Venom

In Cinemas Now

Tom Hardy is the enigmatic, complex Marvel character Venom in this Spider-Man spin-off co-starring Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed.

While investigating Carlton Drake (Ahmed), the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation, journalist Eddie Brock's (Hardy) body merges with the alien Venom, leaving him with superhuman strength. Fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.

Trailers

Directed by

Action, Science Fiction, Thriller, Blockbuster

112mins

Rating: M Violence & offensive language

USA

This is what a series of bad decisions stretched out over a very long development history looks like. Venom wants to be a darkly comedic body-horror and a compelling anti-hero comic book caper. It also tries to shock life back into Sony's sub-Marvel mini-verse, which seemingly died along with the Amazing Spider-Man films. It only succeeds in being a supremely average film that mostly frustrates and baffles rather than thrills.

Some may find Tom Hardy's performance charming, which it is in places. But it centres on his struggling with a super powerful alien that's taking over his body, which sees him verbally arguing with it and all. That sort of thing has been done much better, many times - most recently with Upgrade. I actually liked Riz Ahmed 's take on Elon Musk as the best performance, even if he did phone it in.

The horde of poor filmmaking choices could be forgiven if it at least delivered on the action, but it sure as shit does not. Every moment of action is created in a computer and most of it is surprisingly awful, fake-looking garbage. There's also no blood spilt on-screen, despite a large amount of beheadings and dismemberments carried out.

Although director Ruben Fleischer is tonally all over the place, I like how all-in he goes with the ridiculousness. He's made something shit, but at least he's gone full bonkers with that shit - the climactic fight scene is between two entirely CGI-created alien demon things leaping about on a rocket ship. In other movies, someone might've tried to intervene and patch something with less nonsense in, which would've created an even less interesting hodgepodge of shit.

There are a few nice laughs to be had both with and at Venom. It's a silly, cartoonish misfire that's bloody hard to enjoy, but somehow also hard to hate.

The Guardian

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Venom is riddled with the poison of dullness.

Variety (USA)

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"Venom" is a textbook case of a comic-book film that's unexciting in its ho-hum competence, and even its visual-effects bravura.

Hollywood Reporter

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A significant problem in a film full of them is that Eddie comes off as a dope, an eager dufus hardly convincing as a boundary-pushing journo or someone who can out-think a titan of technology.

Los Angeles Times

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"Venom" feels like pretty weak poison.

TimeOut (New York)

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Why can't the movie make Venom properly dirty? The PG-13 rating seriously hurts.

Total Film (UK)

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Fleischer made a better comedy-horror with Zombieland, but Venom's a decent buddy actioner. You might even laugh your head off...

Empire (UK)

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Venom is neither triumph nor train-wreck. It's a mediocre origin story, a superhero host that sadly fails to bond with its comedy parasite.

Screw the bad reviews from critics, just go & watch the film

After being baffled by the critics who gave this movie a bad rating I decided to go & see Venom with my great nephew & both of us absolutely enjoyed it. The transformation from Eddie Brock to Venom was superb, Tom Hardy did a good job playing his role as the main character & the humor was also hilarious and in the right time. My only complaint about this film is that it felt short & I wish it was a bit longer. I highly recommend this movie & don't take any reviews from critics seriously because most of them are pretty BS