Venom was supposed to be Sony’s big comeback to the superhero productions. In-between all the fights between Disney, Warner Bros, Century Fox and whatever else, they wanted their cut in that phenomenon. So they paid for some Oscar-nominated names and a guy who directed Zombieland (and not much else). And what happened? Well, nothing actually interesting.
Minor spoilers ahead
Beginnings can be hard but in the case of Venom, it was rather a matter of the end. Because it did have potential. Not just a little. They introduced Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) as an asshole journalist who didn’t understand his egoistic behaviour. Therefore, he used every possible source to reach his goal and as the result lost everyone he cares about. The whole “ruining my life” deal was shown just fine, even though Michelle Williams decided not to give her best for some lousy blockbuster. Her character lacked any kind of facial expression. On the contrary, Tom Hardy did try to make something out of his role. His struggles pre and while the symbiotic connection were surprisingly real. Moreover, discovering the alien within his body did not look cheesy and I trusted his reactions.
All of these struggles and thoughts of being completely insane gave Hardy’s performance the chills I’d wanted to see. His confusion whenever Venom took over his arms and legs and keeping his values when the other guy ate the head – that was something to see. Tom is an incredible actor and he has shown that already multiple times. In Venom, he had a chance to play a very layered character which could have become the most complex in the history of superhero films.
Unfortunately, what was bad about this relationship was Venom himself. It felt like screenwriters couldn’t decide on any major detail. He eventually became sort of a comic relief. Being petty about names and eating people might be funny the first time. Not necessarily the tenth. The longer screen time he got, the worse lines he received. In the end, it got to the stage we got this scary symbiote on Earth who is some sort of a loser at home. The ideas of how Venom should behave were changing, too. I can easily skip the logic holes
(I know everything about you, Eddie *5 mins later* who is she?) but I cannot forgive them the bullied little symbiote who decides to stay on Earth because he can be superior. Oh, no, sorry, because his host changed him. It was completely out of character if Venom ever had one.
Maybe it was the fault of the forever changing screenwriters and directors, maybe it was the fault of the studio who had not exactly known what they wanted to achieve with Venom, but this “second part” was bits and pieces from all around. A lot of people reckon that Venom had so many versions of the script, it eventually got so mixed up, nothing came out of it. I can agree with this thesis. Like I said, first 30 minutes had a huge potential, but then I felt like something was missing. I am pretty sure it was the 30-40 minutes that Tom Hardy was talking about recently*. Later in the film, it was a mix of things which could have been anything. I believe they didn’t have the balls to continue this dark theme risking earning less. It was kind of a Deadpool like but also… not? I don’t know anymore, really. The film editors did their worst to fit all these different puzzle pieces into one picture. Eventually, it ended up being a parody of whatever it started becoming.
In the matter of the plot, it started with Riz Ahmed as a villainous scientist/visioner. Obviously, he despises humanity for overpopulating the planet and so he searches for a way to move humans to another place. From this idea his space team finds symbiotes and so it goes. Carlton Drake wasn’t a bad villain. He had a reason under his vicious action and testing his ‘product’ on humans. He was calm and scientific about his actions. Comparing to Yellowjacket’s anger, his stillness was expressing more pride and hate than any sort of vivid emotions.
Vivid emotions were the occupation of Eddie Brock. He tried to expose Drake’s sins to the world by any means necessary which ended up being a bad decision. A while later he was reached by a concerned scientist working for Drake to help her stop the daily suffering she was seeing. And so he got to the lab and then became a lab rat himself. Later on, it is either running away from the guys that are chasing him or trying to fight the good fight. I am not sure, the entire 45 minutes was a complete mess without any certain goal. This was set when everyone else realised that Drake is crazy and should be stopped (but of course it wasn’t so simple anymore) and then there was this huge fight and… end credits.
And speaking about the credits. There were two scenes. About the first one, well, it was everything that I’d known already, but Sony tried to hide the obvious. Anyway, it was lacking any sort of spirit. Not sure how to describe it because there was literally nothing interesting. Name dropping, woah, shocking. You know, I never consider a film “made for fans only” because it never is. The role of any blockbuster is to earn money. Post-credit scenes, however, are a different kettle of fish. These are made strictly for fans. And as a fan giving me that damn wig was an insult, no other way to put it.
The second scene was not entirely a scene, rather an advertisement for Into The Spider-verse that will be released this December. And it was the best part of the cinema. Really. Go and check the trailer, this is going to be something else and I cannot wait.
Frankly, I have nothing much more to say. It could have been a better film. But to reach that point Sony needs a steady hand and one clear vision of what they want to accomplish with a certain picture. It seems Venom will earn enough to get a sequel and the rest from the Sony villainous stable. I am already mourning Morbius. He gets to be played by damn Jared Leto and he was the last actor I wanted to see in the role. Dear Hollywood, please stop taking this guy to every project. Seriously, does anybody learn anything in this damn city?
Oh! Just for the record. This is not an MCU movie. No matter what you’ve heard or read, it is not. the main argument for this is – MCU does not repeat anything nor anybody. Especially actors whose roles were somehow memorable. Like Ron Cephas Jones who you should remember from Luke Cage. And also I don’t believe Kevin Feige would agree to this. No option. The after credit scene is not a result, too. It is simply the collaboration between Sony and Marvel now which concerns Spider-man. End of story. Thank you very much.
* Asked about his favourite part of the film, Tom admitted that his favourite 30-40 minutes was cut out. I’m waiting for the Hardy’s cut!