Writer: Cinnamon Lion
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.5 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.5 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: "Spider-Man" movies
From playing Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises" to now taking on a lesser evil via investigative reporter/alien host, Eddie Brock/Venom, this Sony-Marvel movie is worth the watch for Tom Hardy alone.
Always a delight when Hardy is on-screen - yes, including his Marlon Brando mumble-core speech impediment - we can't imagine anyone else who can dually yet perfectly play a pained man terribly down on his luck in love and life, and the psychotically belligerent Venom (voice acting included).
Sadly, the same can't be said for Michelle Williams' Anne Weying character - despite being portrayed as a smart lawyer - who seems to be based of the typical superhero love interest role mould, thus who exists merely to... exist. Hello, Gwen Stacy from the Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" movies?
"Nightcrawler's" Riz Ahmed who is set up to be like a sinister version of Elon Musk's visionary self is biotech billionaire Dr Carlton Drake. However, Ahmed also misses the potential to be truly great. His diabolic delivery in "Venom" seem to fall-short from almost getting to the edge of gritty brilliance. Also, Carlton Drake? Really? If you have an ethnic guy playing an important role, the least you can do is give him a name that suits the face, or pick another comic book villain who is not so obviously Caucasian in the comics.
The plot itself is very much a modern superhero infused take of Jekyll and Hyde, and if that widely reported issue of '40 minutes of the best parts being cut' Tom Hardy talked about in a recent interview meant that more scenes between Eddie Brock and Venom were the ones that ended up on the chopping block, that would have been a crying shame, as the movie could've benefited with more screen time given to that entertaining belligerent dynamic.
But whatever it is, Tom Hardy's dual performance alone definitely warrants a sequel, but please, oh, please, make it R rated next time. There are at least 5 inappropriate Venom tongue jokes alone we can think of that definitely could've worked in an R movie.
Cinema Online, 03 October 2018