Despite an action-packed plot filled with graphic fight scenes, the latest Marvel cinematic universe released “Venom” on Oct. 5, which is not as exciting as it’s made out to be.
The protagonist, who goes by the same name as the film’s title, Venom, is an alien symbiote, a fictional character appearing in Marvel comic books as far back as 1984. Venom possesses a liquid-like form that needs a host, usually human, to bond with for its survival.
The movie latches on to journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy, “Dunkirk”), who tries to take down Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) for his evil ways. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Brock’s body merges with Venom, giving him superhuman strength and power. Fueled by rage, Venom aims to take down Riot, another alien that later controls Drake’s body. The plot is developed exceptionally through car chases, fight scenes and intense brawls.
However, these profound and violent scenes that the audience looks forward to as seen in the trailer don’t appear right away. With a slow buildup and not much action in the beginning of the nearly two-hour film, the real action begins when Venom makes himself known to his host, Brock.
Although viewers receive a clear understanding of the character’s purpose in the film, the movie’s efforts to explain what these aliens are and what sort of organization the antagonist Drake is running works to no avail. A better description of the Life Foundation, Drake’s company and Drake’s whole purpose in capturing these creatures would have given the audience a more definite understanding of the plot.
Along with a vague understanding of the film, no connection to Spider-Man is evident. Viewers with no prior knowledge of who Venom is and where it came from would have no idea of its relationship to Spider-Man, in that the character is a former Spider-Man villain. But with Marvel’s wide fan-base, viewers can find out who this Venom is. However, it would have been nice to see some correlation to Spider-Man in the movie.
Hardy’s performance in the film might be the only enjoyable takeaway, alongside the dynamic action. Balancing Brock’s wry sense of humor and cocky attitude with Venom’s dark and eerie persona, Hardy makes the film as enjoyable as possible. It can be hard playing a hero and anti-hero at the same time, but Brock pulls it off with the best lines in the film being when Venom and Brock speak to each other in comedic ways. For example, when he says, “I have a parasite,” in explaining why he turns into this slimy alien figure, Venom, inside Brock’s head, responds, “a parasite?” in an angry way, surprising him as he is taken aback by the sudden voice.
At the end of the movie, the post-credits scene gives the audience a sense as to where the next installment of “Venom” will go. The scene shows a character that many Marvel comic book fans will recognize, and fans will already be prepared for the sequel.
Overall, despite some missed opportunities, “Venom” does not disappoint completely. The movie still provides some good takeaways. Although the film may not have been as marvelous as it seemed when watching the trailer, the interactions between Venom, Brock and the antagonists are definitely engaging, and the audience gets a look inside the mind of one of Marvel’s most wicked villains: Venom.