Sunday, February 10, 2019


Movie Name: Venom
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Woody Harrelson, Malcolm C. Murray, Peggy Lu
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2 
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
Director Ruben Fleischer, who has been prolific since his feature debut with "Zombieland", has returned with another comic book adaptation. "Venom" is an adaptation of a character that has long been associated with the Spider-Man universe, having shown up as a villain of Sam Raimi's maligned "Spider-Man 3", at the time portrayed by Topher Grace (as Eddie Brock as well). The film focuses on Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist, who lives in San Francisco with his fiancée Anne. He comes across a huge story, via Anne's computer, and without her knowledge, confronts the head of a lab who is doing investigative research with alien life forms. Once that discussion is discovered, both Eddie and Anne lose their jobs, which also comes at a cost to the end of their relationship. 6 months go by, and Eddie is approached by a research scientist from the lab responsible for his unravel, who wants him to expose the less than ethical and legal approaches to research and to her boss, the man most responsible for that unlawful direction. As Eddie visits the lab to witness the ongoing issues, he ends up being a host for that alien entity, something that propels Carlton Drake, the man responsible for the whole program, to send a group of henchmen on his trail.
"Venom" is a surprisingly hollow film, considering how rich the material is in terms of potentially opening some interesting discussions on how the human body and alien elements can coexist (which was, to a certain extent, some of the topics of David Cronenberg's "The Fly"). The film chooses instead to lightly touch on that interesting relationship between the alien entity and the human host, and focuses instead on the chaos and random destruction that it can cause, as the main character tries to avoid its captors. The film's storyline, for all its great premise, is flat and without much depth, both from the characters, but also from the implications of the existence of the entity itself (at some point, the entity is basically played like a vehicle, where someone can just use it to go from one point to the next). It's a film that doesn't really understand where it wants to go, and who the character actually is. Whereas Chuck Russell's "The Mask" transformed Jim Carrey's Stanley Ipkiss into a love starved, hilariously out of control super hero, Tom Hardy's character is confused, lost and overwhelmed, and never quite recovers. We never really understand the creature's intent. All the actors in this film have very little to do, and look quite puzzled by the entire ordeal (Michelle Williams is completely lost). The cinematography from the talented Matthew Libatique is fantastic, but this is a completely forgettable endeavor.