Venom has not made a great impression with critics. While many critics at least praised Tom Hardy’s performance, not much good was said about the rest of the film. Despite all of that, I decided to ignore the reviews and watch the film for myself. Judging from the packed theatre, I wasn’t the only one. Truth be told, I was glad I watched it for myself. I understand some of the criticism, but before I delve into this review, there is one thing I want to say. Venom was not as bad as critics make it out to be. Can it rival other Marvel films for the top spot? Probably not. But the film was highly entertaining. Let’s take a look as to how and why.
What is the film about?
The film is about Eddie Brock, an investigate journalist who tries to uncover the truth about the Life Foundation. After this goes awry, he attempts a comeback months later, after receiving inside information regarding the foundation’s experiments with Alien creatures. These creatures are so-called Symbiotes. When Brock infiltrates the Life Foundation, he is infected with one of these symbiotes. This changes him into his violent super alter ego Venom. With his newfound powers, he must try to protect the world and bring down the shady organisation that is looking for a symbiote of their own.
Venom is mostly known as a villain in the Spider-Man comics, although Spidey is never mentioned in the film. In the comics, Brock is infected through Spider-man, but Venom diverts from that story line and alters it slightly. While many fans of the comics were initially outraged about the fact that the story differed from the comics, it did provide the makers with enough freedom to tell a complete story without having to rely on Marvel’s famous webslinger.
Slow first half, then they pick up the pace
The first half of the film is a bit dull. It sets up the story, but there is not enough action or suspense to make it interesting. This all changes when Venom makes his entrance. Tom Hardy does an excellent job in portraying the twisted relationship between these two characters. Eddie Brock is a loser who constantly doubts himself, but his invader is kind enough to try and lift him up. It is evident that Hardy had a great time making this film. While the rest of the cast know they are in a dark superhero film, Hardy provides the necessary comic relief, even though at times it might not be intentional. Combine that with great action sequences, and you have an entertaining ride.
The film is funny in a campy sort of way. Because it is not a clear setup for a sequel, and neither does it try to fit into the bigger MCU right away; there is enough freedom to be its own thing. That in particular is why the film seems to resonate with audiences; even though it might not hit home with critics.
While Venom might never be the greatest Superhero film of all time, it is good enough to stand on its own. It’s fun, without trying to be any more profound than it is. In a way, it is refreshing to see a superhero film like they used to make them back in the day. I am actually excited to see what comes next in the planned trilogy, especially when Hardy is involved.