Movie Review: Venom Struggles, Has Potential

Nik Iacovelli, Student Contributor

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With the recent trend of Marvel movies and a Marvel boom in general, Sony Pictures saw this as a chance to create their own cinematic universe. However, like many other cinematic universes that are being attempted, Sony Pictures has a good idea of what they want but are unsure how to properly execute for audiences. With Venom, it definitely was a great time and I enjoyed Tom Hardy’s performance, but I feel that a proper “R” rating would have made it stronger.

Venom shows the Symbiotes crashing to Earth and the Life Foundation harvesting them in order to use them on people. Then it cuts to Eddie Brock in San Francisco who ends up illegally reading his fiancée Anne Weying’s case notes, a move that leads him to be fired and causes Weying to call off the wedding. This eventually leads to a downward spiral for Brock until he investigates the Life Foundation more after he is contacted by someone on the inside. Once Brock bonds with the Venom symbiote, this is where the fun begins and one of the best elements of the film. We see the relationship unfold between the symbiote and Brock, which in turn makes the darkest, funniest, and most emotional events of the film. Brock and Venom aren’t friends at first but grow to like each other over the course of the film. The constant bickering back and forth between them similar to Jekyll and Hyde makes it worth watching for those two. Since Tom Hardy did the voice for Venom, he does a fantastic job of making it believable that these two exist.

However,  what this film suffered from the most was studio involvement. Since Sony Pictures owns the rights to SpiderMan and related characters, they are free to do whatever they please. This leads to them wanting their own cinematic universe, but they are not using SpiderMan despite it being a SpiderMan universe. With this being the case, this resulted in many scenes being cut during the editing part and Tom Hardy himself voicing his frustration towards this during the premiere. Since Sony Pictures eventually wants their universe to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this resulted in the Venom character being watered down in order to fit a “PG-13” rating over an “R” one. In the comics, Venom is known for his  brutal nature towards his enemies like eating them or ripping them apart, which wasn’t seen much in the film.

With that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Venom and wait on a “Directors Cut” to come out during the DVD release. I feel that if Sony Pictures focuses more on the fans and what they want, instead of trying to merge with the Marvel Universe, they can craft a great sequel.