- 3 out of 5
Venom - Tom Hardy clearly had fun
I'm swimming against the tide of other film critics' reviews of Venom by saying; Venom is not a bad film, in fact in places it's entertaining and charming. Tom Hardy clearly had a lot of fun making it and it shows.
I, like many others I assume, spent the last few days combing through some harsh and scary reviews of the film. And here I am, bewildered at the level of hate Venom has received. I can honestly say, I was surprised at the end product. It’s not polished, it’s not great, and there are loads of generic tropes scattered throughout the film. But it’s not bad either.
Tom Hardy plays the role of Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist who works undercover to expose large corporations’ ill-doings. After a series of bad decision-making, he ends up losing quite a lot personally in the space of a day or two. Without giving too much away, Brock gets exposed to an alien symbiote and chaos ensues and so too does some laugh out loud moments.
The level of anguish and oddities he presents create the awkwardness of the character, but which adds to the charm and the comedic undertones that stem from the weirdness. I’ve read a few comments and reviews about how Brock speaking to himself was off-putting or challenging to watch, but that’s part of the struggle between Brock and Venom as they morph into a sustainable relationship between symbiote and human host.
The rest of the film, the plot, the villain are all predictable and will tax no one. It's this weak plot and a cardboard villain that diminish the overall film.
Michelle Williams is a delight too as Brock's on-again, off-again girlfriend. Her casting is as good as Gwyneth Paltrow in the first Iron Man.
I enjoyed the film, and evidently, almost everyone else in the theatre did too, judging by their reactions and laughter. Again, I say, Venom isn’t a great film, but it isn’t half bad either and, definitely, something that a lot of viewers could actually enjoy if they gave it a chance.
Stay for the after credit trailers (there are two), the first of which clearly sets up Venom 2.