In 1984 Todd McFarland and David Michelinite created the iconic and sleek black “Alien Costume” for Marvel Comics’ “The Amazing Spider-Man #252,” and I went crazy. I remember being a kid and looking at Spider-Man and thinking, “This is the coolest thing ever.” Then, in May of 1988, when Venom stepped onto the scene as Spider-Man’s new, big, bad rival in Issue 300, I lost my mind.
The character made his first screen appearance in “Spider-Man 3,” played by Topher Grace, and it was a huge letdown. Bad writing and bad casting of one my childhood favorite comic book villains was a big disappointment for fans like me.
So, when I heard about Sony making a movie that put Venom center stage, I was a little concerned about it. When I heard that screenplay writer Jeff Pinkner (known for directing “Zombieland” and “Gangster Quad”) was on board, I got my hopes up. With the help of Scott Rosenberg (screenplay/screen story ) and Kelly Marcel (screenplay) they worked hard to bring the fans a Venom movie that we would love, but that had a PG-13 rating.
Again, I had my concerns about how they would bring Venom to life on the big screen and not have an R rating. I am happy to say that they pulled it off nicely.
The film is listed as an Action/Sci-Fi/Horror, but I would say it is more of a Action/Sci-Fi/ Comedy. The relationship between Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the CGI Venom was more entertaining than anything else.
Venom’s matter-of-fact attitude, mixed with Eddie Brock’s drive to tell the truth and take down the bad guys, was a great mix.
Tom Hardy did a good job playing the hard-nosed journalist obsessed with taking down the notorious founder of the Life Foundation, Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed. The on-screen tension between the two was great to watch.
The main cast is wrapped up with Michelle Williams, who plays Brock’s love interest, Anne Weying, and Reid Scott, who plays Dr. Dan Lewis, her new love interest, that made for a few funny and awkward situations that made the movie fun to watch.
The writers even put in a few Easter eggs for the die-hard fans of Venom to keep us on our toes throughout the movie. No, I am not going to ruin it for you and tell you what they are. I will tell you that it was nice to see that the writers really researched the characters backstory to come up with a good standalone movie.
The only real disappointment with the movie was the big boss fight. The CGI was a little off, and the main villain should have had a different color scheme to contrast against Venom and the rest of the scene. They tried to slow it down in a few spots, but it only helped make it harder to look at.
The PG-13 rating really didn’t hurt or help the movie in the end. I was not really disappointed that it didn’t have an R rating.
A good plot, strong characters, great setting (San Francisco) and all of the different conflicts helped tell a great story, with room for a sequel.
If you love Venom or know nothing about him, this movie will have you entertained the entire 1.52-hour run time. I look forward to seeing where they take the character next on the big screen.