I would describe myself as kind of a “nerd” by most definitions. I love video games, Star Wars, comic books and of course…comic book movies! So naturally I was excited when I saw that Venom was getting his own movie and Tom Hardy was going to be the star. With Hardy’s stellar acting chops and a fun wild character like Venom there was a recipe in place to have another great entry to the ever expanding comic book movie collection. With the success of Marvel and the boundary expanding talent of Deadpool, the door was wide open for another loud and brash anti-hero to join the party.
There definitely are things to like about this film. At the front and center of Venom is Tom Hardy who was nominated for an Oscar back in 2016 so you know he’s no slouch. He does his best to elevate any movie he appears in with energy and charisma. He absolutely nails the role of someone who isn’t ready to become a new host to a foreign creature. Visually, Venom looks awesome. He is big and bad and would be terrifying to see in real life. I did enjoy the humor that was speckled in throughout and the action scenes are done pretty well.
While there are enjoyments to be had, there are some glaring shortcomings as well. I thought the movie had trouble picking which side of the comic book movie spectrum it wanted to be on. At times it seems like a more serious darker movie and at others its light and campy. There are even times where it feels like its both simultaneously. There is also some weak dialogue and a few instances of lazy writing in the plot along with some iffy character development.
Marvel has delivered some excellent quality films over the last 10 years. They have also released a few sub par ones by their rather high standards. This effort from Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad, Zombieland) easily falls into the lower half of those films and I know its a different cinematic universe with different producers and directors but you still have to compare comic book movies to other comic book movies. It still checked the boxes under a successful trip to our AMC even though it comes in under expectations. Venom blazed its way to 4 Apologies but I am still intrigued to see what will come next in this universe.