By KHASHAYAR GHAFFARIEH
Venom is the latest film adaptation of the beloved comic anti-hero. The movie is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who has previously directed box office hits such as Zombieland and Gangster Squad. Tom Hardy was announced as Venom surprising many. Due to Hardy’s reputation as an one of the saving graces in 2016’s Suicide Squad, many fans were excited to see what he could do with a new character.
The plot begins with the Life Foundation, a bioengineering corporation, discovering a symbiote, an alien life form. Some samples are brought back to earth, however one escapes and leads the ship to crash. The Life Foundation retrieves the other symbiotes and transports them to their research facilities in San Francisco. The CEO of the Life Foundation, Carlton Drake, discovers that symbiotes need an oxygen-breathing host to survive and starts to experiment with human hosts. However this backfires as the symbiotes begin to kill their human hosts due to the genetic complications. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock finds out about Drake’s human trials in a classified email sent to his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney defending the Life Foundation in a lawsuit. Brock confronts Drake about the allegations in an interview, leading to both Brock and Weying losing their jobs. This leads to Weying ending their relationship. Brock then infiltrates the life foundation facility to further investigate the situation. Though this leads to him accidentally merging with one of the symbiotes: Venom. Brock and Venom are a perfect genetic match and this merger turns them into a super creature. With new powers, Brock seeks vengeance on Drake for both ruining his life and murdering innocent people.
Unfortunately, Brock and Venom teaming up to kill people was the only entertaining part of the movie. The script effectively destroys any chance of there being an exciting character aside from Venom. Carlton Drake is one of the most boring villains in Marvel history and Brock’s relationship with his ex-fiancée is even worse. Weying has moved on from him, and is in a much better relationship. Thus, it is hard for the audience to root for Brock getting her back as from what they saw, he was a terrible partner for her. Furthermore, Brock comes off as a bit of a freak as he tries to stalk his way back into Weying’s heart.
In addition, the script of the film seemed like it was written in a different language and then translated to English through Google. This might seem harsh, but most fluent English speakers who watched the movie will agree with me as seen from the bewildered looks of audiences as well as through some opinions.
“There were like two good lines in the entire movie,” Junior Colin Wang said regarding the comprehensibility of Venom’s lines.
On the positive side, seeing Venom in action was truly spectacular and unique to this movie genre, which is a testament to Ruben Fleischer directing ability. Most fighting scenes take place in very dark locations, which could have completely ruined the film since Venom is a big piece of black alien muscle. Surprisingly the directors of the film pulled it off as I could actually make out what was going on, which is rare for dimly lighted action scenes. In most of these types of scenes, the audience receives a seizure-inducing vomit of jump cuts with no clue as to what is going on.
Due to this, Venom is not deserving of all the backlash it has gotten from movie critics. The movie is not perfect by any means with issues regarding plot and speech for example, but I had enough fun to justify going to the theater and paying for a ticket. Most of the film’s audience feels the same as it has an 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. In contrast, it currently has a 31% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1/10 on iMDb.