“Venom” (PG-13), like the comic book symbiote it stars, hijacked its host theaters on Oct. 5, 2018.
In the film, produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, San Francisco journalist Eddie Brock finds himself with a report on the Life Foundation. Brock, played by Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises”), attempts to expose the malicious scientific experiments of Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed, who also played Bodhi Rook in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) instead, the founder of the corporation and antagonist. Investigating the company’s secrets, Brock is infected with an alien parasite, referred to as a “symbiote”. The symbiote merges with Brock for its own survival, leaving him with superhuman abilities and a soon-to-be friend. Enhanced by it and his own vengeance, Brock sets out to take down Drake once and for all.
The film features a great concept and a fresh break from the trend of blockbuster superhero sagas that are popular in today’s culture. Giving a new take on an unfamiliar character to most, the movie exposes viewers to a protagonist they have not seen before — a supervillain.
This attempt at the origins of Venom struggles to hook the audience, however, as it falls short in properly developing the character. The film’s introduction of Brock and Drake come off as lackluster and rushed, considering it is merely a few minutes before the audience is thrown into Brock’s conflict. Instead, Brock comes across as a San Francisco nobody with a journalist badge, while Drake appears to be a ripoff of Elon Musk, if his intentions were sick and twisted.
Rather than plot, the film’s shining moments are in its effects and action scenes. The combination of Hardy’s acting and the fast-paced stunts serve it well, showcasing Brock’s newfound powers in an array of spectacular shots that bring the comic book aesthetic to the big screen.
These scenes in part with an exciting soundtrack, with songs such as rapper Eminem’s “Venom,” makes every move by the villain more exciting than the last.
“Venom” is a bold adaptation of a long-forgotten character, but instead of incorporating storytelling, it focuses on and brings to life the action that classic comics for which known.
In my opinion, the newest addition to Marvel’s movie lineup earns 3.5 bulldogs out of 5.