Venom (7/10 IMDb) features journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his investigation into the Life foundation and it’s CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), a large pharmaceutical company with an affinity for rockets. A Life rocket carrying symbiotes, alien life found on a travelling comet, crashes and lets one of the four specimens free. Eddie attempts to expose Carlton and his illegal experiments on the homeless for reasons unknown to Eddie. In the process of investigating, he loses his job, fiance, and apartment. Upon breaking into the Life foundation, he is exposed to the symbiote Venom, creating a monster like no other. Eddie uses Venom’s power to prevent Riot, a symbiote from bringing millions of the symbiotic species to Earth in an epic clash.
I will admit, this movie had my eye months ahead of it’s release date. Venom is such a dynamic character in other movies mostly as a villain, but he’s never had a stand alone film and I was curious as to how they would go about it. Overall, this film exceeded my expectations, but left me wanting more, and hopefully a Venom sequel will come in the future.
Tom Hardy was hands down the best thing about this film. I especially enjoyed when he first interacted with Venom, the pure befuddlement was brilliant, and he played that section of the role perfectly. His sporadic acting helped emphasize the fact that there was this living breathing alien inside him and he just didn’t know what to do.
I also really enjoyed Venom (just the symbiote) as a character and it’s interactions with Eddie. Numerous times, it provided comical relief with simply the banter between the characters. Tom Hardy’s confusion blended perfectly with the bullish attitude that Venom exuded. While Venom did seem like a blood thirsty alien monster at times, others he was a calculated machine, solely focused on keeping Eddie alive.
There were two main parts of this film I didn’t enjoy: the villain and the ending. The symbiote villain Riot was great, he was every part of the blood thirsty killing machine this movie needed, but his last host Carlton Drake did not live up to expectations. I was hoping for more of a Jeff Bridges in Iron Man sort of vibe, I just didn’t feel like we got the crazed billionaire villain that this movie was trying to create. In part, I think they incorrectly casted Riz Ahmed for the role, not that he was a bad actor, he just wasn’t meant for the role.
The second and only other thing I didn’t enjoy about Venom was the ending. To me and many others, Venom is a villain. I’m okay with him saving the world in his origin story because of why he did it, I won’t spoil more than I have to but it wasn’t out of the kindness of his heart. I wouldn’t like to see a great villain become just another hero. Larger than life superheroes need villains that are just as big and Venom is that and more. The end alludes to Eddie using this dark and twisted alien as a force for good, but I’d much rather him go down the path of evil.
Overall, I’d give this Venom a 8.5/10, Tom Hardy’s performance intertwined with a great interpretation of an absolute monster and their banter makes up for a decent but not great storyline, subpar acting by other characters, and a mediocre ending.