When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.
With the new film Venom, Sony looks to explore new corners of the Spiderman universe, without actually having Spiderman in the film, it’s an unexpected situation where Spiderman himself is off on adventures on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Sony Pictures continue to explore different characters which form part of the mythos.
The new film picks up with Eddie Brock in San Francisco, there are a few references to him previously living in New York, but nothing of any relevance to this film in particular. This is the first time we’ve seen Venom on the screen since the last act of Spiderman 3 back in 2007, and this time around it’s taking a far darker tone, though the overall content has clearly been carefully managed to deliver a lower classification rating for the film’s release.
Unfortunately Venom is entirely uninspired, its story is clear from the opening few scenes, there’s nothing particularly interesting, or even unpredictable going on here. The script is generic, familiar, and delivers on most if not all expectations the audience is likely to have from the start. Some of the dialogue is just laughable, and its characters single note.
With that said however, and with generally low expectations going in, there’s still a lot of fun to be found here. The Venom character and accompanying mythology provides plenty of opportunities for over the top entertainment. This time around the character receives plenty of screen time, the design looks great, and there is plenty of action along the way.
On the action, it’s overall solid but a bit bland, though there are some interesting set pieces. The use of Venom’s power is the most interesting display of action in the film, though by the final act we’re treated to yet another display of a CG character in battle with another CG character where neither can apparently hurt the other, and while it’s fine sequence it’s too familiar to stand out from the pack.
Tom Hardy is the best reason to watch this film, his performance is fascinating, it’s bizarre, it’s erratic, and it reflects complete commitment to the performance he’s seeking to imprint on screen, it echoes elements of Mad Max: Fury Road, and is so much fun to watch.
Michelle Williams is the female lead of the film and to be honest I’m wondering what she’s doing here, without much material though she gives a sound performance for Hardy to work off. Riz Ahmed is charismatic on screen, like his co-stars there’s not a lot going on here for him to work with but he delivers a corporate villain that is easy to dislike which is all the film needs from him.
Venom isn’t a great film, and it’s difficult to see this story continuing with sequels but we’ll see, while it’s not memorable there is still a lot of fun to be had here and the big screen will be the best place to see it. I’m giving Venom 6.5 out of 10, it’s currently in cinemas around Australia.