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October 12, 2018

Venom (2018) --- “The World Has Enough Superheroes. It’s Time To Embrace Your Inner Anti-Hero.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland 1 & 2) and written by Scott Rosenberg (Jumanji 2), Jeff Pinkner (Jumanji 2), and Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey), Venom (2018)is a thrilling action film that, like Deadpool, breaks away from the safe MCU mold with its dark and violent brutality and some horror scenes, and all while maintaining its PG-13 rating. One of LIFE foundation’s space probe crashes to Earth after discovering alien life forms called Symbiots. Meanwhile, San Francisco journalist reporter, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), is reporting and exposing current issues in today’s society. After angering the CEO of LIFE Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) and making some poor decisions, Eddie loses his job, his fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams), and his good name, Eddie finds himself alone and at the end of his rope. After a series of events and some inside help, Eddie unexpectedly gets infected with the Symbios called Venom. Now with Drake and his goons after him, Eddie learns that in order for him and Venom to get what the want they have to cooperate with each other against the bad guys.

     The film’s trailers promise a lot and the writers deliver with the dark atmosphere that this anti-hero story needs. The dark atmosphere of Venom reminds of the one director Sam Raimi put in his Spider-Man movies, especially Spider-Man 3 (2007), which introduces us to Venom. Of course, this is also an origin’s story, like Spider-Man (2002), so don’t expect it to be like Spider-Man 2 (2004) where the main character has pretty much come into his powers and knows how to use them.
     The story shows how life is not always perfect and peachy with superpowers but rather when it comes to humans vs. the unknown life can be complex and grey most of the time. The film moves at a fast enough pace that you don’t even realize when the film’s 2hrs fly by until the end. The story is also loaded with comedy and like most Marvel films; it is one of the biggest aspects of the story. Most of the comedy comes in the form of banter between Eddie and Venom, especially Venom’s questionable morals. The special effects look great, especially Venom and the other Symbiots. The action feels very MCU style with explosions, battle style choreography, and great utilization of CGI to bring out Venom’s fluid like movements. There is a mid-credit scene that foreshadows for a sequel villain and an after credit scene which markets the upcoming Marvel Spider-Man: Into the Spidey Verse (2018).
     The only issue that I have with the story is that it took some shortcuts in character development. The characters are good overall but most of the supporting characters felt a bit one-dimensional and shallow. The audience is not really given the chance to really see the characters as a whole, except for Eddie/Venom.
     I have never really been a huge fan of Tom Hardy (Legend; Mad Max; Taboo) but in this film, he does a solid and passionate performance as Eddie Brock and Venom. Interestingly Venom is very much like Eddie in that he shares the same lack of control over his impulses, considers himself a loser, and is surprisingly a hopeless romantic. The merging of the two characters is great because you never feel like one is taking over the other or like Eddie is being possessed by Venom. I didn't know Michelle Williams (The Greatest Showman) was in this film until she came on screen. Her performance is great and there is a moment that hints of her having a bigger role in a sequel film. Riz Ahmed (The OA and Hamlet) did a good job as Carlton Drake, a sort of mad scientist obsessed with his goals. However, he was not a super intriguing antagonist, rather his character was reminiscent of the Green Goblin from Spider-Man.

     Overall, Venom (2018) is an entertaining, fast-paced, and humorous anti-hero film. This is an origin story and that is exactly what the audience gets. The action and CGI worked great together, especially in demonstrating Venom’s fluid like movements. While most of the supporting characters could have had better characters development, overall they did great, especially Tom Hardy as Eddie. There is also a mid-credit scene that foreshadows for a sequel villain and an after credit scene that helps Marvel and Sony market their upcoming animated superhero film, Spider-Man: Into the Spidey Verse (2018).

"Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!"
- Venom

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8 of 10 star
Worth Buying:  8 of 10 stars

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