A Brief History
On October 4, 2018, we are still recovering from the eye-candy comic book film fest that is Venom, the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We went to review the film with reservations based on rumbles of previous reviewers having expressed less than glowing tales of the film. We heard that 30 minutes or more had been cut from the final print, leaving a choppy and disjointed movie. NOT TRUE! Venom flows logically and seamlessly and features Tom Hardy, one of our favorite actors of today. Plenty of eye candy comic book like special effects and timely humor that resonated with the audience that laughed when they were supposed to laugh and applauded at the end. After movie interviews indicated almost universal liking of the movie.
Starring Tom Hardy as a gritty investigative reporter that does not know the meaning of discretion, he is paired with love interest Michelle Williams, she of Golden Globe Award and 4 time Academy Award Nominee status. Hardy sticks his reporter nose into the business of the mandatory evil corporation (it is a comic book based movie, after all!) which has been dallying into space exploration. The evil corporation manages to bring back an alien life form that turns out to be malevolent. (Note: The esteemed Stephen Hawking, formerly known as the smartest man in the world, cautioned against trying to contact alien intelligent life forms as the results would almost certainly be bad for humankind.) Hardy (Eddie Brock in the movie) manages to infiltrate the corporate research facility and ends up being infiltrated himself by the parasitic alien life form, which cleverly calls itself Venom. While in the comics the Venom man/alien combination is clearly a villain, in this film the line between good and evil is not so clear cut.
Other critics have bemoaned the humor aspect of Venom with the complaint that the film wavers between comedy and seriousness. It does, but in a good way. Most superhero and action-hero movies operate in this fashion, as do most comics-based films. The humorous tidbits work, and we think normal public audiences will agree, unlike snobby all or nothing style purists.
While the film is rated “PG-13” and we normally wish for an “R” rating so we can revel in the extra grittiness and gore the “R” rating allows, the lack of gore when heads are bitten off seems like the main area the film makers used to secure the family friendly rating. We did not miss that extra bit of gore. Well, maybe a little…
As we stated earlier, we loved the movie and enthusiastically recommend it for Marvel Comics fans and all fans of comic book characters. Only the youngest or most sensitive children would be affected by fighting and killing and monstrous title character. Please let us know if you agree with our assessment of Venom, as we know you will be seeing the film!
Question for students (and subscribers): Did you see Venom? If so, how would you review it? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Costa, Mike. Venom Vol. 1: Homecoming (Venom (2017)). Marvel, 2017.
Costa, Mike. Venom Vol. 2: The Land Before Crime. Marvel, 2017.
Costa, Mike. Venom Vol. 3: Lethal Protector – Blood in the Water. Marvel, 2018.
The featured image in this review i a poster for Venom. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Sony Pictures Releasing, the publisher, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, or the graphic artist. This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. It is believed that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters
- to provide critical commentary on the film, event, etc. in question or of the poster itself, not solely for illustration
qualifies as fair use under the copyright law of the United States.