And so, we’re entering the second screening week of ‘Venom’, so here’s another review of the next Marvel movie that probably most of us weren’t this anxious to watch. The trailer, after all, was promising another cinematic ruse by Columbia/Sony (with a little bit of Arad Productions) with their ‘Marvel-rights’.
I shan’t go into the process of analyzing ‘the Dynasty’ scenario that Sony and Marvel (among others) has burdened the fans over the years. Of course, for people not concerned with nerd-stuff, this is irrelevant and I don’t think anyone needs education on the subject. In a nutshell, the legal game on copyrights set up by film-companies doesn’t let fans of the original comics enjoy a faithful transfer of their beloved super-heroes to the big screen.
I was hoping to see at least, as it’s self-proclaimed, an origin story that would bring about the action, horror, sci-fi ambiance. It might be as well that I expected something so unambiguously bad that I didn’t mind what I saw and interpreted it as leniently mediocre.
This origin story follows the doings of a private space company (if only…), which in the name of shared/private interest, brings back to Earth these rational extraterrestrial snot–like life-forms called ‘Symbiots’ that act as parasites to human hosts gifting them with superpowers. Naturally, something goes wrong with the plan, and we end up in the classic no-holds-barred clash between the chief president of the said company and the protagonist anti-hero-unconventional-‘one of us’-journalist ‘Eddie Brock’, portrayed by an enjoyably self-sarcastic and full of energy Tom Hardy. In an unequal comparison to him, we have a staff of actors that are not cut for the job, unfortunately. It’s natural that only one good protagonist won’t be enough to save a movie that was produced with the main purpose of fulfilling the marketing wishes of the producers. Tom Hardy, nonetheless, does a terrific job on ‘decompressing’ this forced feeling by the production directive which is felt throughout the movie. While our viewing might slip into the clutches of boredom, Tom Hardy may throw in a witty comment with his unique British charm to stir us up.
The film also owes a lot of its humor and the depiction of Venom’s character to the approach in ‘Deadpool’, maybe the most successful Sony superhero recipe.
As for the ‘horror element’, the movie fails because of the ‘PG-13 prescripts’ of Hollywood ending up in bad-lit, mediocre for its time, CGI. Sony seems to insist on this outdated, for its era, aesthetics with a hurriedly fast rhythm in the action scenes, cut by unimpressive stunts, reminding us that director Ruben Fleischer, known for the likable ‘Zombieland’, isn’t really well in his ‘game’ here.
What is left to be remembered, I hear you ask! A slow and needless car chase, a funny restaurant scene, where Tom Hardy decides to let his acting talent loose, and that the movie-quote is “Have a nice life”.
In the end, I just have to give Sony my reluctant congrats on its satisfying revenue (125 million!). This might probably give the “green light” for a hopefully better sequel as promised in the mid-credits scene by Woody Harrelson. Of course, still without following our beloved comics lore.