Review of 'Venom'

venom.jpg Friend: So, Steve, what have you been up to since the most recent lockdown?

Me (via Zoom, obvs!): Well, not much, been reading, watching a bit of TV, Netflix and Prime…I can't really go anywhere or do anything…

Friend: Hum, Netflix, seen anything interesting there? Always looking for something cool to watch.

Me: I have been working my way through my playlist and one that we recently watched was “Venom”.

Friend: Doesn't that have something to do with Spider-Man?

Me: Yeah, I think in Spider-Man it was the name of the parasite that infected Spider-Man, making him act funny and turning his costume a funky black colour. The “Venom” film stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a reporter recently fired when he irritated the CEO of the “Life Foundation”, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) with some rather awkward questions about several deaths from the crash of one his space program's rockets. Brock got this information, somewhat sneakily, from the computer of his fiancé, a lawyer, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). A few months later Brock is not doing so well having lost his job and fiancé when, wouldn't you know it after breaking into Drake's secret lab he finds himself infected by a parasite that Drake brought back to Earth in the afore-mentioned rocket. The parasite, calling itself “Venom”, talks to Brock and periodically morphs Brock's body into his true, hideous form.

Friend: What's that?

Me: Hum, a tall “mouth as big as his face” bad-ass monster with huge eyes and lots of teeth…Think Frankenstein's monster except with a head full of teeth.

Friend: Ouch.

Me: Yeah, and it turns out he is the good guy! But, I won't say anything else. Basically, the story is: Good guy infected by violent, but good, parasite battling the big-bad corporation…and aliens. Lots of fighting and bloody, graphic, violence ensues.

Friend: Hum, sounds charming. Did you enjoy it?

Me: “Charming”, what's this, Jane Austen? But, yeah, it is not bad. The effects look great and there is actually a lot of humour with the banter between the “symbiote” (Venom) and Brock often extremely entertaining. The plot takes a few unexpected turns so it keeps you guessing right up to the end. Oh, don't forget to watch the credits as there are two additional sequences there though the second is simply a few minutes from the equally entertaining Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It is a bit “corporations bad”-heavy, which is a bit trite, and the story is a bit, hum, simple but it is most definitely entertaining. Brady does a great job as the fish-out-of-water dude trying to do the right thing while being ruthlessly exploited by an alien. As you do. Despite being from Marvel this is not a traditional “superhero” movie with the main character not a superhero at all nor even a particularly “good” guy…

Friend: Sounds like something worth watching for some mindless action. Just adding “Venom” to my watch list now…

Me: Yeah, I was not sure I would like it but it is really quite good and very entertaining though note I said it was “violent”…read “VERY violent and bloody”…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2021-01-29

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

Studio: Avi Arad Productions

Year: 2018

Length: 112 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Ruben Fleischer: