Venom is the origin story of the classic comic anti-hero of–you guessed it–Venom. Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, is an investigative reporter and an anti-hero in his own right. Brock utilizes shady and unethical methods in order to attain his evidence, but then uses said evidence to expose and incarcerate some very bad people. This is Brock’s way of life until he messes with the wrong corporate overlord; Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, is the genius CEO behind the creation of the deceptively named “Life Corporation.”
Drake’s latest business venture; space exploration and colonization; takes an unexpected turn when one of his rockets brings several alien symbiotes to Earth. Despite his altruistic facade, Drake is a sociopath and immediately turns his focus to merging these symbiotes with humans–the results were deadly. When Brock snoops a little too closely and ends up merged with a symbiote named Venom, the two must balance cultural differences and learn to operate as a unit. Fortunately, Venom and Brock’s goals align: Bring down Drake and the other symbiotes.
Venom was released on October 5 in the U.S. and has since been met with highly polarizing views. Despite receiving a respectable 7.1 rating on IMDb, the film received an abysmal 30% rating on the notoriously harsh review site “Rotten Tomatoes.” While many films lately–especially ones in the comic book genre–have been known to garner vastly differing levels of support between critics and the average viewer, it is puzzling as to why critics disagreed so heavily upon this film.
While critics can’t seem to agree on this film, the fans seem to have a bit more of a unanimous consensus: This wasn’t a bad film by any means, just a different one. The risks that Venom took as a film were, in a way, quite refreshing. From the very beginning it was made abundantly clear that this is not your typical Marvel film and should certainly not be treated as such. The change of pace and deviation from the average Marvel movie formula gave fans a different take on a beloved comic character while still producing an entertaining film.
In complete honesty, Venom was not earth shattering, didn’t set any really new trends in film, and definitely won’t be winning any awards (barring maybe makeup, which was fantastic). This was not a groundbreaking film and in some regards cannot even be considered objectively good. Despite all this, Venom disrupted the traditional style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and successfully delivered an interesting origin story. For most fans and average viewers alike, this was enough for the film to be considered a success.