‘Venom’ is yet another disappointing non-Disney Marvel movie

Tyler Fedor, Co-Writing Editor

Ah yes, Venom, another Marvel movie that isn’t from Disney’s Marvel Studios. I should’ve been skeptical from the start when I saw Sony was making the movie, but come on, what wasn’t there to root for? A character fans have been dying to see again since Sam Raimi’s third Spiderman movie? A top notch cast who I can’t give anything but praise for (at least before I saw the movie)? What was there not to love?

But, alas, it seems Disney is once again the only company who can consistently make good superhero movies.

I’ll be honest. I fell for the movie’s charm, or whatever allure it had before walking into the theater. Like moths to a lamp, Marvel fans were going crazy over this movie, hoping it would give Venom the movie it deserves, and in general a new spin on superhero movies. And just like moths to the lamp, they burned up, their enthusiasm replaced with the usual pain of another Sony superhero movie disappointment.

I was one of those moths.

Venom is directed by Ruben Fleischer, known for his work on Zombieland and Gangster Squad. In Venom, the plot centers around ruined reporter Eddie Block (Tom Hardy). His life has taken a turn down misery lane as he loses his job, fiance Anne Wening (Michelle Williams) and apartment when he tries to dig into the illegal experiments of the out of the box “I have no more creativity and need a bad guy what do people hate now yes business” Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). He then comes into contact with the rude and evil (take note of this) symbiote Venom (also played by Tom Hardy).

The movie uses all the wrong parts of the movie, even when the parts to make it great were there. When Anne and Eddie’s relationship fell apart in the first half hour of the movie with little to no development, the movie was showing me something that in the universe and context of the movie was like the Titanic. And I just went “wah wah.” Too much people, not enough Venom.

Venom was way too slow to get into the movie. While technically he does arrive halfway through the film, the real Venom, the black-muscled mass who rips off heads, eats people and beats people so hard they see God, only to be ripped back into reality, appears for maybe 20 minutes. The parts where Venom is in full on monster mode are some of the best — and only — entertaining parts of the movie.

That’s another thing with this film. It’s so uninspired. It looks like Tom Hardy dragged all his celebrity friends with him to go eat at the rundown Waffle House because they lost a bet with him. The dialogue is unrealistic and clunky, not really conveying any realistic urgency or believable emotion to make the characters actually seem human in the movie’s world.

This movie again fell for the Marvel syndrome, trying to be a Disney Marvel movie instead of trying to do its own thing. Superhero movies seem to be doing more of this now, following Marvel’s already formulaic style to movie making. There’s got to be comedy, there has to be some lightheartedness, and overall be like Disney’s movies.

Venom wasn’t meant for that formula that Sony very clearly forced onto the people making this movie. Constantly the film switches between deep, tense situations with Venom and Eddie, but then tries to counteract it with unnatural, forced comedy. This makes the character itself feel conflicted in what it’s supposed to be — a chaotic being with no real moral compass. You want to know how one can see this? Look to why Venom decides to stay with Eddie, simply because he wants to, and even his attraction to Eddie is not developed behind the symbiotes needing a host. Venom gets turned into a forced hero, whose motivations are weak and stupid. They don’t take advantage of what Venom really is.

Venom provides a decent amount of entertainment, but too late in the film. The weak characters and conflicted tone of the movie already creates a weak adventure, and with a noticeable majority of the movie having no Venom, you’re going to be left feeling disappointed when the one character you came for shows up for maybe a quarter of the movie. I wouldn’t recommend this movie unless you are very dead set on going to see it.