In a world that has featured three reboots of the Spider-Man franchise – with each containing separate universes and different actors portraying the famous web sling – Sony Pictures’ “Venom” comes along as a disconnected Spider-Man spinoff film to confuse my mom even more.
While Sony has offered a temporary license to Marvel Studios allowing Tom Holland’s Peter Parker into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before this major studio merger, Sony had plans to create their own “Spider-Man Cinematic Universe” to rival the MCU. Despite the success of “Spider-Man Homecoming,” Sony continues to buckle down on their plans to create their own Spider-Man cinematic universe, even without the web-slinger.
“Venom,” starring Tom Hardy, was meant to be the kick off to this new movie universe by being the first in this separate timeline – and if we are lucky enough, it will also be the last.
The movie does offer a great and comedic performance from Hardy portraying Eddie Brock, but outside his performance, the movie sadly has nothing else to offer.
“Venom” resembles a very generic superhero movie we might have seen in the early 2000s, and the movie doesn’t dive into the many themes that an anti-hero such as Venom has to offer. Instead, it passes off Venom’s more “dark” attributes as comedic banter – and it’s clear Sony wanted “Venom” to play more like an MCU hero than take a risk with a darker origin tale.
The movie can be summed up as: boring and generic sci-fi alien – comes down to earth to do boring generic sci-fi things – and the protagonist has to team up with one of the boring generic sci-fi aliens – to stop the boring and generic villainous plot – in a boring and generic CGI battle we’ve seen a 1,000 times.
“Venom” had the potential to be an enjoyable play by the numbers superhero movie if it explored the character dynamic between Eddie and Venom further, but the two aren’t introduced together until the last quarter of the movie, along with the main villain (Riot I think his name was?…I honestly don’t remember…) making Eddie’s bond with the symbiote extremely rushed and last minute and Venom’s decision to fight for earth illogical.
The movie skips over development between Eddie and Venom and Eddie’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend played by Michelle Williams. Instead, the movie would rather give screen time to scenes where we watch the evil lab discuss how “important” the symbiotes can be towards humanity, and why “Venom” is the next step towards humanity’s evolution, and – WE’VE SEEN PLOTS LIKE THIS A MILLION TIMES – WE JUST WANNA SEE VENOM IN A FULL MOVIE – WHY WOULD YOU WAIT TILL THE LAST FOURTH OF YOUR MOVIE TO INTRODUCE THE CHARACTER THE MOVIE IS NAMED AFTER!? GOSH DARN IT SONY, JUST GIVE YOUR SPIDER-MAN RIGHTS BACK TO MARVEL …I digress…
I would be lying if I said I thought all the fight scenes in the movie were generic – as once Eddie Brock teams up with the symbiote, we watch some creative usages of his new found powers. But like…this makes up only 10 percent of the movie.
While “Venom” has some brief glimpses of creative action, and a solid character dynamic between Eddie and Venom, it is constantly bogged down by science fiction mumbo jumbo and a very discombobulated romantic subplot. The movie doesn’t offer anything new or interesting to the superhero genre. Sony’s “Venom” is “The Mummy” of Marvel movies. (And I’m not talking the good “Mummy” movies!)
I give “Venom” three “Just-sell-your-comic-rights-to-Marvel,Sony…” out of ten. “Venom” is directed by Ruben Fleischer and is in theaters now.
(Also just a quick side note – if Spider-Man does not exist in this Universe, then how come Venom still had the classic Spider-Man eyes if he never bonded with Peter Parker? Email me back about this, Sony.)