First look: ‘Venom’ is an entertaining mess

First look: ‘Venom’ is an entertaining mess

First look: ‘Venom’ is an entertaining mess
October 05
02:35 2018

Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!”

“Venom” follows disgraced journalist Eddie Brock as he acquires the powers of an alien substance called symbiote, which unleashes the anti-hero and Brock’s alter-ego, Venom.

Venom has always been a very interesting character to me based solely on the relationship he has to his hero counterpart, Spider-Man. Unfortunately, due to the whole mess of property rights and studios, Spider-Man is completely MIA in Venom’s first solo outing picture.

And this is a major deterrent to the film.

The elements provided here unfortunately leave the title character stranded in a jumbled mess of nonsensical plot devices, lazy writing and unfortunate directorial choices. Spider-Man could have helped saved Venom from his own mediocrity.

Thankfully, though, there are some bright spots of genuine entertainment here, namely when Brock (played by Tom Hardy) finally transforms into Venom to deliver exactly what the audiences came to the theater to see. Brock does not transform into Venom until at least an hour into the film, and while it can certainly be taxing to wait to see what we all came for, Hardy helps coax us along for the buildup by delivering a truly great performance, aided by his unusual charm and surprising comedic timing.

But as we are waiting for Venom to finally, well, Venom out, it can be a little bit of a boring time. We get bombarded by countless exposition scenes, lines of dialogue trying to sound smart by using big “science words” and a lack of interesting side characters. It all ends up becoming less than the sum of its few good parts.

I have referenced the weak dialogue already, but it needs to be known that the script is paper thin poor. I mean, some of the dialogue is plain laughable — one minute there was a glimmer of a funny line but then Venom uttered the word “turd” un-ironically. It threw me for a loop, let me tell you. I was genuinely laughing at a funny line, but then I was visibly cringing the next. (Please make up your mind, screenwriters — I can only take so much abuse at your hands.)

In addition to some strong entertainment value, the actions scenes are actually very well done and quite exciting. The final action sequence with the villain you could coin as the “big boss fight” is actually really awesome. While the villain himself may be somewhat forgettable in the middle of all the havoc, that final battle is really something cool. The CGI bothered me a bit in the trailer, but the finished product in the film actually looked great. Especially in that final battle — the CGI looked absolutely stunning in that scene particular. Venom’s suit also looked pretty great, too. His suit also looked kind of rough in the trailer, but his suit in the finished film looked really great, especially when he would open his mouth and showed that iconic smile.

“Venom” has some bright spots of pure entertainment with a powerhouse performance from Hardy, but its inherent lack of logic, terrible script and slow first hour really bog down a film that should have been really great. A Venom film has been needed for a while with the massive slew of comic book movies ever year, but his first solo film is just not what it should have been.

Just like the symbiote covering Brock’s body, if you let the film unfold before you completely letting it take you over, you may be in for some fun — but there are going to be plenty of bumps along the way.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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