When he played Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Hardy pumped his muscles, but basically didn’t do anything much than mumble and tower over people. As an already established actor and praised by his peers, I guess that people expected too much from Hardy and even believed he can carry the movie all by himself. While that may be true for other genres, superhero movies depend on the hero and villain to create catharsis that will resonate with the audience.
Eddie Brock is a journalist who one day stumbles upon an alien life form known as the Symbiote. In the comic books, Venom is Spider-man’s archnemesis and considered one of the greatest villains of the Marvel Universe. However, in the movie we see him as someone who is trying to find his bearings and understand better what is happening to him because of the Symbiote.
The story is not original and you probably watched similar movies before. A shuttle carrying alien biological entities crashed on Earth while landing. One of the entities bonds to the first responder while others are taken to the company to be used in experiments with human hosts. Eddie Brock is an investigative journalist who is working on a story about that company and their experimentation on human subjects. When he broke into the facility one of the alien entities latched onto him and they bonded. From then on, we observe a struggle between Brock and the alien to find their balance and start working together, while trying to debunk the evil company at the same time and escape from its clutches.
Without a doubt, this is not the worst superhero movie that you may have watched in recent years. Let’s not forget Batman v. Superman and most of the DC Universe movies. But people simply don’t expect failure from Marvel, and one can even say that the quality of the movies has spoiled the fans. Venom is not a boring movie and you won’t find yourself looking at your watch to see when it will end. But it could have been much better considering Tom Hardy is an excellent actor and Venom is an interesting character to bring to life.
Unfortunately, Hardy’s talents weren’t exploited enough and basically, he didn’t bring anything unique to the movie. Brock’s fiancé Anne Waying played by Michelle Williams is even more plane and easily forgettable. Riz Ahmed as the villain is nothing special either, which makes me believe that after so many years being in development all the producers could come up with is lazy writing.
The banter between Brock and the entity is actually not bad and we have Tom Hardy to thank for that. However, the main problem here is that it seems the filmmakers didn’t know what to do with someone as horrifying as the character of Venom is in the comic books. Although this is not a bad movie and you will still have fun, you won’t wonder if any of the characters will appear in the next MCU project.
The movie did gross over $200 million on domestic and worldwide screenings, but the true box office success is yet to be determined since the movie will have its premiere in China on November 2. But Venom already paid itself since its production budget was modest $100 million. Prognosis, for now, is that the movie will be able to reach $200 million domestically, and $500 million worldwide, which might be stretching it a bit but anything is possible.
If you observe Marvel Cinematic Universe, you will notice that its characters are not heavily exploited through their emotions and darker sides like DC is trying to do (not so successfully) in its movies. Nonetheless, I would like to see Venom facing Thanos since that sounds like a lot of fun, even more so than any conflicts I’ve seen in this movie.