As the credits role, and the first credit scene predictably plays out, I'm left wondering what the original screenplay contained.
It starts with the cliché big bad corporation finding an alien species which naturally escapes. And through a contrived plot point it finds its way to Eddie Brock played by Tom Hardy.
VENOM ACT 1:
This first act was always going to be unoriginal. It's as if Hollywood doesn't have brilliant script writers who can tell anything else.
They had an opportunity to really turn this into something really creepy and horrific asas the symbiote move symbiote moved from body to body, but instead constructed Venom into a generic computer generated goo!
I had hoped the 'host capturing' would be more violent and had hoped the 'host capturing' would be more violent, malevolent and uncomfortable.
There is a moment when the alien possess a little girl, and we all know how creepy little girls can be right? (RED RUM!!!)
VENOM ACT 2:
The entire second act was convoluted mess of over CGI and weak dialogue. A mix of set action pieces, a particular moment I liked was the small army of armed guards corner Venom in a building. The smoke grenades add a nice visual treat.
They really played up the duality of Venom inside Brock's head, and Tom Hardy plays it well enough, but he's given cheap dialogue which added little to the schizophrenic fight for control. The fact that Hardy comes out of this film relatively positively is a testament to his acting presence.
The final part is just a mess; the bad guy is acting upon his evil plan, Venom and Brock must stop him together. Predictably there's another symbiote (he's in the trailer) and a gargantuan CGI battle begins. The action is so OTT and poorly blocked, that I swear this was a Michael Bay film!! I couldn't tell you who hit what and who was getting hit!! COME ON HOLLYWOOD, sort out your mess!
Sadly this film had a lot of potential. In Sony's blinkered desperation to create yet another damn "Universe" to compete with Marvel, they ignored the legacy of Venom; they make the mistake of ignore the comic books and doing their own thing; there is no reference to Spider-man, there is no depth to Eddie Brock's motives as a reporter, there is no deep analysis into the conflict between Venom's evil desires and Brock's selfish gains.
Other than Eddie Brock, the other characters are bland and add nothing to the plot. And I mean nothing. If you take out all the supporting characters (even the bad guy), the film would still continue along it's scripted conclusion. Ok, so there was a key scientist that connected some dots, but otherwise the other characters were redundant.
The effects were overdone, I thought Venom looked too CGI and shiney, the set pieces were okay, but Tom Hardy's performance really had potential. And that's the world of superhero movies; other than Marvel, Sony, Warner/DC and Fox just don't get it. Build depth and the profits will follow!!
I give Venom 5/10. Better than The Predator, on par with Ready Player One.
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