Eddie (Tom Hardy) is an investigative reporter for a network in San Francisco who is own worst enemy. He is engaged to Anne (Michelle Williams), a lawyer that works for a large but shady corporation. Eddie is set to interview the CEO of the corporation, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), a man who developed a way to cure some forms of cancer while in his twenties. Drake, a very self-assured man, is on a mission to save the world, and through his corporation, he is sending out spaceships to look for worlds that humans could inhabit before humans destroy the earth’s environment. One ship comes in contact with extraterrestrial life, and they bring back four samples of alien life. The spaceship crashes and an alien escapes, a blob that has the ability to take over human bodies by osmosis. The alien has many different types of super-human capabilities that allow it to do just about anything.
Eddie is hell-bent on exposing Drake’s shady company, and he opens a file on his fiancée’s computer which has evidence that Drake’s cancer cure is actually killing people. When Eddie tries to expose Drake, he loses his job and his fiancée. A down on his luck, Eddie meets Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) who wants Eddie to investigate the experiments that Drake is conducting using homeless people to fuse with the alien blobs. With the help of Dr. Skirth, Eddie breaks into Drake’s lab and comes in contact with one of the aliens who invade his body. It turns out that the alien is named Venom and can talk to Eddie in his mind, with Eddie talking back out loud. Venom wants Eddie to help him steal one of Drake’s spaceships, so Venom can go back to his world and gather an invasion force to come back and conquer Earth.
I went into this film with minimum expectations, and all I knew about the Venom character was from the horrible Spiderman 3. That being said, I enjoyed this film. It was very different than what I was expecting. The Venom character is what you would call an ‘anti-hero.’ He really isn’t about the normal Marvel hero who is all about saving lives, he is all about what is best for him. Teaming Venom up with the self-called ‘loser’ in Eddie makes their interactions very funny. Venom doesn’t understand how Eddie’s world works, all Venom knows is how to kill and survive. Eddie becomes someone how can survive just about anything, including falling off a tall building or bullets fired at him. The interactions between Eddie and Venom are quite funny, and when Venom takes over Eddie’s body, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of humor in this film – making it feel very different from other Marvel films (other than Deadpool). This humor may make some of the comic book fans of Venom mad because the comics don’t contain a lot of humor.
The action sequences are well done, and there is a thrilling chase sequence about halfway through the film up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco. The special effects are well done, and Venom is incredibly scary.
This is a very different role for Tom Hardy. Eddie is a selfish jerk who is willing to do anything to get the story, usually with adverse consequences. It’s hard to root for Hardy’s Eddie at the start of the film, but once Venom takes over, you warm up to Eddie. Michelle Williams isn’t given very much to do until the end of the film, and even then it’s not much. I did like Riz Ahmed as the villain of the story, and I loved Jenny Slate as the doctor with a conscious who helps Eddie try to expose Drake’s evil plan.
I didn’t like that fact that it took too long for Venom to show up (about 35 minutes into the movie) which made the film much longer than it needed to be. All in all Venom is a fun ride, it’s not a great film, just fun to watch. Be sure to stick around through all the credits as there are two bonus scenes, one after the main credits and another after all the credits. Both are worth the wait. My Rating: Bargain Matinee
My rating system from best to worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again