Have you ever watched a film and constantly questioned every single thing that you are watching? Have you ever watched a film and afterwards thought to yourself ‘did that really happen?’? If not, then please watch Venom so you know what I am talking about. Right about now you’re probably reading a lot of different things about Venom. The critics have absolutely slammed it. Some have gone as far as calling it Catwoman bad. Fans, on the other hand like it. So what is it? Well, it’s not Catwoman bad, but it is pretty awful. You know things are bad when everyone associated with the film tries to not be. Whether that be through a review embargo, Tom Hardy saying the best bits were cut, Riz Ahmed just calling it fun, or the Marvel logo not being hugely present at the start of the movie.
As films go, Venom is very bizarre and I don’t really know how to start this or structure it. I think that’s a similar problem the film faced. OK we’ll start with the casting. Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock was a huge mistake for me. Superhero films, through all their faults that I find with them normally cast brilliantly. Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man. Chris Evans is Captain America. Chris Pratt is Star-Lord. What I mean is that the actor is that character. RDJ is cocky and knows it. Evans is the responsible, social justice hero. Pratt is a prat. But Tom Hardy playing an awkward, emasculated, week male is not Tom Hardy. Tom Hardy is buff. Tom Hardy is macho. He wasn’t convincing playing the role of Eddie Brock because he is not that character. So that change to Venom was unimpressive. Now, Topher Grace, who played Venom in Spiderman 3, an under-appreciated and actually good film, would have been a much better choice in this role. He is all the characteristics for the Eddie Brock/Venom role that an actor like Tom Hardy isn’t. Also, his voice was annoying and was bugging me after 10 minutes. Michelle Williams, poor Michelle Williams. What an actress. She is incredible. But my god did this film not do her any justice. Poorly underused. A positive though was the villain. Riz Ahmed did have enough screen time and he was a slight anti-hero. He wanted to save the world but at any cost.
Has anyone seen Big Mouth? If you haven’t, watch it! If you have, you will know that Venom sounds exactly like the hormone monster. Am I right? The symbiote attaches itself to Tom Hardy and starts to talk to him. But it’s very odd. Venom will say one word to say what he wants ‘food’ ‘hungry’ and it was really out of the blue and in the same voice as the hormone monster. It was so bizarre! Also, at the start of the film Venom wants to destroy the earth. But after meeting Michelle Williams it changes its mind and wants to save the Earth from Riot (the other symbiote that escaped). My guess is that it saw how desirable Michelle Williams was and thought ‘wow, Eddie gets to have sex with THAT, we want some of the action’ so decides to stick around. As a plot twist, that’s pretty mental. It’s also bizarre how when Eddie turns into Venom he becomes huge and muscular. When Riz Ahmed (who is a very skinny actor) turns into riot, he becomes huge and muscular. However when Michelle Williams turns into Venom it becomes this sleek, stealthy, highly sexualised alien creature. Erm, hello toxic masculinity?! What’s that all about? Why can’t female Venom be buff, why is she sexualised so much. Is it to please the male gaze. I know there are right freaks out there who think that Venom is sexy, but I do think that. Again, another odd moment.
Sexism and joking aside, Venom doesn’t do its 15 rated film any justice. Deadpool is a 15 and he is swearing all over the shop. I was expecting a really dark and violent film that pushed the boundaries of Marvel film-making. But it didn’t. There was no gore or bodies being ripped apart, to be honest there wasn’t really much action at all. The end fight scene was shockingly short, luckily there wasn’t much of a build up to it wasn’t that disappointing but still, it would’ve been cool to see a big boss battle. I found it quite disappointing and this was after seeing the trailer and my expectations being massively lowered.