Venom: A Hot Mess

We are Venom. But are we impressed? Maybe that now somewhat iconic line from Venom holds water up to the infamous “We are Groot.” Maybe. But it’s seemed like it’s been a very mixed bag overall, with many singing different forms of praise for varying reasons, and some saying we should stay away from it, and that it’s not what fans deserved as a standalone Venom movie, and instead you should buy tickets to Crazy Rich Asians instead, or A Star is Born instead of wasting time on this particular Marvel Movie.


I’ll try my upmost to not give away too much of the story to Venom, and not to give any spoilers. Generally, I don’t think there’s an awful lot to spoil really, unless you’ve literally never heard of Venom as a character, or never saw Spider-Man 3 back when that was in cinemas, where we experienced Venom on the big screen for the first time, but as a villain and without any real character to the infamous symbiote itself.

But things are different now. With Marvel movies being fired off several films and TV series a year, some would say we’re becoming over-saturated with Marvel goodness, and that it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to slow down and take a more leisurely pace. With the promise of the MCU to expand even further after the Disney/Fox deal, we’re going to see X-Men in a whole new light, so the Marvel train MCU-related or not, isn’t due to slow down anytime too soon.

Then, a trailer drops from Sony. Venom, in his standalone movie for the first time, that’s not associated with the MCU. (Although that’s still a bit in the balance for some people, you never know with Disney money.) It was a very strange initial reaction, lots of people excited and generally curious about what and how this movie could and would work out. Could it work without Spider-Man? This is one of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains we’re talking about. With that in mind, comic book fans know Venom has been an anti-hero for quite a few years now. A lethal protector. A baddie that’s also a goodie, sort of.

There were people upset that he wasn’t going to be in the MCU, which I can sympathise with to some extent, because it makes it feel a little messy and doesn’t give hardcore fans that gooey warm feeling that this isn’t all happening in the same universe setting. Maybe that’s my issue, but at the same time, not all Marvel movies necessarily need to be set in the same universe. Not if the movie’s good. X-Men movies weren’t for a long time, and I didn’t meet a lot of people that didn’t enjoy “Logan.” It’s really more if you enjoy the film, surely?

There was a lot of uncertainty of whether this movie would be a success. That feeling is still lingering even know that the movie’s out! People have gone out, watched it, and still don’t know what to make of it. They may well have enjoyed it and laughed, but they don’t know if it was good enough, or held water to other Marvel associated movies. But was Venom supposed to have laughs? Shouldn’t it have been gory? Brutal? Scary? I think it should have been, at least more than what it was.

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Personally, I did enjoy the movie overall, beats having my head bitten off. I don’t think it was amazing, recommend to all my friends and family to see kind of good, but I just thought it was good. It was okay. I wouldn’t rush to see it again, but I may buy it once it’s out on DVD.

Eddie Brock is the main character, played by Tom Hardy, which really helped sell the movie to people. He’s a good actor in my books, and let’s face it, he has a very popular following for his acting abilities, and a lot of women I know just love him and would happily spend the rest of their life with him at a moments notice. (Okay, slight over-exaggeration, but there’s no doubt that women and men love him!) I thought he really did justice to the character, made him likeable, funny, and just really brought a positive energy with his performance. He really did help make the movie for me, especially since most of the other characters are forgettable, and just not that important overall. Eddie and Venom are obviously the main characters, and they’re the only one’s whose names I really remembered in all honesty.

It’s a bit of a slow burner to start with, and the set-up actually gave a very different vibe to what the movie would be like overall. It could’ve been sped up a bit, but that’s probably me being a nit-picking fan, since I know the story of how Venom comes to be originally. Now, this movie holds true to some of these comic concepts, but it does pretty much follow its own original story line and borrow bits from comics. Which I think is fine, it makes it somewhat easier for audiences who maybe haven’t heard of him or know what he’s about.

But, once the fun starts, it doesn’t slow down. Once Venom pops off, it’s riddled with some aspects of horror, and littered with comedy. The comedy is unexpected, even I didn’t think there would be as many fun lines in the movie, but it was full of them! And I did laugh out loud at a lot of them, along with half the cinema. You don’t expect a movie about a hulking, alien, scary goop that binds to people as hosts could be funny. It reminded me of the comedic styling of “Shaun of the Dead.” Horror mixed in with comedy, absolutely. Okay, it’s not the most horrific film in the world by a long shot, and I didn’t even jump at a single scene. And I usually do. But you could see the angle they were going for when they were making it, and I think it pulls it off quite well. But, admittedly, the film could have been done in lots of different ways, and still might’ve been as much of as success. Could’ve gone down the horror route entirely, and it could’ve possibly pulled it off.


I do seem to be on board with the people that’re singing praise for the movie, it was a pretty funny movie, even if that’s not what I was expecting. But do I think it’ll be a success as a franchise? Venom-verse? I’m still very sceptical. I think as a standalone movie it did okay, but I don’t think it’s going to be a movie spoken about for years and years to come. Nobody really cared much about Venom in Spider-Man 3.

Venom as a standalone is just okay. It’s a hot mess, which I’ve seen it referred to many times since it came out in cinemas. And I think that’s the most accurate description for Venom out there. It’s like a roller coaster you don’t want to go on again, not because you were scared to go on again, but because you’d be bored to ride again.

It’s already got some potential for a sequel, definitely. But should it? Maybe. I’d be curious to see if it would actually be any good. Venom made me laugh and made me wince in ways only Venom could. But do I think it deserves a whole franchise after that? Tom Hardy put the work in, no doubt, but does it need to be more than that? Does it need to go further? I honestly don’t know, and maybe that’s because I don’t really care if it does. I don’t think it’s an iconic film, and I don’t think a lot of people will or do even like it. Its future isn’t that bright. But it most likely does have a future. That’s Hollywood, Baby.