It seems we are at the point now with comic book characters that we were with comedians in the late eighties, eventually everyone will get a movie. Don’t worry we’re not at that point yet where Flaming Carrot is getting a movie (Though I would totally watch that), instead we are starting to get into characters that could be done well in the right hands. A few years ago they took a stab at Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, but sharing a movie with what seemed like twenty other villains just didn’t seem to work out for the character. Well in the age of short memories we can start anew and this time Venom is the star.
Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is one of those investigative reporters who can be a loose cannon but gets to the bottom of things. Along with the job he has a beautiful soon-to-be wife in Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), and a nice place to live in San Francisco. That life though falls apart when he interviews Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), a billionaire whose company is doing experiments on people. After that interview that goes off script, Eddie loses everything, but he is given a chance to get back at Drake and uncover the horrors that he has been up to. Soon during that investigating Eddie comes across something unlike anything he has ever seen and it becomes one with him. Next thing he knows he is doing things not possible while at the same time hearing voices in his head. That voice is Venom, a being from another world. Together they must stop more beings like Venom from coming to earth to rule.
As I watched the character of Eddie Brock all I could think was, only two people could have played this right. Nick Cage or Tom Hardy. I assumed Cage was busy, since everything is better when he is uncaged, but boy does Hardy play crazy well. If Hardy is not in this movie, well that short memory would come in handy because this would be one forgettable film. The story by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinker, Kelly Marcel, and Will Beall just plays it safe as so many studios do. Venom just doesn’t feel fun as the character is played, I mean sure there are some funny moments in the film as we have learned going all dark doesn’t equal something people want to see. What does work is the cast as you already know my affection for Hardy, but Williams and Ahmed are also both strong, it’s everything around them that is weak. With only one good action sequence, which takes place on the streets of San Francisco, this is not the Venom I was hoping for. The end product is not something to cheer about, the craziness that is Tom Hardy does make it something watchable that without him would be difficult to get through. So go for Hardy and marvel at who he is, but don’t expect that kind of Marvel, as it looks like we are o for 2 when it comes to Venom origins.