It's fair to say there's an abundance of superhero movies out there at the moment, with around four or five released each year. After agreeing to let their prize possession Spider-Man join the MCU, Sony decided to try and launch their own Marvel Universe with Venom, a film that focuses solely on one of Spider-Man's most iconic villains. I was always skeptical as to whether this would work without Spider-Man however, it turns out that is the least of this film's problems.

When journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is investigating Carlton Drake for human testing in his bioengineering corporation, he discovers that symbiotes are being used. When one of them attaches itself to Brock, he finds it wanting to communicate with him, eventually revealing itself as Venom. Together they must bring Drake down.
Sony made sure they tried to market this as anything but a superhero movie with taglines such as, "The world has enough Superheroes", yet it feels like one of the most formulaic superhero movies of recent years. No effort was made to make Venom seem like enough of a villain to warrant the status of anti-hero, meaning this film becomes everything it didn't want to become.

The screenplay is a complete debacle and genuinely begs the question as to whether this film was ever intended to be the R-rated adventure we were promised, lame jokes and uninspired dialogue aplenty here. The action is totally uninspired as well, heavily edited sequences playing a major part in making them so but it's the finale that really deserves to be criticised. The effects are genuinely good throughout however, when it comes to the finale, it's so hard to tell what's going on as Venom fights another symbiote, the end result looking more like a Jackson Pollock painting, just with drab greys and black rather than any actual colour.

Coming to the performances, Venom features a Tom Hardy performance that shows he's genuinely committed to the cause. The trouble is, every single one of his fellow cast members feels as if they are starring in a totally different film, Michelle Williams in particular. Riz Ahmed makes for one of the least threatening villains of all time, his dour tone sapping the energy out of his scenes. The main attraction is Hardy though and in that respect, Venom has a lead performance that you strangely cannot take your eyes off, which has to be a minor positive, right?

Venom closes with a mid-credits scene that teases another villain I've been wanting to see in a film for years. If they get a sequel and he features, surely they'd have to make it incredibly R-rated. As a result of this clusterfuck trying to launch their own Marvel universe, my words to Sony would be, "You've got to learn to walk before you can run."



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