Thursday, 4 October 2018

Venom: Film Review

Venom: Film Review

Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate
Director: Reuben Fleischer

As tonally schizophrenic as its star talking to its symbiote, Sony’s attempt to bring anti-hero Venom into the 21st century stumbles into cliched exposition land but never fully finds its feet.
Venom: Film Review

Hardy is Eddie Brock, a crusading internet reporter whose show The Eddie Brock Report champions the wronged

But when Brock loses his job and his fiancĂ©e (Williams, in a phone-it-in turn) because of his refusal to be a patsy in his interview with Riz Ahmed’s tech giant Carlton Drake, he spirals down.

Offered a chance months later to find out what Drake has been up to at the LIFE institute, Brock’s life is changed when he’s infected with a parasitic alien creature aka Venom.

With the LIFE institute after him to retrieve their “property”, the Brock/ Venom hybrid goes on the run as they try to stop the conspiracy.
Venom: Film Review

Venom feels like a curious hybrid itself - and much like the symbiote struggles with its prospective host, director Fleischer struggles to deliver something that feels nothing more than a garbled, rushed mess.

A hastily assembled opening 20 minutes barely gives any characters chance to breathe and dispenses swathes of emotionally necessary narrative for the hell of it, leaving you gasping to care for what unfolds.

Meshing body horror with a bizarre buddy comedy, Hardy gurns and mumbles his way through the film, giving Brock scant moments of humanity here and there. Plenty of the film sees him pacing and talking to himself before the CGI elements kick into play. It's a shame as Hardy's more than committed to the role, whatever it demands.
Venom: Film Review

The comedic elements are fine and hint at what could have been had the PG bloodless approach been jettisoned for something darker and more twisted. If anything at times, Venom shows a troubled production and hints at a fear of going further than it could.

Some decent FX aside (the twisting rotating creatures are well done, as are scenes of the symbiotes being rejected) much of the action passes by in a blur;, and in parts looks like children flinging and flailing around wet coloured spaghetti; certainly a creature feature finale looks messy and garbled, with neither element standing out, nor the singular triumphant moment emerging at the end.

Ultimately, and sadly, this Venom lacks bite - it's not as bad as you're expecting, but it's not as good either - ironically, this venom is not the cure to the cinematic poison of anti-superhero films.

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