REVIEW: ‘Venom’ tries too hard to be a superhero movie

Sony should have focused on the fact that Venom is a parasitic monster


CC BY 3.0

Jose Gaglianone

“Venom” tries too hard to be a superhero movie when it should embrace the fact that it is a movie about an icky, gooey monster that likes to eat people’s heads.

The film starts off by deviating from the original backstory of Venom in the comic books. In the movie, alien symbiotes are being transported to Earth by a corporation called Life Foundation.

The Life Foundation is owned by the villain Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, who is a rich billionaire that believes the symbiotes will allow people to survive when the Earth becomes polluted.

The spaceship crashes in Malaysia and one of the symbiotes escapes. While this is happening, investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is assigned to interview Drake about the Life Foundation, but Drake doesn’t want to be interviewed.

Brock manages to get himself fired after asking Drake questions about using homeless people as test subjects for experiments. Six months later, Brock breaks into Life Foundation headquarters and accidently becomes the host for the symbiote Venom, also voiced by Tom Hardy.

This is where we get see Tom Hardy have an internal monologue with himself on screen as Venom starts talking to Brock, yelling things like “food” whenever it is hungry. Through the internal monologue, we get to see Venom’s true motivations.

It was interesting to see Hardy play both parts and the struggle between the two characters trying to live with one another. Venom always wanted to eat and Brock would try to convince Venom it’s not okay to eat people.

Sony should have ran with the idea that Venom isn’t a typical superhero; it’s this slimy alien symbiote with a taste for human flesh. Venom could have been this monster that rips bad guys heads left and right, but instead, the audience gets a tamer version of Venom.

It’s a version of Venom that views itself as a loser compared to the other symbiotes that were transported to Earth and a version of Venom that decides to save the world because he likes Brock. These motivations don’t make a compelling case that Venom should be considered a superhero.

Sony should have taken a risk and let Venom be who he truly is, a head-eating monster. There probably would have been more inspiring action scenes and maybe Venom wouldn’t have looked like a wet, slimy blob of Jell-o.

Instead, we have action scenes where we see Venom driving through the city in a motorcycle getting chased by drones that explode into blue fireballs that looked like blueberry cotton candy.

Overall, “Venom” had the potential to be a great antihero monster movie with great action scenes;  instead, “Venom” is a sad attempt to be a superhero movie.