Venom offers entertaining but lackluster action movie

Thomas Chavez ’19, Managing Editor

In this era of Hollywood, it is hard for superhero movies to stand out amongst each other, and Sony’s latest Marvel movie, Venom, proved that it was not the exception when it hit theaters on Oct 5. With a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 31 percent, the reception from critics has been so poor that the Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus goes as far as to state, “Venom’s first standalone movie turns out to be like the comics character in all the wrong ways – chaotic, noisy, and in desperate need of a stronger attachment to Spider-Man.”

Despite these complaints, Venom found itself popular amongst its general audience, reeling in an 89 percent audience score. The movie has polarized critics and the public, and the question must be asked: did it really suck as bad as the critics say?

Venom has many horrifically terrible elements in it. The main character, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), does not connect with the audience and has little to no character arc throughout the movie. The supporting roles serve as nothing more than plot devices to push the movie forward. Brock’s foil, Venom, has the only character arc in the entire film, and this arc comes right out of left field for everyone in the audience. Plus, this arc lasts just two scenes of the entire movie.

Furthermore, The main villain, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), lacks the presence to be an intimidating or believable ‘bad guy’. The way he is portrayed makes him seem like just another dirty business man,  rather than a fleshed out and imposing villain. By the end of the film, Drake is nothing more than yet another CGI monstrosity that inevitably will force the hero into a lackluster heavyweight bout.

On the flip side, the big thing Venom has going for it is Hardy and his portrayal of Venom. As senior Stevie Macgregor said, “Any scene without Hardy in it was significantly worse.” When Brock and Venom are the main focus of a scene, the movie is fun. Hardy balances the inner trauma Brock has to go through with a ‘parasite’ invading his mind with the sarcastic humor the film brings to the forefront. The chemistry between these two characters works really well and the humor that comes from the scenes with them is an enjoyable adjustment from an otherwise tonally confused film.

In the end, while Venom lacks a lot of characteristics that make up a good movie, there is something endearing about Hardy’s performance that keeps the audience engaged through the dull, lifeless points of the story. It is Hardy’s portrayal as the film’s titular character provides a positive viewing experience to an otherwise bombastic film.

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