Top critical review
4 February 2019
An attempt at doing a film franchise using supporting characters from Spider-Man comics begins with Venom. A completely fresh take on the character, so forget the version you saw in Spider-Man Three. For the uninitiated, Venom is an alien symbiote bonded with a human being who has been villain, monster, anti-hero, and many other things in his time.
This is not from Marvel studios, so is separate from those films entirely.
And parents please note the 15 certificate. So even though it's a comic book movie, it's not suitable at all for anyone under that age thanks to the level of gore. Is that clear? Good.
Eddie Brock [Tom Hardy] is an investigate journalist who cares far more about getting the story than people. So he manages to lose his livelihood and absolutely everyone and everything he has. Meantime, a rich inventor has ambitions. And doesn't much care about who gets hurt along the way either.
When things conspire to let Eddie and Venom get together, it's the start of a very interesting relationship...
Venom is a character that probably needs an 18 certificate film to do him justice. So in a world where those can be box office poison for big studio movies, you are likely to get a project that will have studio interests and artistic vision conflicting. With the consequences of a slightly choppy film as a result.
There are obvious cuts, with a few clear jumps at some points. And despite Tom Hardy doing his best, you have lead character who aren't all that sympathetic, and Michelle Williams does get landed with an underwritten role as the female lead character.
But once Venom does take centre stage, this does start to manage to be what it possibly could. The relationship between him and Eddie is quite fun, and the highlight of the whole thing - in a black comedy way at times - and although it has to go through predictable origin movie dynamics, by the time it gets past that, it has come to life and knows what it wants to do.
Which is be a 15 certificate rather an 18 certificate take.
One of those films that turns out to be better than expected, if all you have heard about it in advance is negative. It's a long way from being perfect. But now Venom has reached the screen and done well enough at the box office to give a sequel the go ahead, it can only develop from here. And this film is just enough to make you want to give anything that comes next a chance.
There is an extra scene during the end credits.
At the end, you get a preview of 'Spider-man into the spiderverse' via a long scene from that.
The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:
Languages: English, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, English audio description.
Subtitles: English, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Ukrainian.
The disc begins with a generic anti piracy ad, and one single trailer. The latter turns up in the preview section of the extras on the disc anyhow.
Only other extras are: sneak peek of Spider-Man into the Spiderverse. The same scene from after the end credits of Venom.
Sunflower, a music video from Spider-Man into the Spiderverse.
And Venom. A music video of an Eminem song about the character. Which uses no movie clips at all. And is three minutes of your life you will never get back. Avoid.