My Review of Venom (2018) starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed
Ok so this is a tough one...
First off I want to say that Tom Hardy is a phenomenal actor, great physical character and just fun to watch on the big screen; with that said, "Venom" (2018) was far from his best role.
Eddie Brock (Hardy) is a journalist who is known for exposing corporate greed and corruption. One day he gets a tip on scientist Carleton Drake's illegal activities at his company. Drake has discovered an organism known as a Symbiote during one of his team's space expeditions. He seems to want to harvest the Symbiote's capabilities using humans as hosts. Brock stumbles upon this research getting more than he bargained for. He finds out Drake is experimenting on poor and homeless humans, but many die during the process. The Symbiote known as Venom attaches himself to Brock; turns out Brock is an excellent host.
"Venom" (2018) is a perfect example of studio greed, in my opinion. We have a phenomenal anti-hero with an interesting backstory and reduce him to a comedy sideshow. My goal is not to give away too much here, but I just don't think the movie studio can get the film version of Venom right. While the film's strength is that it doesn't rely on Spider-man or the MCU for it's storytelling, it's also the weakness here. I feel the studio needs to give the fans a more comprehensive tie-in to the MCU. The fans and newcomers to this story and the MCU deserve at least that.
From a technical standpoint, the directing and CGI are early 2000's at best. I was hoping for a little bit more from Director Ruben Fleischer of "Zombieland" (2009) fame. The creativity just wasn't there and the film's overall retro, visual aesthetics are reminiscent of Van Helsing (2004) CGI. Most of what you'll see here, you've seen a million times. The issue here has much to do with the films execution. This version of Venom is not too much better than the one depicted by Topher Grace on Spider-Man 3 (2007). I imagine that is must be hard to get an interesting story that really works for this character.
On imdb.com come I found in the "Did you know" section:
"This film is well-known to have an extremely difficult production history. The film was originally envisioned as a direct spin-off from Spider-Man 3 (2007), though Topher Grace was stated not to return to the role. Shortly after the franchise was rebooted, the film was announced once again, though this time within continuity of the Webb series. Chris Zylka expressed interest in playing the characters Flash Thompson iteration, which was currently running in the comics at that time. Once The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) was released, Sony announced that "Venom: Carnage" would be a part of their Spider-Man Cinematic Universe. Soon afterward, Sony and Marvel decided to collaborate with the Spider-Man franchise, opting to reboot again and placing a Venom spin-off on hold. Though Sony wishes to continue with their spin-offs of the Spider-Man franchise, no word has been announced on future projects as of February 2018."
I didn't find "Venom" (2018) very satisfying. It felt like filler to carry fans over to "Captain Marvel" (2019). Coming off the high of this year's "Black Panther" (2018) and "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) this film just doesn't measure up.
On another note, the film "Upgrade" (2018) starring Logan Marshall-Green accomplished way more to me than Venom did with a similar concept. It's visual style, writing and execution were far superior. I would recommend seeing both, just to compare.