Venom, Tom Hardy disappoint after high expectations

Sony   success   story:   Despite mixed reviews of Venom, the film performed well at the box office, racking in a total of $176,482,314.

Sony success story: Despite mixed reviews of Venom, the film performed well at the box office, racking in a total of $176,482,314.

Henry Schleizer, co-opinions editor

As I walked into the theater, I expected many things from Venom. I was extremely excited to see the world of the Spider-Man villain take to the big screen in an attempt to correct the flaws of the previous portrayals of Venom in the Toby Maguire era of spider man. I expected Tom Hardy to deliver an original, creative performance of Eddie Brock, and I expected Venom to live up to the hype. I was hopeful that Sony would bounce back after many mistakes in portraying Spider-Man. I was wrong.

Although Venom was overshadowed by many negative traits, there were some positives. Or should I say, a positive. The symbiotes looked awesome. Basically, the symbiotes are the alien species that Venom belongs to. Venom looked dangerous and terrifying. The intense visuals enhanced the ferocity and malice of the alien species, and made an impact on me as viewer. The computer generated imaging, or CGI, was very well done, and although I was unhappy with the movie as a whole, the special effects did not disappoint.

However, cool CGI and vicious action scenes cannot save a film all by themselves. A good film needs the proper plot development, dialogue, and character complexity. Additionally for comic book movies, the film needs accuracy to it’s foundation. What did Venom lack? All of the above. Along with the subpar character development, the plot and storyline went hand in hand with the quality: poor and hard to watch. To summarize the plot, Eddie Brock is a journalist who is driven to take down the corrupt Carlton Drake, the immoral CEO of a lab called the Life Foundation. However, director Ruben Fleischer failed to incorporate a backstory to the Life Foundation, and it’s leader, which led to confusion amongst viewers throughout the duration of the movie. Even as a casual Marvel fan with some knowledge of Venom and the story of his upbringing, I had trouble piecing together the storyline and figuring out what the motives of Drake and his symbiote were.

Throughout the film, I found myself confused at what was going on. Brock’s character development was missing, as was Drake’s. Drake was built up to be a complex, interesting villain obsessed with human life coexisting with the symbiote species. Instead, we got a power hungry idiot who was barely in the movie until he bonded with the symbiote Riot, which was also confusing. On the flip side, Sony barely dove into the story of Brock’s life as a journalist, his upbringing or his troubled past. Although both characters had shoddy story lines, the rest of the characters had almost no story at all. I struggled to remember who did what and the importance of each character.

If we are talking about comic book accuracy, Venom definitely failed on this. In the trailers, Carlton Drake was shown staring at yellow and dark blue symbiotes. These were presumed to be Scream and Mayhem, two of the most powerful symbiotes in the comic book world. Even though it wasn’t shown in the trailers, I was hoping for a full out symbiotic war. Instead, we got no introduction to Mayhem, and all we got for Scream was a short scene where Drake and his head assistant doctor Dora Skirth tested Scream’s ability to combine with a rabbit to see how the symbiote reacted to being in a host body. My disappointment could not have been greater.

To top off the other problems, this movie’s dialogue was no better than the plot or character development. Yes, I will admit there were a few lines that made me laugh; however, the rest of the dialogue put off a “we are trying too hard to be funny” vibe which turned me, along with many other Marvel fans, away from the film. Although the dialogue wasn’t the biggest of problems, it certainly did not do anything to save the movie.

Tom Hardy delivered an above average performance as he always does, but he was unable to salvage a movie that had too many holes and problems. Hardy’s fellow co-stars did not do a good job representing their characters. Riz Ahmed was atrocious in displaying Carlton Drake, and did not represent the evil, cruel minded villain obsessed with co-existing with the symbiotic life in space. Instead, Drake came off as a petty jerk who was unable to achieve his goals.

After lots of build-up and anticipation for the return of the symbiotes to the world of film, Sony disappointed me, and gave me the same, underwhelming feeling I had after seeing the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies. All in all,Venom could have been great, but there were too many holes in Tom Hardy’s Marvel debut.