movie definitely delivers. The action was lacking a bit at the beginning, but you’ll have that with an origin story type film. Tom Hardy gives this movie his all, and proves that he’s a worthy comedic actor as well. Some have said he’s worthy of a Razzie AND an Oscar for his Venom performance and I’d say that’s accurate. He also provided the voice of Venom, which is both bizarre and funny – just like the movie itself.
If you can look past the very basic plot, silly plot holes and whatnot, and realize that this isn’t a movie competing for Best Picture at the Oscars, I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good time. Not everything needs to be an MCU movie – and that’s coming from an MCU fan. Throw in that great post-credits scene, and I don’t know who wouldn’t be excited for the sequel.