Movie Review Flashback: Is ‘Venom’ Worth Watching?

*Tssk, tssk, tssk* Venom. The movie that has broken records and is now holding the top spot as the highest grossing origin story superhero movie of all time, thanks to its raving success overseas. When I saw the teaser I was so excited to see this film. Then it oozed into theaters and disparaging reviews of the movie started pouring into the internet about the film. It dissuaded me from wanting to spend my valuable dollars for a film that wasn’t going to be that great and so I patiently waited for it to come out digitally.

So, last night, I saw that it was available for rental and so I decided to check it out. I was curious about finding out whether the movie was truly worthy of its rotten 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes or if it was deserving of becoming the highest grossing superhero origin story movie of all time. It warranted neither of these things. It wasn’t bad enough to only be 29% on Rotten Tomatoes but it wasn’t good enough to make so much money at the box office either.

So, the question remains; Was Venom worth watching? Yes…and no. This is why.

(This is a spoiler-free review.)

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The first third of the movie was SUPER boring. I mean, it was really difficult just trying to stay awake. For the first thirty-forty minutes of the movie, the story slowly (emphasis on ‘slowly’) elaborates on the characters, their personalities, and their storylines. We learn that protagonist Eddie Brock is a reporter who likes to get the scoop on the juiciest, and sometimes, most controversial topics. He gets a gig to interview one of the world’s most prolific figures, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) who has been suspected of shady activities involving peoples’ disappearances. After the interview, Eddie Brock is fired from his job, thus placed into limbo. His fiancee, Anne Weying (or Annie) played by Michelle Williams, dumps him, thrusting him into an even deeper depression. It’s a classic tale of a nobody becoming somebody thanks to some sweet superpowers, or in Eddie’s case, deeply disturbing superpowers.

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The second third of the movie, which was when Eddie Brock became infected by the symbiote, Venom, was easily the best part of the film and really the movie’s only saving grace. I found this section of the movie to be very enjoyable for not only its revelations of how interesting (and awesome) a character Venom is but its surprising humorous factor. Venom, in essence, isn’t a serious flick at all. It’s actually a comedy, which is a bit jarring yet extremely likable at the same time. I found myself unable to contain my laughter as Eddie Brock was forced to deal with these incredibly strange abilities provided to him by his creepy friend, Venom.

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And then there was the third part of the film which I can only find one word to truly describe it; rushed. Tom Hardy, in an interview, said that there was nearly an hour of content erased from the movie that he wished had gotten into the final cut and you can totally tell that there was a huge chunk of the story missing.

The end of the movie arrives in such a clunky, rushed fashion that one can only gaze at the screen with a lackadaisical stare. This is a spoiler-free review so I won’t tell you who’s fighting who in the final climactic battle but it’s a very underwhelming duel that provides no sort of excitement whatsoever. Now, there was a certain part in the final battle that made me gasp because it was a bit of a surprise but the shock factor didn’t last long.

My Conclusion of the Film

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Venom could’ve been a great movie…if it was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU just has the formula. This, on the other hand, is in “Association with Marvel”, and so it almost feels like a disclaimer at the beginning of the film as if Disney’s Marvel is saying, “We have nothing to do with this.”

The first third of the movie could’ve been twenty minutes shorter which would’ve undoubtedly aided the rest of the movie greatly. Tom Hardy is a great actor but I feel that this is my least favorite role of his. He’s not exactly bad in the role but as I watched the film I felt like I could see him trying to be this character rather than truly being this character. Riz Ahmed was good as the villain but unfortunately, the antagonist in the movie is as cliché as they get. Annie was the typical Lois Lane type; always in the middle of everything for some reason. At least Venom never had to save her or anything like that. That would’ve been really annoying.

I’m giving this movie 77 out of a 100 and 3.5 out of 5 stars. With better writers (and better editing) the movie could’ve been really enjoyable. Unfortunately, the film could never find its footing and I came away from the movie feeling disappointed rather than elated. Now that Venom is established, however, I’m hoping the sequel can do a better job at getting to the nitty-gritty and producing a fun Marvel film worth getting pumped about.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a Marvel-ous day.

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