VENOM Review: If You Embrace its Campiness Then You'll Enjoy it More


Look... VENOM may not be a really great movie, but it is not the worst super hero movie either. There is a good quality in VENOM when you take a step back from it to realize its built-in campiness can be somewhat charming.

I know this isn't a ringing endorsement for this movie, but this film feels like it should have released in a pre-Marvel Studios world about 10-12 years ago. Had it hit theaters a decade-plus ago, then it may have had a chance to become a big box office hit. Sure, many will enjoy the ride VENOM takes you on, yet others will leave feeling disappointed Venom isn't a part of Marvel Studios' current version of Spider-Man as well as Spidey being a part of Venom's origin story as it is in the comic book universe.

So yeah... Tom Holland is not a part of this movie despite rumors claiming he could have been and was seen on set at one point. Fake news. Let's move on.

VENOM starts off slow and I mean really slow as in so slow all I kept thinking about is how they need to move faster toward getting Venom into the movie. It is a test of patience until actor Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock becomes one with the alien symbiote. You get some backstory about Brock and his time as an investigative reporter (he's kind of bad at it), along with his personal life and love interest (he's kind of bad at this, too). His love interest is actress Michelle Williams' Anne Weying and this part of the story arc adds to its boringness, although she does have one cool moment you'll have to see for yourself in the theater.

After an interview goes bad for Brock, he loses everything but that is all his fault because he is in fact not great at his job even though you're led to believe he was a great journalist. Flash-forward several months in time and Brock is on hard times when an encounter creates opportunity for him to get his life back on track.

In order to not spoil the few moments of actual enjoyment here the entertainment value of this film is purely in the banter between Brock and Venom. It is honestly quite cheesy which does give it some humor. Some of Venom's dialogue will catch you off-guard and cause to you laugh because it is so cheesy. This goes from some of Venom's action sequences, too.

There are mentions of biting off body parts and ambiguous shots of some gory bites done. All done in a campy way which I can only perceive as being intentionally done that way and the reason for it being PG-13. It's cheesy campiness is really what saves this film from being a total bust; as I said at the start of this review it gives this film a bit of charm.

If you go into this movie thinking it will be a very serious film along the lines of a Marvel Studios film or even an X-Men movie, you will be highly disappointed. Instead, take a step back from your expectations and embrace its campiness because that is the only chance this movie has going for it have any chance at success. Especially since all the other actor and actress performances, outside of Hardy, are pretty much irrelevant.

Stay through the credits as comic book fans will get some fan service in the first credits scene and then you'll get a clip of Sony's upcoming SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE animated film at the very end of the credits, which hits U.S. theaters on December 14.

Written by Daniel Wolf, Founder & Publisher

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