Review Crew: “Venom”


Courtesy of Sony Pictures

A.R. Broom, “2 stars out of 5” 

Top-notch computer generated imagery, plenty of action, well known actors, low levels of plot complexity and superpowers. At this point, Marvel has their formula pretty well nailed down to gather vast amounts of audiences and please them.

There were a couple of areas the film fell short of expectations; chiefly, in the dialogue arena where the film seemed to shoot straight down the middle of what could have been an R-rating and its given PG-13 rating. With a couple of shits and a poorly-thought-out use of the p word, the film didn’t make full use of the chaotic neutrality of the two-in-one character of sensational TV journalist Eddie Brock and “symbiote” Venom.

There were not any major or noticeable plot holes, although some of the transitions seemed poorly executed in what was possibly in the interest of keeping viewers attentive. Without entirely spoiling the intro, a better foundation as to how the symbiotes were discovered and less of the journey on Earth, paired with some a timeline in relation to the rest of the MCU could have assisted with the weight “Venom” carried as a standalone film.

That said, the movie might not have been better much longer than another 15 minutes.

Robert Pierce, “3.5 stars out of 5” 

“Venom” is incredibly stupid in the coolest way possible, and therefore very true to the comic book character. It is not by any means a well written, paced or an executed film, but it’s fun, and worth the price of admission.

In the comics, Venom is the result of journalist Eddie Brock bonding with an alien symbiote. Tom Hardy portrays Brock and voices the symbiote. He does a great job of both — though the comically violent and darkly humorous symbiote is the true star of the show. The film’s shaky writing and loose plot threads are a major flaw, but are easy to forget when Venom is on full display during the fast-paced blockbuster action scenes. The film is also well animated, with Venom’s awesomely horrific flesh rippling like jet black muscle tissue in every shot.

If you have any interest in Venom as a character, the movie is worth your time, but don’t come expecting anything more than a popcorn flick.

Perry Continente, “2 stars out of 5” 

“Venom” is a mess, an entertaining mess to be sure, but still a mess. The film wildy oscillates in tone from a horror film to a buddy cop comedy and finally to a vapid superhero slug fest. Characters’ motivations are unclear and shift wildly for no reason and the first third of the film is edited so quickly with so many choppy cuts that it is distracting.

The film’s overall tone lands somewhere between the intentional cheesiness of the Sam Raimi Spiderman films and the adorable incompetence of a ‘so bad it’s good’ movie like “The Room.” I was smiling through much of the movie, it was undeniably a good time, but I’m not sure how much of that was on purpose.

The middle section fairs the strongest with protagonists Eddie Brock and Venom’s back and forth providing most of the memorable moments. While these conversations are fun, the paint-by-numbers action scenes are not. They do nothing fresh or good instead settling for mediocrity.

“Venom” had a troubled production and it shows. If you want a fun mindless romp you could do worse but don’t expect something amazing.