That is one big pile of s***

Ruben Fleischer (2018)

I’ve been a big fan of Spider-Man since I was a child. It’s probably my favorite superhero, and Venom is one of the best villains in that universe. I also like superhero movies a lot, I think Tom Hardy is a terrific actor, so on paper this had a lot of things to please me. Except when I heard of it I was genuinely not interested, and was completely comforted in that position upon seeing the trailer. Some time later I’ve finally watched it, and boy was my instinct right…

Successful investigative reporter Eddie Brock sees his life in shambles after crossing paths with Tech magnate Carlton Drake, losing his job and his fiancee. After breaking into Drake’s lab to get evidence of horrific experiments with alien life forms, he finds himself infected with one of the “symbiotes”.

The Good: Hum, I seriously have to think about what I liked in it, and nothing obvious comes to mind. I’d say maybe that some aspects of it are not as bad as the others? or some actions scenes are mildly entertaining? Frankly it’s quite hard to name even one thing I enjoyed.

The Bad: Where to start?

  • The visuals I find atrocious, nothing is pretty here. It’s either too dark or weirdly colored, and they throw CG in your face, it’s really unpleasant visually
  • the tone, it is wildly inconsistent, sometimes that can be good, but not here, because that would require scenes to work first… No tension in supposedly tense moments, not a smile during “funny” jokes, no emotion in intimate scenes, etc. you get it
  • the acting left me perplexed, why is Tom Hardy playing Brock like that, like he doesn’t know where he is half the time? Why does Michelle Williams seems so disinterested? Why are all characters so poorly written? At no point in the movie did I care for anything or anyone
  • The “story” is rather simple, that could not be a huge problem in itself but nothing is exploited correctly, like why does Venom suddenly decide to be “good”? Don’t Know! Or the uber-villain’s evil motivations that suddenly align with the other symbiote that spent 6 months doing nothing in Asia, urgh…

My opinion: This movie made me understand people who don’t like superhero movies. If that’s your introduction to the genre, it might turn you away for ever. It might actually make ME rethink my stance on it. Are most of the others as bad as this?

I would completely agree that superhero movies are hardly what would constitute the best cinema. But just take the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man, and compare it to Venom, there is a world between them.

It’s not a movie that I hate (like the Last Jedi), surely because I don’t care enough to hate it. I genuinely think this is an artistic disaster (and I’m quite baffled at how financially successful it became). I’m sure loads of talented people were involved in this project, but for me nothing works.

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