Thanks to a free movie rental I got to check out that movie that was abuzz a few months back, for better or worse. Personally, I found it to be a lot better than I anticipated (hence why I saved it for a free rental) despite its setbacks.
First off, I was impressed by this movie quite early, namely when the space shuttle bearing a symbiote (I can’t remember if it was more than one or not, to be honest, it does happen fast) crash lands and one of the pilots is referred to as JAMESON. I was genuinely surprised. Most of the Spider-Man fan base has for years expected Venom on the big screen to source the 90s animated origins. The fact that we got the amount of it that we did so early got me right by the Spidey-nads.
However, it immediately cemented in my head that this was gonna be a movie that honors most expectations of what the first VENOM movie should have. The finale was so predictable within the first twenty minutes – it’s hilarious. Despite there being no Spider-Man in any way during this movie, it plays out similar to how it might have if the web-head had been present. I’m certain it still would have ended with a shuttle launch battle and a symbiote getting roasted.
Even so, this movie was fun all around. The violence is leashed by the PG-13 rating, though it doesn’t shy away to verbalize it all after the fact. So really they kind of get to have their cake and eat it too. We get to see a Venom that very much bites people’s heads off, but holding back on the gore actually makes him more approachable as a hero, especially when you see how he and Eddie Brock interact.
On that note, Tom Hardy is a solid Eddie Brock. When he was first cast I thought it was perfect, but honestly the direction he (and even the writers) went wasn’t quite the direction I would initially have thought for a character such as his, but then again I was still thinking of him as the clear opposition to Peter Parker… and considering there’s no Peter Parker in this movie obviously the character of Eddie Brock has to have some tweaks.
He’s a little more sensitive and overly righteous, but when he hits rock bottom (furthermore how exactly he hits rock bottom) he’s classic Eddie. He cheated his way to a scoop – sure, for the greater good, but getting his fiancee fired and losing all of his own credibility in town might not have been all that worth it. I actually really liked it, because it truly shows that no matter what you do to tweak this character, there’s some things about him that you can’t possibly change.
Venom is pretty much perfect. His banter with Eddie is hilarious and his thirst for violence and even a little justice is invigorating. I feel like he might be a little bit too animated at times, but I’m not complaining. It literally looks like a walking, talking, biting Venom. The only other thing you could do is throw in a little more drool as far as I’m concerned.
My only major nitpicks with this movie, for what it’s worth, is that the final battle with Riot is a bit of a mess on screen (two dark symbiotes battling it out at night might not have been the best call), but more importantly the fact that we never got to see Venom himself ride a motorcycle.
Seriously! There was solid five minutes of Eddie Brock riding a motorcycle, and none of the filmmakers thought for a moment how dope it would look if Venom was riding it instead? Missed opportunity, guys, come on!
OH! I also can’t believe how much Stan Lee’s cameo took me off guard! It was a great one, too!
TL;DR Score: No web-head to be found, but it stands pretty solid on its own.