Released 10/05/2018 Rated: PG-13
Go See This Movie. I’m the first to admit that I’ve been on the fence since the release of the first trailer. But my husband and I loved it, and we don’t understand all the hate other than it has to be the preconceived notion that no matter what you’re going to hate it. And I shouldn’t have to say it, but this is a thousand times better than the Spider-man-esque atrocity from Spider-man 3. We were blown away.
Now, I don’t know much about the comics. But considering the fact that this is a stand-alone Venom movie, Spider-man has been completely omitted from the story, they did a great job. I believe the way the plot unfolds because it’s grounded in reality. No one fell into a tank of genetically-engineered eels and survived with the ability to light up the city, or ended up fused to sentient tentacle arms due to a lab explosion. Eddie is a reporter. He’s going to follow his gut and stir the pot when interviewing the head of a huge corporation, a man he knows is evil, he just can’t prove it yet. This movie is focused on Eddie and his actions rather than something just happening to him that turns him into Venom. It’s a realistic take and I appreciate that. Not all superhero movies need to do this, but it works here.
The beginning is set up similarly to a horror movie which I believe was the perfect move. Not only that, but they did it right. I.e.: no reliance on jump scares. It’s purely based on the story and creepy imagery/occurrences. If there was ever a way to get me on board immediately, this was it. Once Eddie and Venom “meet” the movie develops into a surprisingly funny action film while keeping some of the elements of the horror genre. Now, I realize that sounds like a complete tonal shift, but it’s not. And don’t worry, Venom doesn’t turn into Deadpool or anything. It’s just Eddie trying to understand and deal with the voice in his head while it’s taking over his body to do inhuman things. It lightens the mood, but I don’t think it takes away from the tone.
It may be closer to Hellboy than Logan, but it worked. I couldn’t see them doing anything else better. And yes, I know everyone was crossing their fingers for an R-rating, but I think it’s a smarter move to establish the character(s) and get their footing before they dowse the film in gore and excessive violence. Deadpool is the exception to the rule; the team dedicated to portraying the character correctly along with the comedy counteracted the elements that gave it the R-rating. Movies like Dredd don’t appeal to the wider audience mostly because it’s too much too fast and too serious. Venom was balanced and well done. Give it a chance.