Venom - 2 Stars
The strangest “dark anti-hero, vigilante film” ever.
When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego "Venom" to save his life.
Sony wasn’t able to use Spiderman in this film, so their question became how do you make a Venom film without a hero? The answer was with great difficulty. The story is flimsy and you really can’t think about any element too hard or it easily falls apart. The characters are paper thin, but the commitment from the actors is commendable. Tom Hardy’s accent changes frequently and while the Venom visual effects are excellent, some explosions look rather cheap. Hardy’s Eddie Brock/Venom is perfectly palatable, but he certainly isn’t convincing as a threat or a villain. His ever changing accent and oddly energetic performance makes Topher Grace’s turn in the role back in 2006 look good.
While it doesn’t at all work as the dark drama it was intended to be it is a great comedy. The audience at the premiere was laughing throughout and not just at the written jokes. It’s genuinely funny. Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate and Reid Scott are all entertaining and help carry the film. The fact they don’t bother to explore the plot also means we don’t ever get bogged down in exposition, making the film move even smoother.
Overall definitely not what they were trying to make, but it is a great night out.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Sony Entertainment