Label Volunteer, Isaac Cave, gives his opinion on the recent film, Venom.
When I heard that Sony were producing a standalone Venom film, my expectations were not high. Aside from the horrific flashbacks to Spiderman 3 (2007), the initial trailers and rumours surrounding the film only added to my concerns; watching Venom put all those rumours to rest and proved that I was absolutely, one hundred percent right. It’s a good thing that Sony’s Amy Pascal has confirmed that this film isn’t part of the Marvel cinematic universe because frankly, it’s crap.
Our story literally gets off to a flying start with a spaceship returning to earth from… who knows where, carrying lifeforms known as symbiotes. The spaceship belongs to our main villain, a character so dynamic that I’ve completely forgotten his name (essentially, if you took Elon Musk and gave him a bigger god complex, you’d have this guy). Our protagonist, Eddie Brock is a hot-shot reporter living in San Francisco… wait what? If you’ve read the comics or remotely heard about these characters before, you’ll know this film isn’t set in New York. Way to go Sony, you’re only 2,914 miles off target, keep trying.
Eddie is tasked with interviewing the shady not-Elon-Musk and of course, things go sideways, leading to the bonding of Eddie and Venom, a symbiote. Why it’s called Venom and why Eddie is the perfect host isn’t explained, but we need to move on, as there are enough plot holes in this movie to make a game of whack-a-mole. I would discuss individual characters, such as Eddie’s cardboard cut-out girlfriend, or the textbook scientist woman, but they all have the complexity of a rock, so instead, let’s discuss the relationship between Eddie and Venom.
Sony play with the idea of temptation, with the extra-terrestrial egging Eddie on to do what it wants – at the beginning it works okay, there’s even a funny line here and there. The problem is, that, because there is no characterisation, there’s very little connection between man and monster, with motivations changing on a whim to suit the needs of the plot at each moment.
In addition, the CGI is… not great. The symbiotes themselves look like big piles of black slime, which don’t work well with the actors. I hate to bring up Spiderman 3 again, but even I must admit that the effects for venom in that were better, and that was eleven years ago!
To wrap up, while it has some creative action scenes and some funny dialogue sprinkled throughout, Venom is boring, clichéd, and doesn’t really have anything going for it. Despite Tom Hardy’s outstanding talent, it wasn’t enough to hold it together. With a little more time and effort (and perhaps a little less Sony intervention), Venom could have been an enjoyable film.
Featured image by: Omeiza Haruna