Venom – Must See or Must Skip?

…or somewhere in between?

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On September 5, Marvel’s Venom was released, it broke records for most viewers in a month.  Viewers could tell that it wasn’t fully produced by Marvel Studios and it wasn’t, just the way the comedy was played out in the movie. Venom is based on Marvel’s comic series Venom. Details on the movie are discussed below. Disclaimer:  this article does contain some spoilers that are essential to the review. 

In this big-budget film, viewers are introduced to Eddie Brock, a famous Brooklyn reporter who is great at his job, like really great. He is so good that he uncovers a business that is testing alien lifeforms on humans against their will.  He gets discovered by this corporation and is framed as a fraudulent reporter. He loses his job, his girlfriend, his house, everything. The one thing he didn’t lose was the one thing he didn’t know he even had. A symbiote living inside him from when he broke into Life foundation, the corporation that was testing alien lifeforms on human subjects.  

Eddie later discovered the symbiote living inside him when he ran into danger to be known as Venom.  Eddie uncovers lots of superhuman abilities that Venom gave to him when they bonded, including strength, speed, agility, healing factor, and intelligence. Together, they have to stop another rogue symbiote named Riot that is trying to bring back his kind to enslave Earth. Then all the really predictable and stereotypical stuff happens when aliens try to invade Earth.  To avoid major spoilers, what happens next will be left out of the article.

According to many people, the comedy in Venom is hysterical although most of it is violent and has some gore to it. This gives the movie a PG13 rating. Barrett Nickles (‘20) disagreed with the majority saying, “I wish they hadn’t dumbed down a lot of the humor, because the movie had some great potential to be hilarious.” Barrett also stated that in other movies, “Tom Hardy showed he knew how to act well, and even though the movie wasn’t as funny as I anticipated, I still think he did a great job in Venom. He has this uncanny way of being relatable and believable while he acts, which really sells it for me. It was a great movie.”  Barrett believed that “it would be difficult for Marvel to make an entirely new franchise out of it because they would have to add a lot of filler to make it fun to watch. I think it would be a waste of time, effort, and money to make, and I would much rather they put the money into a different franchise.”

Campbell Clay (‘22), enjoyed Venom’s humor because it was “funny and often sarcastic.” He did suggest one way the movie could have been better: “The plotline could definitely be improved. Aside from the action scenes, there isn’t enough story to the movie. It feels like it is missing a fully developed story and back story.” Campbell believes Tom Hardy did a great job acting in this movie, really getting into the character of Eddie Brock, saying “He acted like he was truly annoyed when Venom overpowered him and forced him to do things he didn’t like.” Campbell also wants another franchise and has some ideas on how it could potentially go, and be more interesting than the first Venom. One suggestion is to have “multiple symbiotes then that can lead to a team of multiple Venoms.” Overall, Campbell really enjoyed the movie.

When the interviews were concluded, 10 random people were asked if they could identify a picture of Tom Hardy, the actor who played Venom.  Only 2 out of the 10 were able to identify him by name. One was Stock Watson (‘19) who said, “That is the guy who acted in Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk, and Venom. He is a superb representation of America’s greatest superheroes.”  Marshal Joyce (‘19) was the other person who was able to identify Tom Hardy. Marshall said, “That’s Venom. That was a good movie…it was really good and they weren’t afraid of the violence and made it super eerie and super weird.” Even though most students polled couldn’t identify the actor, quite a few students enjoyed watching Venom and recommend it to the CHC community.