From the release of the very first trailers, it looked like Venom was going to be terrible.
The creature of Venom looked stupid and his over-the-top echoey voice sounded laughable.
Most people will recall the last iteration of Venom onscreen – played by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 – with few fond memories.
But, if you go into Venom expecting it to be kind of awful, you’ll be pleasantly surprised – it’s completely okay.
It’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been.
The film follows gung-ho investigative reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises) in his attempt to bring down a gigantic tech company which is suspected of running illegal human trials.
After finding his way into the top-secret lab of villain Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler), Brock comes into contact with Venom – an extra-terrestrial organism that binds with him and achieves symbiosis. Meanwhile, another organism – which escaped in Malaysia – is on the loose, jumping from body to body to reach Drake’s San Francisco lab.
What Venom really has going for it is the performances of Hardy and Ahmed.
Both are great actors and bring a lot of depth to their roles. Hardy is hilarious and seems to be having a great time as Brock, holding nothing back with the comedy.
Ahmed, meanwhile, presents a different kind of villain. He’s not sneering, slimy or shouty – he’s intelligent, driven and just a touch sociopathic.
On the other hand, Michelle Williams (The Greatest Showman) is not particularly well cast as Brock’s light-hearted ex-fiancee. Williams is a terrific dramatic actress, but carefree films like Venom are not her forte.
Adding to the film’s problems is the actual character of Venom. There are scenes where the organism has face to face conversations with Brock that are just jarring and frankly seem quite stupid.
The climactic battle is also a bore – Venom is much better when it’s throwing out one-liners and having fun with the audience. If you go into Venom with your expectations fairly low, you’ll be in for a relatively good time.
Be sure to stick around for the post-credit sequences.