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  1. Published on: 03/10/2018 09:03 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: When a reporter's life is at an all-time low, the arrival of an alien symbiote lets him release an alter-ego that could save his life.

    When I hear of the character of Venom, I remember being scared as a kid when I watched episodes involving him in the Spider-Man 90's animated series.

    The nightmarish sequences that Peter Parker was battling with Venom is still great to look at and still gives me goosebumps today.

    That was my biggest hope going into this film that has had a fair few production problems.

    All of the build-up going into its release has been very similar to that of almost every DC film in Josh Trank's Fantasitc Four a.k.a Fan4stic. That made me nervous and had me going in with low expectations.

    But I remained hopeful as the character of Venom has great potential to be something memorable. Plus, Tom Hardy is playing the lead and I am big Hardy fan and would happily watch him in anything.

    In a nutshell, I think this film is a hot mess. These types of films are usually the most talked about as you can see the potential of the story, but the product you end up seeing on screen never fully works. But for sure, hot messes or honorable failure get heavily discussed about.

    It begins with some solid development and sets up the scene nicely and where we going. The reasoning for the addition of the Venom character is slowly being told and is making sense. Then once the bond is made between our two main character, that's when the fun begins.

    Whether you like the chemistry or not between our main characters, I feel that you will not take your eyes off it. While all that is happening, the action was executed fairly well. There were some fight sequences that felt very similar to a recent low-budget sci-fi called Upgrade. If you have seen it, then you will know exactly what I mean.

    As for the final act, this was probably by least enjoyable part of the film. It did get a bit ridiculous and over the top with the concept and some of the humor was not landing for me. That just left me frustrated as to what it could have been.

    There is a line in that final act which I hear has been talked about a lot as it's in the trailer. I'm not a fan of it, and the screening I was in had people laughing just before it was said. You could feel that they could see it coming up and they just couldn't help themselves.

    But thankfully, there is content that I either liked or saw great potential in.

    I think I can be confident in saying that without Tom Hardy, this would have been a complete disaster. I think he did a good job as Eddie Brock and executed the psychological side of the story rather well and showed us the potential of how rich this character can be when done right on the big screen. Hardy shows a lot of energy in his performance and you can tell that he has done his research. This performance would have fitted in nicely with the tone of either of Tim Burton's Batman films.

    I liked the chemistry he had with the Venom character which I did not realise until afterwards that it was Hardy doing the voice-work of Venom as well. As for the voice performance, it's down to a tee in what I remember the character being in the animated series.

    The relationship and back-and-forth between the two almost comes off a buddy-cop style relationship which strangely worked for me for the most part.

    Michelle Williams managed to be under-used, disappointing and mis-cast all at the same time. She's a quality actor and is rarely seen in mainstream films. I'm not sure if she felt comfortable doing this type of film and felt more like she accepted the role just to get a large paycheck.

    It was nice to see Riz Ahmed in this as he is a great talent, and I felt he did a solid job in this.

    Also, with it being a Marvel film, there is an expected cameo which got a nice cheer in my screening.

    It's obvious to read this and see that not everything in this film works. However, I was never bored and it kept me engaged with some of the routes it went down.

    I felt so much shame as there's a really good film in here. It covers some interesting topics that I expected to be explored with the Venom character. But it never quite fulfills those aspects.

    The structure and dialogue reminded of the sub-standard or disappointing Marvel films of the early 2000's such as X-Men: The Last Stand, Daredevil and Spider-Man 3. That sentence alone might be enough to give you the best overview of the film.

    It's not quite on a Catwoman or Superman IV: The Quest For Peace level of bad.

    Despite hoping it to be more of a psychological horror, there is some comedy in this. Some of it does work, the rest is kind of awkward. When I mean awkward, I mean I could not tell if the people making this film was trying to make certain sequences funny or it was so bad, then it became laughable.

    All of that being said, it wouldn't surprise if this becomes a guilty pleasure with many people. It has so many things going on in this, that whether you think it's good or bad, you can't take your eyes off it.

    As mentioned before, I think going down a more psychological horror route and have Venom be something similar to Gollum might have been the more successful path to take in my opinion.

    Despite the problems this film has, you should check this one out. I would happily see another installment as if its done right, there could be another classic for Marvel and the superhero genre.

    I must mention some things that happens during the credits. It begins with something that I would like major releases to get back into doing and that is have a original song made for it like Men In Black, Space Jam, Wild Wild West or many others did. Eminem does it for this one.

    Also, there are two scenes during the credits. The first one happens halfway through is just pure set-up for any possible future installments. It introduces a character that I was hoping to see in the actual film. It's nothing spectacular except for the nice surprise on who will be playing this character.

    As for the second one, it happens at the very end and it's rather long for a credits scene. It's got nothing to do with the film. Instead, it's a nice little sequences of an upcoming Marvel film that might gain some major momentum once people have seen this.

    Rating: 6/10
     

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