When I went to see this movie I was worried I might waste time and alas I cannot easy your mind a little. The movie is just as bad as many critics have been reporting.
Before I start I want to say that the only the reason I gave the movie a more than three-out-of-ten rating are considerable acting efforts of Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed who raise the movie’s quality from completely unwatchable to at least a little entertaining.
I believe we have been spoiled by Marvel with many great movies over the years. This one is a certain misfire. It lacks the stability and excitement we usually find in a Marvel production and it mostly lives off of it’s great acting performances.
The movie starts with a scene of a crashing space ship. On board this space ship are the so called “Symbionites” (which by the terms definition is wrong). These creatures search a host and essentially connect with them so they can survive.
That is exactly what happens to investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy). The Symbiote connecting to him is called Venom and once the two find each other the wreaking havoc starts.
This is a very short description of the plot of the movie and basically that is all that you have to know. There is rarely something exciting happening in Venom.
Before we get to the aforementioned connection between man and alien we have to wait a bout an hour. Before that there is a fairly boring plot that explains next to nothing about the creatures or the reason they are on earth.
Unfortunately the second hour is not much more interesting than the first one.
There a few well made scenes when Eddie fights the bad guys from the so called Life Coporation. But that is most of the action you get.
This year we have seen a few action with many great chases. The best by far is the motorcycle chase in Mission Impossible: Fallout. There is a motorcycle chase in the second half of the movie as well but is so dull it make Tom Cruise cry in shame.
A thing that Marvel usually does particularly well is choosing their villains. This time however it was a swing and a miss.
While Riz Ahemds villain Carlton Drake is a complete asshole he is neither threatening nor scary. In most Marvel movies while you can relate to the villain you still hate them. This is not the case here mostly due to the fact that Venom is a kind of villain himself and seems ay more threatening than Drake.
While the action scenes are a positive aspect of the movie there is one in particular that fails to hold up the standard.
In the end of the movie, when Venom fights another Symbionite, the fight is utterly boring. I have never seen a fight in a movie as bad as this one in all my life.
Apart from the scene just taking three minutes, instead of the usual ten, there also is a total lack of creativity. Often in this kind of movies the final fight sequence offers us some creative new ways to make the scene more exciting. This is not the case here. The two participants just hit each other a few times and then before the fight even really started it is done. It simply was a complete disappointment.
The thing that surprised me the most however was the lack of humor in this movie. Granted Venom is a dark character and it hard to laugh about man-eating, parasitic alien that threatens to wipe out humanity but usually Marvel still managed to make the audience chuckle. In Venom there is a complete lack of humor and when the movie tries to be funny it usually just feels more awkward than funny.
But luckily Venom isn’t all bad. There were some good choices that Marvel made.
Those choices were mostly made in the casting department.
Hiring three respected and popular actors was a good choice.
The most exciting performance in the movie was of course the one by Michelle Williams. She is a widely under appreciated actress and one of the best of our time. I cannot remember the last time she had to work so hard to make her character likable and authentic. But nevertheless she does it perfectly.
Williams had a difficult job making an utterly uninteresting character interesting enough so we care about her. She managed to hold her ground against a totally screwed up script and steals every scene she’s in.
Riz Ahmed had it a little easier. While his bad guy Carlton Drake is not as threatening and unlikable as he should have been Ahmed still manages to bring out the asshole persona in the character.
Other than his two co-stars Hardy seems lost in the role. But while he does his best in this thankless role what he does is neither here nor there and his talent is wasted in this film. We get flashes of his considerable acting skills in the beginning of the movie but the longer the movie goes the more lost and bored Hardy seems to be.
One thing that I was pleasantly surprised about was some of the production design. The Life Corporation head quarters were designed with precision and an idea. They look so authentic that one might think the set actually existed somewhere in the world.
I also enjoyed some beautiful shots of the San Francisco skyline and harbor.
In conclusion I must say that Venom is a complete crap fest that makes too many bad choices for it to be a good movie. If you plan to spend money on seeing it, I strongly advise you not top do it. It’s not worth it. This one of those movies that you will catch on cable some day and that you will forget about as soon as you leave the couch.