‘Venom’ is a big gooey mess, but had something I loved anyway

Matt Withers, Arts Editor

I’d be lying if I had said I had high expectations for the movie “Venom.” I had watched every trailer and became more and more conflicted about the film. The footage of Venom himself looked awesome, but everything else looked awful. Which is why I’m surprised to say that “Venom” is not a good movie, but I loved it anyways.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. There is no Spider-Man whatsoever in this film. It is entirely unconnected from the MCU and everything they are doing over at “Marvel Studios.” Because of this there always feels like there is something missing.

The movie opens with a “LIFE Foundation” spaceship crash landing as it breaks through the atmosphere, carrying some alien lifeforms. The crash kills all the pilots. One of the lifeforms escapes by taking control of a local paramedic investigating the crash. The film then cuts to our main character Eddie Brock, (played by Tom Hardy) an investigative reporter, waking up next to his fiancé Anne, a lawyer working for LIFE (Played by Michelle Williams).

Eddie gets assigned to do a fluff piece on the owner of the LIFE Foundation, Carlton Drake (played by Riz Ahmed). Eddie ends up breaking into his fiancés computer and stealing private information from her. Using this information, Eddie grills Drake on some illegal dealings which results in both Eddie and Anne getting fired and causing the two to break up.

You may notice that I haven’t mentioned the titular “Venom.” That’s because he doesn’t get introduced until half-way into the film. The first half of the movie is just Eddie moping around feeling bad for himself, which is fine for a scene or two but when it’s nearly half of the run time then it’s just boring. Eventually Eddie gets one of the alien life forms to bond with him, and together they become the big goop monster Venom.

The trailers would have you believe that “Venom” is a dark action movie, but that’s not actually true. In reality, the film is a buddy cop movie where one of the buddies just happens to be an alien who likes to eat people. There wouldn’t be a problem with this, except the film desperately wants to be the former. It constantly makes comments about how dark it is, and how scary Venom is, but it never comes across that way. It feels like the director Ruben Fleischer (who is mostly known for his work on Zombieland) wanted to make a quirky action film like his previous works, while the studio wanted a gritty superhero film to rival Deadpool.

This film has so many things working against it, a boring a predictable plot, flat characters, the absolute worst villain I have ever seen in a superhero movie, and poorly directed and choppy fight scenes.

So why do I like it?

Because its fun. When Venom is on screen and kicking butt, it’s dumb and silly fun. Hardy is clearly giving it his all in every scene. Everyone else seems dull compared to him, and his banter between himself and Venom is some of the best parts of the film.

As much fun as I had watching Venom, I still don’t think it’s a good movie. If you are able to get a group of friends together that love watching and laughing at movies, then this film is perfect for you. If you want to see “Venom,” wait until its available to stream or rent and keep your expectations low.