Disgraced journalist Eddie Brock encounters an alien organism
and takes on the alter ego of Venom to stop a dangerous scientist.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Written by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, Kelly Marcel
Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed,
Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
It's an understatement to say that I went into Venom with zero expectations. From the rampant critical damnation to the insistence on a PG-13 rating, I figured this film was gonna be another franchise starter flop like The Amazing Spider-Man or Fantastic Four. What I ended up getting was an exciting, funny, well-acted spin on the superhero formula that features some mind-bending CGI that is sure to nab this film a Best Visual Effects nomination. Comic fans finally have a big-screen adaptation of Spider-Man's greatest enemy, even if we'll never see him face off against the webhead himself.
Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a former journalist who breaks into the Life Foundation and is chosen by the alien symbiote Venom to be his host. When Brock is targeted by the company's evil CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), he and Venom must work together to stop another symbiote, Riot, from escaping Earth and coming back with an invasion force. While the third act is a bit rushed and there's no logical reason for Eddie and Venom to be allies now after butting heads the entire time, Hardy's charismatic performance and the impeccable visual effects make up for a surprisingly small amount of story issues.
The post-credits tease amped me up for the sequel, and I hope the film is at least moderately successful so we get to see Venom face off against other symbiote baddies like Carnage, Toxin, or Anti-Venom. I was pleasantly surprised at how Sony managed not to screw this up. After Ghostbusters, I figured this for a misfire, but it's not. Venom is a fun superhero movie that brings the character to life in a way that's never been done before.