Venom

Directed by Ruben Fleischer

Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, and Melora Walters

Backstory

Venom is one of Spider-Man’s more popular modern-era villains…so much so, that he switched sides and became a hero.  So when we heard that a solo Venom film was in development, the question immediately was, “How are they going to do it without Spider-Man?”  Well, they found a way.  And as Sony still owns the bulk of Spider-Man‘s characters, they’re planning their own whole Marvel Cinematic Universe of Spidey’s second-stringers.  Venom is the first one out of the gate.  So, how’s our first Spider-Man-less Spider-Man film?

Plot

Eddie Brock is on top of the world.  He’s a much-beloved investigative reporter, engaged to a beautiful lawyer, but then he loses it all when he goes too far in an interview with tech billionaire Carlton Drake.  Six months later, Brock is at rock bottom when he’s approached by one of Drake’s top scientists.  Seems that one of Drake’s space probes captured alien life.  These aliens, called “symbiots,” need a human host to survive, and it seems that Drake is racking up quite the body count looking for suitable hosts.  Brock breaks in to Drake’s lab to investigate, and finds himself bonded with one of the symbiots.  Calling itself Venom, the symbiot strikes a deal with Brock:  use of Brock’s body to free the other symbiots and uncover Drake’s plot.  Will these two unlikely partners succeed in their mission?

What I Liked

The film is much more lighthearted than I expected.  Eddie Brock and the symbiot form a kind of “buddy cop” relationship, and their banter is truly the highlight of the film.  There’s also some great physical comedy as Brock adjusts to his new situation.  Yeah…just a lot funnier than expected.

What I Didn’t Like

The plot is pretty cookie-cutter.  It offers very little new in the genre of superhero films.  And when your hero and villain are CGI blobs, the climactic battle is just one big blobby mess that’s tough to follow.

Final Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised.  A rather enjoyable, if basic, superhero flick.

3 Nibs