Venom is a popular character in the Spider-man universe. In the film, it is one of five alien parasites that crash lands on Earth. They are collected (save for one that latches on to several different people purposelessly throughout the duration of the film) by a greedy entrepreneur and founder of the Life Foundation, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), who is searching for a way to make a better breed of human beings (because human beings are so flawed). Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a disgraced reporter who was run out of New York and currently lives in San Francisco with his fiancé, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), a lawyer whose law firm represents Mr. Drake and the Life Foundation. When she casually gives Eddie info about her client, he uses it to blind side Carlton during an interview (an interview in which Eddie’s boss specifically instructed him to play nice). Subsequently, the interview was cut short, Eddie was fired as was Anne, and Anne decides to dump Eddie. On a tip from the inside of the foundation, Eddie, forever the journalist, sneaks into the foundation and finds Drakes human experiments. One of them breaks out and latches on to him and thus we have the birth of Venom.
The film plays out exactly how you would expect a superhero (or Anti-hero) film to play out: Eddie is frightened by this parasite he can hear in his head. Then he accepts it. Then he learns it’s eating his organs. Then he rejects it. Then he decides he needs it. They find each other and they take out the “bad” parasite, Riot (I think that’s its name. I actually didn’t hear it in the film) who after endless scenes of it jumping from one body to another to another, finally reaches Carlton Drake who embraces it. Oh and between all of that, Anne and her doctor boyfriend (of course she moves on to a doctor) help Eddie try to figure out what’s wrong with him and also expose the work of Carlton and the Life Foundation. The run time of the film is 2h and 20m however it feels much, much shorter. The script appears to have a beginning and an ending (and a post credit scene naturally) but it felt like it missed the middle. Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams’ talents try to save the movie but they just don’t have much to work with because their characters had no depth and, ultimately, their talents just end up wasted; not even the CGI could save the film.
The sad part is that I believe the film could’ve been better. Venom is the first film explored in the Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSMU?), it should have taken some risk. The way 20th Century Fox did with Deadpool and Logan, Venom should have been rated-R instead of a pedestrian PG-13. Being R rated would’ve given the writers more to explore. Venom, as a parasite, is a vile, malicious, callous, volatile, vicious character and Eddie, as a human being, has morals and scruples, yet, there was really no clash of ideals between the two. The film tried to show Eddie as being down and out but it never felt that way (having a few things in your fridge doesn’t make you down an out if you live in a decent apartment). They could’ve shown how far down Eddie had fallen. His apartment could’ve been in a really shitty neighborhood, rat and roach infested, dirty, and violent, and Anne could’ve found a better reason to dump Eddie rather than for doing his job and trying to expose the truth. The film felt rushed on all regards and it shows in the finished product. Venom had an opportunity to be 2018’s Spawn, instead it’s terribly forgettable and only worth watching when it comes out on cable… even then it should only be relegated to background noise as you clean your house. You know what… not even that. It’s really not worth it. Life is too short to throw away precious time.