Saturday, October 6, 2018

Venom - Review

Despite being the worst possible idea, Sony has gone through with their ill-fated plan of a Spider-Man-free universe. Venom is the first of many in development, with other villain led films in various stages if this one produces a profit. And even though quite a few higher quality films fill screens across the country, this trash fire will inevitably make money it doesn’t deserve.

Journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is trying to take down Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake's experiments, Eddie's body merges with the alien Venom -- leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the only element of Venom that even resembles quality is the flashes of Tom Hardy’s talent shining through. Don’t be confused, the performance is still bad for Hardy, but his worst is still miles better than most. The other actors feel as though they were sleepwalking through every scene that required them. Nothing feels organic, and it's far more lifeless than should be expected of a supposedly "fun" action film. It is even more painful knowing the supporting members of the cast are tremendously talented, yet you wouldn’t believe it from this monstrosity.

The whole mess feels dated and unnecessary already, a comic adaptation that pulls very little from the comic itself and uses a bevy of early 2000s clich├ęs. For as far as the superhero sub-genre of films has come over the last decade or so, Venom feels like a huge leap back to the days Ghost Rider or Catwoman. A fundamental misunderstanding of the character leaves the whole endeavor feeling just as hollow as expected.

There is a scenario where, in spite of horrible characterizations and a miserable attempt at a plot, the action could redeem the film as something in the vicinity of fun, but Venom can’t even get that. Chaotic and noisy, each set piece is nonsensical in some new shape or form, resulting in scenes that are more taxing than exciting. That’s not to mention a climax that is the definition of awful.

Venom is easily the worst comic adaptation in years, rivaling Fant4stic for the worst in more than a decade. The characters outside of Hardy’s Brock are non-existent. The action is a slog that drags the film down rather than lifting it up. And the detachment from anything logical or remotely similar to the comics makes you wonder how this ever got made in the first place. 

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