This review is spoiler-free.
Venom – Don’t expect any logic or consistency in this movie. So with that said, onto the review!
Before the film’s release, Hardy went on the record to say that over thirty minutes of footage had been cut, including his favourite part of the film. This now smacks of an attempt to soften the blow of the theatrical cut. I’m sorry to say, studio interference is very obvious in this movie. Sporadic pacing aside, it’s very clear that some sequences of the film have been chopped and rearranged, leaving a bit of a mess.
The biggest problem with Venom, other than the terrible script, is the tone. It tries to be super serious while at the same time wedges intermittent comedy moments, a few massively missing the mark. That’s not to say there are not some genuinely funny moments, in fact, there is one scene in particular that is near perfect. But these moments are few and far between. As for the story? The first act is a real chore to get through. The final act is more entertaining, however, the film goes off the rails in a super silly CGI mess. Pretty much like Black Panther in that regard. But that’s where it ends in terms of the relation between Venom and Black Panther.
As for the cast. Despite Hardy carrying the entire movie on his shoulders, even he has moments where he really needed to reign it in a little. As for Riz Ahmed, boy this is a massive ‘swing and a miss’ movie for him. Very disappointing. As for the rest of the cast, no one stands out in giving a strong performance. It’s fine, but nothing more than fine.
You would think Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) would be the ideal director to take on Venom. However, even Fleischer seems to fumble with the material given to him. While he has not been involved in the writing process, you don’t feel his presence in the movie. In fact, I’d say his ‘stock’ has dropped substantially. So does anyone come out with any real credit in this movie? Out of everyone, cast and crew, I’d say Ludwig Göransson can be happy with his work on Venom. His score is very good and is continuing to show his talents and is destined for a big future in the industry.
There have to be some good things in Venom right? While it wasn’t the special performance I was hoping for, Hardy still has some great moments. There are some flashes of the Venom we wanted, but ultimately never get. The film also has a few fantastic moments when it comes to the humour of the relationship between Venom and Eddie. As for one particular post-credit scene. Oh boy, yes! This is why a sequel needs to happen, despite Venom being a dud. Now that they have gotten all the origin story guff, a possible sequel could have massive potential. But a sequel is unlikely if the fan response to this movie does not go against predictions. And so far, it’s not looking good.
Venom is a real hodgepodge. It is a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be. As origin stories go, it was a mess. The film is all over the place, not helped by some truly awful CGI. But in the manure of this movie, there is a possibility of life. With the bloated origin story out of the way, and with the right handling, Venom might just be able to be saved in a future film or as part of a Spider-Man movie.