Sony has released its latest attempt to get back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of “Venom,” a standalone story based around the titular character, and much like the 2007 attempt to bring him to life, it’s a disaster.
While investigating the Life Corporation and its shady practices, journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy,) discovers experiments regarding alien symbiotes, one of which bonds with Brock and gives him superpowers, helping him become Venom.
The Marvel anti-hero was last seen on the big screen in his cinematic debut, 2007’s “Spider-Man 3,” which is widely regarded as being the death of the Sam Raimi’s web-slinging trilogy, but Sony continued to work on a solo film surrounding the character.
Despite over a decade of work and the hiring of talented writers Jeff Pinker and Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel, the final project feels like one that was hurriedly put together to get to the big screen and capitalize on the current comic book movie trend.
The plot felt as though it both rushed to get audiences to the action while simultaneously back-peddling to develop the characters and universe it’s attempting to build. Due to this, the story resulted in a new but dull origin story that’s sole accomplishment was bringing Venom and Brock together.
The one thing the film did get right, however, was the relationship between Brock and Venom, which helped contribute a lot of comedy that kept things interesting for audiences as the story threatened to put them to sleep.
Part of the reason their “chemistry” works is thanks to Hardy’s gonzo performance, which sees him embrace the craziness required from a man hearing a voice in his head and confused by the evolving situation.
One of the best moments in the film is when Brock gets his first look at Venom in his bathroom mirror, with Hardy’s shrieking reaction and throwing back into his own shower creating a legitimately laughable moment.
The banter that so often appears between Brock and Venom is also a true highlight of the film, thanks to the little ticks and decent dialogue written for the two’s interactions.
Overall, “Venom’”s story and often lackluster action is neither a thrill to watch nor cringe-worthy enough to be unintentionally hilarious, resulting in a bland entry in the comic book genre that wastes a talented actor, writers and director on a dull effort.
Or perhaps, Venom said it best: “Like a turd. In the wind.”