Nerdlocker Movie Review: Venom


I think if I knew the exact number of movies I’ve seen it would blow my mind. Of all those countless movies each was preceded by a trailer showcasing just why everyone has to see “insert movie here”. Some of the worst movies out there have produced absolutely stellar trailers fooling everyone into wasting money and time on garbage. Then there are movies like Venom… When you can’t even disguise how awful your film is in the trailer, with all the magic that computer mastery can provide, you have failed in every regard.

I think the most offensive thing that has come out of this whole mess is that somehow they managed to make one of the greatest modern actors working today, Tom Hardy, look like an absolute clown, shoes and all. While he may be the best part of this hogwash in high definition he still manages a performance worthy of a gag reel at best. This movie is everything they promised it wouldn’t be.

The release of the trailer was redflag number one. Number two was the reneged promise that we were going to see a gory, violent, adult anti-hero movie when they watered it down into a dismal PG-13 cash grab. I can say quite confidently that no matter the rating, the neutered cut we’ve been given or a more gutsy R rated venture, this movie was destined to be anything but good; if you were looking for great you are remarkably, maybe even dangerously, optimistic.

Okay, let’s put aside any story issues, of which there are many, and focus solely on the action. About the best thing I can say for it is that there is in fact action in the movie. What I can’t describe confidently is any significant action sequence that may have occurred. Not a single moment of the action stands out, it’s all a big load of mediocre, uninspired moments that before long all begin to look exactly alike. As for the CGI, it’s fine, it does the job, computer generated shapes are discernable from other computer generated shapes. Again, nothing jaw dropping whatsoever. If I was feeling really generous (I am not) I would say this entire effort from the ground floor up is middle-of-the-road quality that is serviceable; it gets the job done. (It does not)

Let’s get to those story issues, particularly and arguably most glaringly mundane aspect to the movie known as Venom, the villain. Or should I say stand in for a villain since they obviously never found one. Now none of my complaints about the bad guy reflect the performance of the actor tricked into taking on such a one dimensional character, he did what he could. Is the villain awful? No. He’s sure as hell not great, good would be an improvement. He’s just there. His motivations for doing what he does have been echoed in every unexceptional movie that happens to feature a megalomaniac. To sum him up: He has the financial means to be a giant dick so that’s what he’s choosing to do. Period.

The relationship between symbiote and Eddie Brock is yet another point of great disappointment. While the back and forth between them can on occasion be humorous it never becomes anything beyond funny quips that amount to a uninteresting dynamic between the two most important characters of the film. In one moment Venom is determined to make his way back into space to bring back his symbiote cohorts to reign a bloody nightmare on planet Earth; without any real explanation E.T.’s less friendly cousin suddenly decides he likes Eddie and has made the decision not to destroy Earth. Even Eddie himself is perplexed by this decision and asks Venom about it. Venom states that it was their new working relationship that has shown Venom that not everyone on Earth is deserving of decapitation. When he says this (I’m paraphrasing the discussion) it makes us as the audience look back at Eddie’s actions wondering what in the hell he did that was so magnificent as to avert the annihilation of our world. Little secret, he doesn’t do much. The entire basis of this silly relationship is held together mostly due to Eddie wanting to get back with his ex-fiancée and for some reason Venom has taken interest in their shattered relationship. Let’s talk briefly about that relationship and then we’ll move on, it doesn’t deserve too much attention.

Eddie’s actions in the beginning of the film do get her and him fired from their jobs but that’s basically all he does causing her to break off the relationship entirely. It seemed like true love wasn’t in her vocabulary. For two people about to bind themselves together forever she seemed to already have one foot out the door just waiting for an excuse to drag the other foot through. It just didn’t take much for her to end it between them which made the entire dynamic of their engagement in the story superfluous at best.

This movie failed in nearly every way possible. From advertising to the final product it just falls squarely in skip-it-ville. It’s not interesting story wise, the action scenes are boring and the characters are bland, superhero movie cutouts. With such a dismal outcome the post credits scene is nothing more than worrisome simply because it means they want to make more of these things. I went in expecting bad and left having seen worse. At least with an R rating we could have seen some actual carnage 😉.

Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language
Runtime: 112 minutes
After Credits Scene: Yes, two.
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-fi
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 1/ Acting: 2.5/ Directing: 2.5/ Visuals: 2.5
OVERALL: 1.5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Avoid completely

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard