Film Review: Venom

09:41 October 09, 2018
By: David Vicari

The latest Marvel Comics property to make it to the cinema screens is Venom, a villain of Spider-Man starring in his own movie. While this is a lesser Marvel movie entry, it's still watchable and mildly entertaining, thanks to a committed performance by Tom Hardy. 

Hardy plays kick-ass social justice reporter Eddie Brock, who gets fired from his job after tangling with evil billionaire genius and biochemist Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). While investigating Drake's dirty dealings in an attempt to redeem himself, Brock is accidentally fused with a gooey sentient alien Symbiote. Of course, this gives Brock mad fighting skills and quicker-than-quick reflexes. However, he also has the itching to literally bite people's heads off because the Symbiote piggybacking him is fairly evil. 

Venom reminds me a lot of the recent Upgrade about a guy having a computer chip implanted in his spine, which gives him super fighting powers and fast reflexes. Weirdly, Upgrade's main actor, Logan Marshall-Green, is a Tom Hardy look-a-like. While Upgrade was almost a good movie until its director decided to piss on it for the sake of a dark ending, Venom isn't quite a good movie because of shifts in tone. When it's serious, it's dull and predictable, but it comes alive when it's comical and offbeat. If only director Ruben Fleischer (Gangster SquadZombieland) played this more for laughs—but then, maybe the studio wouldn't allow it. Fine actress Michelle Williams (All the Money in the WorldMy Week with Marilyn) is given little to do as Brock's concerned ex-fiancee. And why in the hell did they fit her with the worst wig imaginable? 

Still, Venom has some good action and laughs, and at 112-minutes, it moves at a good clip. You could do worse. 

** ½ stars of four

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