I am excited to have my first review on ANG be of a character and film I have been waiting to see ever since that atrocity we were haphazardly given so many years ago. Venom will likely be a movie that fans are divided on and will not have a middle ground. Being a fan of the comics and character myself, I thoroughly enjoyed Venom despite the flaws the film had. It was a fun 2-hour ride that contained some great Easter eggs to the comics and Tom Hardy’s performance as Eddie Brock and Venom was far more than I had expected given what the trailers had given the audience. Below is my spoiler free in-depth analysis of Venom.
WHERE VENOM FAILS TO CREATE SYMBIOSIS
Going into Venom, I was worried it would suffer as it was promoted as being a R rating but was then switched to a PG-13 film at the last minute. It did not seem to suffer from missing any gratuitous violence, or language with the product that was finalized and presented before the fans. While the studio might have wanted the film to be downgraded to a lower rating for an increase of ticket sales, films like Deadpool, and Logan have shown that an R rating will not be a death sentence to box office numbers. Like many fans, I was disappointed when the PG-13 rating was announced and worried that the film would be missing essential content to what could have been a spectacular film. Some moments felt like they were simply toned down, where as other moments felt incomplete leaving the audience to ask for more.
The editing of Venom caused the film to feel choppy and even incomplete at some moments. While the original script might have felt whole and streamlined, the finished product was an EKG of highs and lows leaving fans wanting more from the film. This is prominently shown in the timeline of the film and how long it takes, in film time, to get the story to the main plot. The timeline of the film takes place over 6 months, and the timeline within the film could have been better suited to take place over a few weeks instead given the antagonist symbiote takes quite a while to show up on screen in any meaningful way.
Overall the shortcomings of Venom do not hurt the film to the point where it is unwatchable but does finish with the audience wishing there was more on the screen to see.
WHERE VENOM THRIVES AND FINALLY BONDS WITH THE AUDIENCE
The performance of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and Venom was nothing short of enthralling. The concepts behind their dynamic to other characters in the film comes off as Brock has finally lost it and is talking to himself about nonsense leading Brock to commit some acts that surprise and shock others. I was not expecting a dark comedy aspect initially from the character as Venom is quite dark in his comic origins. The constant banter between Brock and Venom is entertaining to say the least and allows for some comedy to be brought to the story and help overcome some of the points of the film that were lacking. While different from the original Venom origins, this concept was well placed and did an excellent job avoiding a plot that fans have seen before. In this iteration, the studio chose to adapt the venom series Lethal Protector to bring the Venom character to life and introduce him into the MCU/Sony universe.
The Lethal Protector Venom series was one I have not looked at since I was a kid. I was surprised it was selected as the main plot of the film at first, but after seeing the film it makes sense and fits into the MCU lore without having to pull from any other films or arcs as source material to feel established. Instead it stands on its own and pulls from the comic series to help build a foundation. In the lethal protector series, the Life Foundation is studying the symbiotes and attempting to create a method of surviving natural disaster should it occur. In the comics, nuclear holocaust was the catalyst for this and in the film, it was driven by global warming. The actions and attitudes of the Life Foundation were spot on with their comic book counterparts. The only real change that I can state here without revealing any spoilers is who the symbiote Riot bonds with. Other symbiotes are not given much screen time, which works given the story being told, and almost helps the films concepts. By the films conclusion I wanted to see more of Venom and there are certainly some aspects in the film that allow for us to believe we will see more Venom going forward.
Obviously, there are post-credit scenes during the credits of Venom, so do not just get up and walk out. One sets up a sequel and the other does not have any relevance to any other Sony or Marvel films but is an entertaining treat that should not be missed. There are some subtle teases throughout the film that lead me to believe we are going to see more characters on screen at some point, even a reference to a certain loud-mouthed news mogul that fans might notice early in the film.
DOES THE FILM BOND WITH AUDIENCES/WHATS IN THE FUTURE?
Venom did not fair favorably with the critics, but the fans seem to be enjoying it given it’s box office success. Venom is not the standard superhero film. While it has its cinematic shortcomings, but the finished product was fairly on point with what the fans wanted from the film. Venom was entertaining and not bad by any means as the characters were enjoyable to see on screen and executed well.
Where Venom falls in the timeline of the MCU/Sony Spirder-Man universe is unclear because no definitive references are made to any of the other films. But it seems like Venom takes place before Infinity War and around the time of Civil War or Spider-Man: Homecoming. The only basis for this is that we do not have any idea on how the Infinity War conclusion will wrap up and how that will impact the MCU and it makes the most logical sense for the film to take place before Infinity War.
At the moment we do not have any confirmation of a sequel or any other real outings for Venom. But given the films reception by fans, I would believe that we are going to see more of the Lethal Protector on screen at some point, but the question remains as to when. The film sets up the next villain quite well and it will be hard to see a sequel being anything short of an R rating with who has been set up to challenge Venom next. Hopefully we can get what fans have always wanted and a Venom/Spider-Man film done correctly because the fans have been patiently waiting for that to happen for far too long.
Thanks for reading and please comment and share my review of Venom! My next review will be on the Season 2 of Big Mouth on Netflix now.