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Review Venom (2018): Entertaining but stupid!

genre: comic book adaptation, super hero, action, science fiction

Once it was announced that a Venom film was in the making my initial reaction was of bewilderment. I mean it didn't make much sense to me. Especially when it was going to be one without having an attachment to Spider-man. Venom was one of Spider-man's most interesting villains especially when Carnage came around. I remember the chaos and devastation he caused and how Spider-man and Venom were forced to work together to defeat him. The dynamics between these characters was phenomenal. It made these stories (Maximum Carnage) so compelling. So how can you even begin to make a film where Venom is featured without having Spider-man tied to it?

And after having seen the mid-credits and end credits scene it is even more baffling. The simple answer is you can't. So what you get is a film about an iconic character who on his own is not that interesting. Because I am sorry to say that this Venom has not much bite in him. He is too kind, too PG rated. The Venom I know from the comics and videogames is more vicious and evil. He had no problem consuming and killing people. It's what made him the exact opposite of what Spider-Man stood for. But ok I guess the idea is that Venom is a hero and not a villain. A hero who occasionally will feed on bad people's brains. An anti-hero so to speak. I haven't read Marvel comics in years but I have read that this is the path he is currently on. All fine and dandy. If not for the fact that it makes him a little boring. Venom as a villain makes much more sense to me. He is far too sympathetic and charming in the film. And of course this is mostly because of the way he is portrayed by Tom Hardy. Still I had hoped that they would have allowed him to go crazy like he did in the comics. And unfortunately this never happens. It's all too kid friendly. 

Don't get me wrong. It's incredibly entertaining. I mean Tom Hardy and the symbiote are cracking jokes like there is no tomorrow. They way they interact with each other is part of the fun. That and the action was solid enough. So no complaints from me on that front. But I didn't buy Riz Ahmed as the villain nor was I impressed with Riot. They simply did not put in the fear or dread as much as they could and should have. There was nothing horrifying or scary about any of the events. Think about it. You have an alien life form that can transform itself into anything it wants. It's original form is basically a mass of black oily liquid that can form thick, long and strong tendrils. Ever played the Prototype games? Whenever Alex Mercer transforms or uses his powers you can see a bunch of tendrils coming out of him. It never ceases to terrify. Because the whole tone of the game and how Alex Mercer is portrayed makes it a terrifying affair. In Venom nothing looks remotely scary. 

I can't say that I was disappointed. I knew it was going to be stupid. But I had hoped that it would be crazier and darker. Why not have Venom consume brains on screen? And have him decapitate people? Why not let Erick Brock be despicable and terrifying? Venom is tame. And not the way I want Venom to be portrayed. Despite I was enjoying myself mainly because of the comedy and Tom Hardy's charm. So it won't be a complete waste of your time.

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