“Venom” is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also did “Zombieland”, “30 Minutes or Less” & “Gangster Squad”, stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate & Scott Haze and is based on the Marvel comic book character. While Venom is apart of the Spider Man Rogue’s gallery and the movie is produced by Marvel Studios, this particular film is adjunct to their cinematic universe and also is the first in Sony’s alleged cinematic universe.
After a space craft carrying “parasites” crashes on Earth, a corporation known as “The Life Foundation” and its leader Carlton Drake (Ahmed) are quick to come in and trying clean up their mess. However, while Drake is trying to cover his plans up, a maverick journalist, Eddie Brock (Hardy) is hot on his trail to uncover the truth. But in his pursuit, Eddie becomes the next test subject as a parasite begins to bond to him turning him into a powerful creature/super being known as “Venom”. Now both Eddie & Venom discover that they common enemy in Drake and his evil plan involving parasites and humans and must be stopped.
This film had a lot riding on it from the start. The last time the Venom character was seen on the big screen was in San Raimi’s “Spider Man 3” and was a terrible outing for the character. This did the character much more justice. That being said the movie outside of Tom Hardy’s performance isn’t all that great. Riz Ahmed’s performance is solid but just comes across as a generic villain, a mad scientist & ruthless businessman combo cliche. The romance between Hardy & Willams feels forced and had no chemistry. It also really drags at some points with plot holes and mediocre action sequences. The main constant of this film is Tom Hardy. He is great as Eddie Brock and later on as Venom. The scenes with him going back and forth with the voices in his head are funny and entertaining. Without Hardy, this definitely falls short of the big potential on this character and storyline. Even though there’s no mention of Peter Parker or Spider Man, the movie has a lot of it’s own weight to carry onward it’s own possibilities.
Overall, this movie was a bit of let down but because of a strong, charaismatic and entertaining lead performance it’s a much more solid movie and definitely way more fun than the last time we saw this character on the big screen.