Superhero shakeup: Marvel takes creative chances in 'Venom'

05 October, 2018, 06:14 | Author: Raquel Nash
  • Venom will be showing on October 5

There are a lot of big superhero movies this year, but one of the strangest is Venom: not only does it take a classic comic villain as its (anti) hero, but it's also Sony's first movie set in the Spider-Man universe that won't actually feature Spider-Man.

With several comic book adaptions, long have critics lambasted the dichotomy of hero and villain portrayed as opposing people with identical superpowers.

If producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad have their way, the release of Venom this Friday will launch an entirely new Marvel film franchise - dubbed "Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters" - that will nearly exclusively feature characters, mostly villains or anti-heroes in nature, who have crossed paths at some point with Spider-Man. It's not scary, the CGI is messy, the characters are flat, and the laughs are few and far between.

If you're feeling down after bawling from "A Star Is Born", maybe see "Venom".

Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a San Francisco investigative journalist who scuttles his job and his relationship after ambushing Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story") with confidential information stolen from his fiancée, attorney Anne (Williams), during what was supposed to be a puff piece interview with the billionaire industrialist.

Eddie becomes infected with the space parasite as he tries to expose the devious machinations of a Bay Area tech mogul (Rogue One's Riz Ahmed). Hardy and Venom's chemistry, for the most part, is enjoyable to watch, especially by the film's end. The first, mid-credits, is a shameless plug for Venom II, or Venom-er, or whatever they plan to call it.

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"We start off together, engaged and happy and cohabiting and even have a cat", she said.

Venom does none of this. But the Venom filmmakers also realized that it would take a talented actor to straddle both the personalities of Venom and Eddie Brock. Although the Venom movie is being produced by Sony, which has the rights to Spider-Man, the deal it made with Marvel to include Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the main Marvel movies probably means that he can't appear here. Special effects are excellent as you might expect, and if you are wondering when the credited appearance of Woody Harrelson happens, you will have to wait until a third of the way through the end credits. More recently, the Venom symbiote has been moving between hosts, including Mac Gargan (aka The Scorpion) and Peter Parker's old high school rival, Flash Thompson.

Sam Adams of Slate issued a negative review of the film, saying as of director Ruben Fleischer 'was shooting two radically different movies at once and even in the final edit it's not clear which he chose'.

"Just got out of a "Venom" preview".

So I can say it was an interesting movie experience that seems to grow more positively in my mind as the hours pass. Credit also goes to Tom Hardy for the degree in which he embraces the shenanigans. Although Hardy has the looks of a leading man, he's very fond of obscuring them with moustaches, tattoos and face masks. But I love a challenge, the anxiety makes me work harder. So much of this film feels like it was cynically designed by a committee of executives who don't understand why people like superhero movies; they just know people will pay to see them.

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