Marvel have become the machine of superhero films, churning out hit after hit every year. So, when a different studio make a film about a popular character, you know there is going to be high expectations. Sony’s Venom features one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies without the web-slinger being a part of it. It made me curious to see how Venom could exist without Spider-Man’s presence. Backed by the acting chops of Tom Hardy, Venom is a dark buddy comedy that doesn’t deserve the amount of negativity it’s received from critics.
The film establishes Eddie Brock as a tenacious reporter who’ll go to any length to find a story. Outside of his job, Brock comes across as insecure and neurotic, with Tom Hardy using a variety of facial ticks and grunts. Hardy’s performance is electric, lurching from daring journalist to screaming bystander at any given moment.
After bonding with the symbiote, Hardy cranks up his delivery even more. His back and forth with Venom is the best part of the film, with the two of them learning to work together. Venom is eager to eat people, while Brock wants to get rid of his parasite and go back to living a normal life. Their relationship has some hilarious moments. A scene in a restaurant had me laughing out loud for a couple of minutes.
Hardy is joined by Riz Ahmed’s Carlton Drake, a scientist responsible for bringing the symbiotes to Earth. Ahmed’s villain is forgettable, but the fight scene between him and Brock is action-packed. Michelle Williams stars as Eddie’s love interest Anne Weying. Her performance is decent and she goes beyond being a simple damsel in distress.
The story has a few inconsistencies but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the film. Even with the PG-13 rating, there’s still plenty of violence. Venom is exactly the kind of wild monster fans were hoping for. He bites off heads, calls his victims snacks and break limbs, all with a twisted grin on his face. Plus, there’s a lot of easter eggs that Spider-Man fans will appreciate seeing.
When I’ve finished watching a film, I ask myself if I was entertained. Did it keep me engaged? Did it make me laugh? Did I care about the main character? Venom ticked all those boxes for me. Brock and Venom’s relationship is made real by Hardy’s stellar acting. If you take away nothing else from the film, I guarantee you’ll enjoy Hardy’s performance. Venom is an entertaining movie that can exist outside the MCU.