Now Showing: Venom


Photo courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

"Venom," in its opening week, grossed $80 million in North America and globally $205 million.

Based on Marvel’s darkest villain, “Venom” turns out to be a mix of hero and anti-hero elements that don’t entirely live up to the newly advertised anti-hero genre of Marvel movies.

The movie is very different from the “Venom” comic books in that it has nothing to do with Spider-man. “Venom” showcases the life of Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an impulsive and passionate journalist who loses his job, lover (Michelle Williams) and sanity. When Eddie reaches rock bottom, he bonds with a symbiote, an extraterrestrial organism that survives through symbiosis.

The symbiote, or Venom, is able to greatly boost Eddie’s physical and healing capabilities, almost instantaneously covering his body in a second-skin resistant to almost everything deemed as harmful. However, Venom has a mind of its own, seeking to eat humans and wreak havoc.

The movie details the odd yet amusing relationship between Eddie and Venom as they save the world from Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), an overly ambitious and crazy visionary responsible for bringing symbiotes to Earth. Strangely enough, Drake reminded me of Thanos from “Infinity War,” as they both commit monstrous actions to achieve their goal of a perfect world.

Overall, the movie is very different from what many Marvel fans had anticipated. The tone of the movie, advertised as dark and villainous in trailers and posters, does not live up to  expectations. Fans going to watch the movie with expectations of a bloodbath and a completely evil protagonist will be let down. Instead of a serious, dark tone, the movie feels lighthearted at times.

Despite the confusing tone, Marvel-style humor shows up, and the contrast that the comedic elements create managed to make me laugh. The humor is very enjoyable at times, even if it is not appropriate for the genre.

While the Venom in the comic books devotes his entire life to destroying Spider-man, there is no evident hatred or acknowledgment in this movie of “the friendly neighborhood Spider-man.” The movie offers a completely new take on Venom, wholly recreating the origin of Eddie Brock. This made the character less memorable in my opinion, as I was looking forward to a villain movie solely, with an eventual showdown with Spider-man.

In addition to the let down of Venom’s character, the plot development was excruciatingly slow, especially in the beginning of the movie. After hundreds of Marvel origin stories, it was no longer entertaining to experience Eddie’s fall to rock bottom for almost an hour.

It was only toward the end that I felt the movie really shined. In the last hour of the movie, the action and plot picks up, and the film grows more entertaining.

I feel the few action scenes are the best part of Venom. In line with Marvel’s other carefully crafted fights, they were exhilarating, intense and above all, fun to watch.