Dir; Ruben Fleischer. Starring; Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed. PG-13. Color. 112 min.
Allow me tell you about a love story. It is a tale as old as time if you will. Do your best not to tear up here.
Like all romantic stories, we begin with a spaceship that crash lands in San Francisco. This ship contains several alien “Symbiotes” from a distant planet. These creatures can be suffocating, but they get a bad rap. All they want to do is find a host, bond with it, and completely take that person or creature over. It’s a species of big huggers. Like the Care Bears only they do occasionally kill people. Eh, chalk it up to an occupational hazard.
Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a scrappy hard working reporter with six pack abs as all busy reporters tend to have. Brock is planning a wedding with the love of his life Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). After a series of bad decisions and stories written about powerful people, Brock looses his job at the paper and Anne leaves him.
Down on his luck, Brock is approached by brilliant scientist Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate, the first actress I’d call to play a “brilliant” scientist). Her boss Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) is the head of the company that has control of these lovable Symbiotes. The company has been doing questionable testing on these majestic space creatures and she needs a hard-nosed reporter like Brock to come out of retirement and investigate.
Reluctantly, Brock decides he’s the man for the job. He sneaks his way into the lab and meets the sweet alien with a tongue of gold named “Venom.” It is love at first sight. Just look at those eyes and coffee stained sharp teeth. They form a bond together. Brock is hesitant at first as his heart is still broken, but they go home together so they can get to know each other on a deeper emotional level before diving into anything serious. Even though he’s basically a ball of slime, Venom separates himself from Brock and sweet talks his new lover into staying together to become crime fighters. A match made in heaven.
If you haven’t guessed by now, Carlton Drake is the villain every romance requires. Drake bonds with his own Symbiote named Riot and uses the cute alien for evil. Such a bad boyfriend. It is up to Brock and Venom to break up this dysfunctional relationship with Drake and Riot in order to save the city. “Tale as old as time, Beauty & the Beasssstttttt….”
This movie is flawed on so many levels a twenty page book report wouldn’t cover it. Let us begin with the casting.
I get Tom Hardy signing on. He’s a very good actor, but I’m sure between crawling in the snow for “The Revenant” to sweating in 100 degree weather for “Mad Max: Fury Road”, you can’t blame the guy for saying “Sure. You’ll pay me a lot of money and I’ll be in front of a green screen half the time. Where do I sign?” Michelle Williams on the other hand, shame on you. This is way beneath you as one of the best actresses in the business. I say SHAME!
Then there’s Riz Ahmed as our villain. Look, I like Ahmed. He was excellent in the HBO series “The Night Of.” But I’m sorry, he’s not a bad guy. At no point do you feel any semblance of fear when he dramatically turns to the camera. Did the producers forget to call Gary Oldman or Willem DaFoe or Josh Brolin even? Maybe they did and those guys read the script and used the old girl doesn’t want to go on a date with you line of “Yeah, I’d like to I really would, but I’m kind of busy. I have to wash my hair that night.”
For a comic book movie, several of the action scenes make no sense. There’s one later car chase with Brock/Venom on a motorcycle that is essentially random cars hitting things for no reason. It’s like the editor was working on that scene and got a call that his wife was in labor so just freaked out and threw it together in twenty minutes.
This is a Spider-Man spin-off that nobody outside of about a dozen adolescent boys asked for. Venom is a character that works in the comics and could work as a bad guy in a Spider-Man movie if done right. But as a solo act anti-hero who goes around biting people’s heads off, it’s ridiculous. Get out of your seat in the theater, run to your car, drive home as quickly as possible, lock your doors, then take another few steps back once you get inside. Is that how far you need to get away from the powerful Venom? No. That is how far away you need to be from this movie.
Suck Factor: 7out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!