Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Review Venom (2018)


Venom (2018): 6/10

Venom opens with shady corporation “Life Foundation”, lead by the sinister Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), retrieving alien lifeforms from space known as “symbiotes”, that later breach containment as the spacecraft crash lands on its re-entry to Earth. Drake looks to achieve “symbiosis” between species and human host in order to advance civilisation, but uses barbaric methods in order to further his research at a quicker pace, prompting intrigue from investigative journalist Eddie Brock.

After the success ‘Deadpool’ had as an R-rated film, many saw this film as an opportunity to really push the boundaries with Venom also. Perhaps we were surprised then (were we though?) that Sony opted to stick with a lower age certificate, which holds the film back in all areas. It almost seems to pull out of anything overly crude or offensive. Largely curbed language where you’d expect outbursts, and off-screen violence involving Venom at his most ravenous.

That’s not to say it’s a complete horror show. Ahmed and co-star Michelle Williams (‘Manchester By The Sea’, ‘The Greatest Showman’) make a telling contribution to proceedings for sure, but it’s the relationship between Brock and Venom that really carry the best bits of the film, Hardy proving a perfect fit as loser Eddie. The exchanges between them are playful and entertaining. A shame then that the big CGI fight involving them towards the end is rushed through and feels messy. It’s over so quickly for such a show piece.

It’s certainly not as bad as the majority of critics are suggesting, but admittedly nothing special either; Venom feels like a bit of a missed opportunity, but is still worth taking a chance on. Of course, getting any enjoyment out of the film will largely hinge on whether you accept Venom for what it is or flat out reject it; hardcore fans of the comics may well fall into the latter group. Don’t forget to stick around for the mid and post-credit scenes.

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