Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed
Director: Ruben Fleischer
“Marvel never disappoints.” Well, sorry to break it to you kid, but it just did.
When Vox Cinemas invited my colleague and I for an exclusive premiere of Venom, a day before its official release, we were ecstatic! We couldn’t wait to see what Marvel’s first dark film and Spider-Man spin-off had in store for us, their ardent fans. But, we shouldn’t have kept our expectations high.
Venom, the famous rival of Spider-Man, is the first-of-its-kind in the Spider-Man movie franchise. The movie tries its best to be edgy and scary but fails to hit the right note. Throughout the movie, you can’t help but question the poor editing as most of the scenes lack flow and feels rather disconnected to one another.
I could not stop wondering whether the movie would have been different (and better) had they not cut 30-40 minutes’ worth of footage that, apparently, were Tom Hardy’s favorite scenes from the movie but never made it to the big screen.
Venom features the protagonist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an investigative journalist, on a mission to take down Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the founder of Life Foundation, who’s secretly experimenting on creating a new and stronger species by merging humans and “symbiotes” (or should I say ‘gooey, blob-like, slimy alien creatures’). In the movie, Carlton is on the lookout for suitable hosts for its symbiotes, but it seems harder than he expected as every human on whom the experiment was tested on (the homeless from the streets of San Francisco were taken in as samples for testing) ended up dying because their body was not compatible with the symbiote, resulting in the failure of the human’s organs one-by-one, until they ultimately died.
Now, the reason as to why Carlton is keen on merging humans and symbiotes, in the first place, is left for us to ponder over – come to think of it, ‘the reason’ may most likely have been edited out along with Hardy’s favorite scenes and every other scene that would have made this movie logical.
Back to the story: in this entire process of finding the truth and exposing Carlton, Brock (obviously) gets caught and in the blink of an eye loses his job, apartment and his fiancée. An hour or so into the movie shows Brock break into Life Foundation trying to find evidence on Carlton’s unethical works but instead, gets himself infected with the symbiote. Brock turns out to be the most compatible host out there, in turn making his symbiote, Venom, possess immense strength, telepathic powers and, to Brock’s utter horror, the ability to control his mind.
From then on, the movie falls prey to brash editing and leaves the audience confused to where the story was heading. For instance, why Venom goes from a villain, wanting to eat human heads (and he does) to an anti-hero, willing to save those very humans from ‘his kind’, is not clearly explained anywhere. The switch from a villain to an anti-hero happens in a blink of an eye, leaving you to question how much of a villain Venom really was. Also, the cameo of She-Venom and Riot seems mundane, when in reality, the two should have had glorious appearances.
I will, however, acknowledge the presence of the few scenes that did entertain me – like, the first time Venom speaks from inside Brock’s head and freaks Brock out. Or, the one where they take down an entire police force, after which Venom, looking at the glass window, hints Brock to jump from the building – the scene then cuts to Brock opting for the lift instead and Venom teasing him for being fainthearted. With the exception to the few scenes where we get to see some fun interaction between Brock and Venom, the movie fails to be a true Marvel, keeping both the literal term and the entertainment house in mind.
Long story short, if this is the story-line and the pace we are getting from Venom, I doubt its potential to make a mark of its own. Perhaps, the review of fans will help broaden the team’s creative direction and, hopefully, embark on a much daring journey to come up with a sequel (if ever) that blows us away. A Spider-Man cameo, maybe? One can dream, right?
VOX Cinemas’ new Abu Dhabi outlet boasts the brand’s signature MAX and KIDS concepts along with its top-quality F&B offering and the exciting new addition of the Nutella® Bar which serves the much-loved chocolate spread on crepes, pancakes and waffles. The space is nothing short of luxurious and gives off an alluring and elegant vibe to its visitors. The F&B outlets really grabs your attention and you’re so close to picking out your wallet and buying every one of their yummy offerings. The experience at Vox Cinemas’, without a doubt, is a personal favorite and it won’t be long till it’s yours too.