Why Critics Are Wrong About 'Venom'
840 Million Dollars, That's Why
Since its release last year in November, Venom has been a movie surrounded with debates on how good it really is. Even after the death by firing squad that the anti-heroes first solo outing underwent by critics; the movie still somehow managed to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in the box office. Fans refused to make too much out of the mediocre reviews and decided to watch the movie and decide for themselves how good it really was. I myself took the same approach by giving it a chance before paying any mind to the unfair ratings that have been bestowed upon the public in the films name. Now, by no means is this title the best superhero film ever made. There are quite a few flaws that should most certainly be addressed when Sony begins production on the sequel, and thanks to the 800 plus million dollars that the film has gained (making it the most profitable superhero origins film of all time) a sequel title has already been confirmed. By now you have probably noticed the great divide in opinion between fans and critics regarding Venom's ratings. How exactly does a film that was given a meager 29 percent on rotten tomatoes, turn up to be one of the most profitable projects of 2018? That question is exactly what we will be investigating in this article. Something within this equation is doing very little to add up, in fact, the only thing that seems to be adding up is the frustration fans are having with these unreasonable, parasites we call critics. So hold on to your symbiotes because we'll be getting into the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the brutally ugly portions that factor into what was an over-all great flick. Although, I must warn you there will be massive spoilers awaiting ahead. So, if you have yet to see Venom than you may want to refrain from reading on (you have been warned).
First things first, with all of the different things that this movie did well, there are quite a few marks that it missed by a few miles. The biggest target being one of the most important qualities of any great superhero film… the villain. Riz Ahmed’s Carlton Drake was (at least for me) one of the biggest let downs of the entire movie. The British actor's portrayal of a villain (who can best be described as an Elon Musk gone mad) was… weak to say the least. Cheesy dialog, random temper tantrums, and an evil plan that has more plot holes than a kitchen sponge, all make Carlton Drake extremely hard to take seriously. Unfortunately, not much difference can be said about his symbiotic partner, Riot. The savage extraterrestrial, that is later known to be Venom's team leader, brought very little depth to the overall film. His main objective seems to be getting back to Carlton Drake’s life foundation, in order to hi-jack one of his fancy rocket ships and regroup with the thousands of symbiote’s that were left behind on his home asteroid. Although these may sound like reasonable goals for a villain of Riot’s savage nature, it is his actions throughout the film that do nothing more than confuse the audience. For instance, why would Riot make such great efforts to escape Carlton Drake's clutches in the intro of the film, if his main objective was to steal one of his rockets to begin with? Instead of jumping straight to Riot claiming Drake as his host, viewers are forced to witness the alpha symbiote undergo a road trip that takes place over the entire first two acts of the film. What makes it even more frustrating is that he is traveling towards the whiny billionaire brat that he just escaped from. Pointless Sony… Very pointless.
An additional part of the film that is undoubtedly difficult to deal with is the role that Eddy Brock's ex-fiance Ann played throughout the movie. Although there are parts of the character that add up to all of the reasons why this movie was great, there are other qualities of Michelle William’s Ann Weying that hurt the final project just as much. For one, she seems to be more of a vehicle to assist in moving Hardy’s character forward, than an actual character of her own right. Using her character once or twice for this purpose would be acceptable, even expected for certain situations, but the producers of the film abused the concept and used her to keep the story going every single chance they got. This is not to say that Michelle presented fans with a weak performance, in fact, it is actually how good the actress does with the role that makes all of the above-mentioned flaws fairly tolerable.
In spite of all of the things this movie failed to do correctly, there is still an abundance of aspects those in charge of the film's production hit right on the head. It seems that those pesky pestilent praise mongers at Rotten Tomatoes completely ignored all of the things that Venom did very well. As if they sat through the entire 90 minute run time just to find reasons to devise as poor of a review as they possibly could. Yet sit tight loyal fans, reinforcements have arrived to defend our favorite symbiote from the soul-sucking sacks who fancy themselves as critics.
Oh, Sweet, Sweet Desert
Even though Venom is nowhere near the greatest superhero epic to ever hit come out of Hollywood, it isn't by any means, the worst project ever to be released for comic book fans either. Tom Hardy’s depiction of Venom was undoubtedly the best adaption of the character fans have ever seen on the silver screen. Not that Topher Grace’s outing in Spider-Man 3 presented any kinds of competition. The way Hardy flips from panicked and terrified to sarcastically comedic at the turn of a dime is probably one of the more enjoyable parts of his character. His story arc throughout the movie can also relate to any man who’s on the tail end of destroying his entire life. Venom strikes the perfect balance between the two tones maintained throughout the film. Seeping into deep, dark, head devouring moments, then lightening the mood every time Venom calls Brock a loser or a pussy. One of my personal favorite aspects is the way that Venom gradually makes his big entrance. For the entire first act and half of the second, our favorite symbiote works his way into the center stage. Starting off with frightening faces, a conscious like a voice in Eddie's mind, and an insanely grotesque appetite, fans like myself could only feel the expectation bubbling in their insides. To such an effect that applause filled the silence of the theater when he finally did present himself in full view. The action was also pretty good. Yes, maybe Riot did go on his sightseeing tour half-way around the world just to get his ass kicked in seven minutes. But the fight scene in Brock’s apartment, the motorcycle chase with explosive drones, Venom breaking a tear gas canister with his teeth before beating the crap out of a swat team, there was as much action as an origin movie would need. Take a look at Iron Man, Thor, or Dr. Strange’s first outings if you need any proof.
Another major part of the movie that was rather enjoyable was the love triangle between Eddy, Ann, and Ann’s new boyfriend, Dr. Dan. (Why, oh why does that rhyme?) The relationship between the three brings a far more grounded sense of humor to the film; making it all the more memorable. Moments that should be utterly horrifying for any person involved, are instead hilarious, due to the questionable reactions this threesome has to your average host claiming alien invasion. Fans will, without a doubt, be expecting to see more Dr. Dan in the inevitable sequel.
Speaking of sequels… There were a few questions left unanswered at the end of Venom. And I don’t mean the cliff hanger left from will he/ won’t he get the girl? Although Venom did seem all too sure that they would. No, the biggest question coming out of that movie is what’s next for the iconic duo? A fair question, and if you were clever enough to stick around for a couple of moments after the credits… It was a question that was answered quite quickly. A brief cut to Eddy entering a prison in an attempt to interview another all too iconic character. A menacing man named Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson. You would have had to have been in the theater for yourself to witness the uproar fans had at this post-credit reveal. Carnage was literally the blood red cherry we got on top of what was a not half bad Venom ice cream sundae.
Just Watch It
I have a certain distaste for mainstream movie critics like those hobbits over at rotten tomatoes (pun all the way intended). Like Venom, these lurching parasites need a talented host to latch onto in order to survive. Usually, they can partake in the dark magic they call their jobs and it wouldn’t bother me. But when the victim of one of their suck fests is a beloved comic book title, then you better believe the gloves are coming off. How in god almighty does a film make nearly a billion dollars and be cast aside like a cold turd? The only reasonable solution I can calculate is that those pompous bastards are tired of the movie industry being dominated by comic books like your mom in a gang bang video located in my search history (shout out to Jules from Whatculture.com). In any case, if you have yet to see this film, stop wasting precious time and get to it. While I can’t guarantee that you will fall in love with it, I can guarantee that you will not hate it as much as you are being led to believe. All in all, it is a good watch, good enough for fans like me to answer the call to arms in its defense. If for whatever reason you have any doubt after you watch it, just pop Spider-Man 3 into the blu-ray player and witness how far we have truly come.