Venom got that family friendly, blood free treatment…still kinda fun though.
Stars: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Riz Ahmed
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Why was I excited to watch this movie? Hello…didn’t you watch the trailer and see the brilliant pairing in the sarcastic, witty and very much self-centred duo of Eddie (Tom Hardy) and Venom (umm also Tom Hardy). And an anti-hero movie, who doesn’t love those?? Okay let me rephrase, I love those!! So why was I suddenly concerned about a month before release and still so as I walked into the cinema this evening? That would be because I read the news that Sony had edited the film to earn it a PG-13 rating in the US (Australia converted that to a basic M), so the R rating (or MA15+ for the aussies following along) I was expecting and had been promised to us was taken away for bigger audience range and box office $$ because there have definitely been no examples recently of non-family friendly superhero movies working (cough…cough…Deadpool & Logan). So yes, I was concerned, I was disappointed and I was letting my excitement for this film get deflated until I reminded myself that hey the Jurassic Park films have those ratings and I love them so what the hell. Let’s do it…..and people, honestly, Venom was kind of great!!
Yes really! I’m not kidding, it is fun, action packed and the dialogue between Eddie and Venom alone make the movie. As far as story is concerned it’s nothing ground breaking, in fact it does that thing where it assumes that you are familiar with the Venom story/comics so the whole intro feels all in your face and rushed and BAM suddenly 8 months have passed, and you’re left with a what the hell happened feeling. Then the main film plot takes hold and it is smooth flowing from there.
But seriously, are you really going into that cinema to watch a thought provoking, story driven drama? Yeah didn’t think so. That action superhero movie (or anti hero as the case may be) that you’re going in to watch is exactly what you get. With the main man himself, Tom Hardy, who hands down was the best fit for this roll he is just so perfect and as I mentioned before the interactions and dialogue between him and the Venom voice are just so great. It’s hilarious and clever and the key strength behind the whole movie. Everyone else…..well, I mean, Michelle Williams is always great in any roll and I did like her character and the fact that she is kind of separate but also ready to kick ass and back up Venom/Eddie when the time comes. The bad guy though, he’s just a crazy person, a rich horrible crazy person. Saddest part is the fact that he gets away with all his crazy shit because he is super rich and successful is so realistic like you hands down know that various actions by people to cover up he’s evil doings would definitely actually happen in real life. Lucky there are always people like Eddie to get taken over by an alien symbiote and work to destroy it all.
The movie is genuinely a lot of fun and the action sequences, for the most part, are explosive over the top and great. There was only one time when I found it laughable in a ‘ohhh that’s kind of lame’ way and that was during a street chase (think motorbike and car) which is actually great for the most part but they have this section with drones and umm let’s just say it was the most pointless part and purely looked like it was there to have some cool explosive special effects. Now while I normally do enjoy an explosion or five, these just didn’t fit the scene and were obviously in no way going to damage the main characters so why?? Whatever, it was one part and I will admit it did look cool, just unnecessary and cool.
The rest is fighting, weapons, crazy stunts, heads being bitten off….yeah all the great stuff! You don’t miss out on anything…..oh except for one thing. There is literally no blood in the whole movie. Not one drop, nothing, like hey you just bit a damn head off or slammed a blade thing through a body and not a single spray of red or mess. And that my friends, is part or the reason it was able to have that ‘Family Friendly’ rating because can’t let the kiddies see that people might have blood in them. It made me laugh so much and once you notice it you see it for the whole movie (oh shit! Sorry to anyone in advance for pointing out that little fact) also listen out for the one solitary token Fuck. It’s a good one too, I appreciated it.
In all seriousness, I feel like this has seemed mostly negative but despite the fact it isn’t the brutal and dark Venom movie we were promised (yes Sony I’m judging you) and I know there will be people out there that don’t like it (as there always are) it is honestly an entertaining and fun action movie. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be watching it again likely more that once and also hoping that the 40 minutes that were cut and are reportedly Tom Hardy’s favourite scenes will be on the Home Entertainment release….directors cut….proper cut! And maybe next time they will just give us the dark and blood filled R rated Venom movie/sequel we were all waiting for…..maybe.
My Score: 5.5/10
Watch If You Like: X Men (specifically 1 or 2 or Days of Future Past), Jurassic Park or the Transformers movies…..weird collection I know but in my mind they all kind of have the same sort of target audience that this final cut was made for.