Venom (2018) Review
A piece written for the Journalism module. 14.11.2018
With the 10 year run of Marvel and Sony movies, the rise of the superhero genre includes some of the most popular films in modern day cinema. Their newest instalment Venom is no exception. With rapid scenes, excellent CGI, and a captivating score, Tom Hardy’s dedication to his character is the same as its been for all of his major roles – intense and accurate.
The 2018 film follows fearless reporter Eddie Brock, played by Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Legend) who after his life has fallen apart courtesy of Carlton Drake, follows a tip that leads him to bond with one of Drake's gooey specimens, later to be introduced as the film’s title, Venom (also played by Hardy).
After seemingly half the movie, a daring escape, and the consumption of a criminal amount of frozen chicken, Venom’s personality starts to shine through. With his deep, menacing vocals his one word commands to Eddie leave the audience in stitches, his bizarre but witty comments like “Outstanding! Now, let’s bite all their heads off and pile them up in the corner.” are just plain psychopathic, but manage to get a good laugh. The exciting fight and pursuit scenes are made unique by Brock and his new friend, turning a typical car chase into an adrenaline filled, bad-boy-alien mashup, allowing otherwise impossible stunts like pulling a U-turn whilst going 80mph, or flinging people about with ease, whipping them about Hulk-style. Even though this was the work of impressive CGI, it somewhat overshadows Hardy’s performance, where it seems to get lost in the action.
The contrast between Eddie and Venom is perhaps one of the best elements of the film, with Hardy managing to show their difference with ease. The apologetic and confused nature of Brock compared to the dominant aggressiveness of Venom – to see them work together as friends is something that could bring a tear to your eye. Their relationship is like a modern day Jekyll and Hyde, good cop vs bad cop, but where the bad cop eats people’s brains.
Originating in comics from 1984, the supervillain (or antihero if you insist) was introduced as an edgy new suit for fan-favourite Spider-Man, which later evolved into the living spin-off character of Venom. The idea originated with a fan from Illinois, and was bought by Marvel for a measly $220. Since then, the symbiote has jumped from person to person, including Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Thor, and now Eddie Brock. Venom’s most memorable appearance (even though terrible) was in the film Spiderman 3 (2007), where Spidey has a brand new black suit that enhances his strength & power, and one slight side effect – it tries to kill him.
Although the Spiderman franchise was made by Marvel, it is now owned by Sony, who created this spin-off origin story for Hardy’s slimy symbiote (If you’re wondering why Spiderman is in the MCU don’t ask – it’s a very long story).
The antihero’s origin story doesn’t get a perfect score, as the overall narrative and plot could do with a bit more work, but they did a pretty good job. Even Hardy himself said that the film’s best bits were cut out of the movie. For now, Disney’s Marvel have nothing to worry about regarding their little brother Sony, but who knows if they’ll catch up. With the sequel just announced, hopefully they can step it up to Deadpool’s level!