‘Venom’ film review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer, is a thriller sci-fi movie spin-off of the character Venom, who was originally introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man comics in 1984. The film’s main character is an evil alien with abilities to merge with organisms on Earth. The alien, Venom, finds himself acquainted with Eddie Brock, a journalist (Peter Parker who?). Both Brock and Venom have their personal agendas and must learn to work with each other to succeed. (Spoilers ahead!)
The movie tries to be funny, but the humour is just not up to par. Venom’s humour in particular seems forced, making it uncomfortable and awkward. The jokes aren’t funny on their own, but they are comedic because it is Venom trying to make them—which may or may not have been the movie’s intent, but it works out.
At one point, Brock asks Venom how the alien knows so many personal facts about him. “I am inside your head. You are a loser, Eddie,” Venom says in reply, an insult which wrenched my heart for all the wrong reasons. I’ve noticed a trend in thriller movies where the evil character calls the protagonist a loser, an example being The Nun. What’s with evil characters and fourth-grade insults nowadays? If I had to guess, I’d imagine it’s a way to combat potential criticism for making a politically incorrect insult. Without thought put into retorts and deeper emotional dialogue, the scriptwriting seems lazy, which is never a good thing.
Another strange moment within the film is when Brock’s love interest, Anne Weying, is overtaken by Venom. The female Venom body is extremely sexualized, which is completely unnecessary. A CGI evil alien succumbing to evil body image standards for women is fitting, though, I guess.
I expected Venom to be a darker, broodier, and overall eviller character. It’s a surprising twist that Brock is much more brooding and pessimistic. However, both characters share a witty dark humour. All the protagonists experience great character development throughout the film, although there are instances where the progression isn’t clearly explained and the change seems sudden and confusing. The antagonist of the storyline, Carlton Drake, pretty much remains evil from start to finish, which is boring but also a superhero movie cliché which is to be expected.
The CGI is crisp and well integrated within the film. The effects are beautiful (or gruesome, depending on how you look at it) and extremely realistic. There is an abundance of action scenes, which are intense while remaining easy to follow. Cinematic scenes are thrown in, which is a good addition to the sets. The movie boasts scenic shots of soldiers shining lasers off their rifles into a fog-filled room, to beautiful views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The entire movie is aesthetically pleasing, so much so that Venom himself says, “Your world is beautiful”—right before threatening its end.
Despite the abundance of negative reviews already out there, the audience remained thrilled and cracking up throughout the entire film. For two hours of a good time, I’d recommend watching the movie.