VENOM Review — The Superhero Movie Antidote

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Venom Review — Staci Layne Wilson says there’s a reason for the top-tier cast. It’s actually fun!

Venom ReviewEven though I have seen many, many superhero movies in my time as a film critic, they never have really grown on me. So when I was tasked with seeing Venom, the origin story of one of Marvel’s many antiheros (and one that I know next to nothing about, to boot), I was less-than-thrilled.

That is why I am pleased to announce that Venom does not suck! Though I see online that others beg to differ, I personally was entertained and amused by the film. The fact that the cast is top-tier—Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom, Michelle Williams as his girlfriend Anne, and Riz Ahmed as the evil scientist—helps, as does the fact that Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) directs.

When it comes to the story, there’s nothing new here. It’s got the same stock plot as almost every comic book: regular Joe gets infected by some supernatural juice and struggles with his alter-ego until he finally accepts his fate and makes the best of it. Fortunately, Venom is a comedy so lots of fun is made of trope. While not every line strikes gold, there are some good laughs in the film and reasonably clever repartee.

In terms of general atmosphere, it’s hit-or-miss. The music is great. Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther) presents a stirring score, while the title song by Eminem sets the tone for this action-packed extravaganza. Cinematography by the uber-talented Matthew Libatique (Black Swan) seems smudgy but then again, the movie is made to be seen in 3D and our press screening was not. What isn’t so great is the CGI. At times, the snakelike alien creature seems too cartoony, and the shading is off-kilter. Also, there were quite a few times when the actors’ eyelines did not match what they were supposed to be looking at making for some intended humor.

While there is an admittedly watered-down feel to the film, and certainly a lighter tone taken than some fans might like for such a dark story, I enjoyed Venom.

Rated PG-13
1 Hour 52 Minutes

Like this Venom review and want to get a taste? Check out showtimes and tickets at Fandango.

Venom Review — Staci Layne Wilson says there’s a reason for the top-tier cast. It’s actually fun!

 

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

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