To put it simply, Venom is a hot mess, but I would recommend it to anyone. Though it’s messy and could do with some better writing, it is an incredibly fun movie which focuses on a villain instead of a superhero for once.
The story follows an ex-reporter named Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy. In his attempt to bring down and investigate a shady science corporation, he stumbles upon an alien specimen known as a symbiote. This alien is none other than Venom himself, who then merges with Eddie’s body given that he needs a host form to survive.
The rest of the movie then plays out like a strange buddy comedy between Eddie and his parasite, Venom. The two literally bicker like an old married couple, and even call each other names. Only Eddie can hear Venom who commentates on just about everything Eddie’s doing inside of his head, judging him constantly.
Venom also can control Eddie’s body at will, which essentially gives Eddie superhuman-like powers even though it is technically Venom who is doing all of the work. This is the basis for the comedy in this movie. The audience sees Eddie’s shocked reactions to his body killing people and becoming supernatural. He even argues with Venom over constantly almost getting himself killed which just makes Eddie look crazy because he is essentially talking to himself in public.
If this story sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. To make matters worse (or better depending on your point of view) Venom is incredibly….sassy? Yes, this probably 8 foot tall, massive black creature that occasionally takes over Eddie’s entire human form is not the no-nonsense, serious type, which comes as a surprise being that he likes to bite people’s heads off. Venom quips back at Brock throughout the entire movie serving some amazing one liners. This in tandem with Tom Hardy’s portrayal of a very meak and quivering Eddie Brock, and you’ve got some comedy gold. This dynamic between Venom and Brock is no doubt the best part about the movie, but it is also the strangest.
There are parts of this movie where you are not sure if you’re supposed to laugh at the movie or laugh with the movie. This is partly due to the fact that the movie makes fun of superhero films and their tropes by choosing to do every single one without irony. There was the evil scientist who was so obsessed with his work that he disregarded any ethical rules, a science experiment that went wrong, and a wacky hijinks in the middle of a fancy restaurant scene. All of these are cliches audiences have seen before and the movie completely leaned into all of them without hesitating.
This movie knew what it was, a cheesy and fun comic book film about a man and his sassy parasite and it didn’t care what you thought about it. You knew this because the tone was incredibly consistent. There was never a point where Venom took itself seriously and it never should have. If you needed further proof that the movie knew what kind of dumb fun this story was, acclaimed rapper, Eminem, rapped the theme song where he spits bars like, “Wicked, I get all high when I think I’ve smelled the scent of elephant manure—hell, I meant Kahlúa…”.
If you look at the rotten tomatoes score you would see that critics gave this film a 33 percent. It’s not hard to understand why, when there is a scene where Venom merges with a puppy who then menacingly stares a hysterical Tom Hardy with full dramatic music. Yes, that actually happened.
A work of art, this film is not. In fact, it might just be the dumbest film of 2018. But, this movie knows what it was and it simply did not apologize for it. It gives you crazy scenes like the one previously mentioned. but the tone is so light hearted and self aware you can’t help but laugh and enjoy. That is probably why the audience score as of now is at 89 percent. This is not a film you leave feeling like you learned something, but it is a film that will make you smile.