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Review: Venom’s great moments are overshadowed by its seemingly endless number of faults

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Venom, played by Tom Hardy, reveals himself. Image courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Venom, played by Tom Hardy, reveals himself. Image courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Venom, played by Tom Hardy, reveals himself. Image courtesy of Sony Pictures.

By Mano Baghjajian

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When reports first began to trickle out about Sony Pictures developing a solo “Venom” movie, it would be generous to say there was some doubt. “Venom’s” last on-screen appearance garnered a lot of criticism by fans. He is one of the most beloved Marvel characters, so there was hope that one day a film would do the character justice.

This new 2018 adaptation of “Venom” was directed by Ruben Fleischer and starred Tom Hardy in the title role, as well as Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed in supporting roles.

The premise of the film surrounds Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy. Brock is an investigative journalist based in San Francisco who tries to uncover corruption throughout the city and expose it to the public. While trying to investigate the shady actions of science tycoon Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, Brock is fired from his job and loses everything.

Drake has captured a few extraterrestrial organisms from a crashed meteor, which he refers to as “symbiotes.” Brock breaks into Drake’s lab, and he accidentally causes one of the symbiotes to escape and merge into him. The symbiote, which is called Venom, gives him supernatural powers that he uses to defend himself, and eventually go after Drake.

My expectations were frankly very low going into the film. The film currently has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 35 on Metacrtic. The critical buzz surrounding the film was quite negative. After seeing the film for myself, the word I would use to describe it as fun.

I did not expect to laugh out loud as much as I did. The chemistry between Brock and Venom was very comedic and a little raunchy. I was getting buddy cop vibes from the way they interacted.

The action sequences are very cool and fun to watch. The large portion of the budget that went into the special effects was put to good use because I was in awe during some of the fight sequences. Venom is not a moral character and some of the fights included images that could be disturbing or gruesome to some.

Unfortunately the film has a lot of negatives, and the main culprit for that is the scriptwriter. There is some really bad dialogue throughout this film, some of it being laughably bad. The overall plot is too ridiculous. Things are too convenient for the characters so as a result I never felt any sort of tension towards the climax of the film.

Tom Hardy’s performance was good for what it was, but the rest of the cast didn’t really impress me. That is a shame because both Williams and Ahmed are tremendous actors, they just didn’t have much to work with.

“Venom” is a not a good movie, but it is not nearly as terrible as I thought it was going to be. If you go into it expecting a fun popcorn movie, that is exactly what you are going to get.

“Venom” had a very successful opening weekend at the box office, raking in $80 million domestically, making it the highest opening a movie has ever had in the month of October.

So if you are on the fence about seeing this movie, I would say grab a couple of friends and view it yourself. It’s no Citizen Kane, but it is a really fun time at the movies, and sometimes that is all you need from a movie.

Score: 5/10

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