"Venom does a good job of building a World without Spider-Man, setting the story in San Fransisco instead of the traditional New York"
Venom is the latest comic book adapted to film from Sony Pictures, based on the celebrated Lethal Protector story arc with shades of the Planet of the Symbioses story arc with the intent on starting a Venom-verse without the inclusion of his superhero counterpart Spider-Man; the question is was it successful?
The answer to that is yes and no, Venom does a good job of building a World without Spider-Man, setting the story in San Fransisco instead of the traditional New York and the realisation of Venom is a superior improvement to the version we were given in Spider-Man 3, and the effects throughout the film are great, especially when viewed in IMAX, with the superior sound and visuals. The problem is that the film feels very paint by numbers, with the dialog feeling as though it is a film that would have fitted in quite nicely before the boom of the MCU and other modern comic book fare.
The other issue is that this is a very violent character, and instead of giving it the R-rated (true 15 in the UK) treatment, it cuts away from the more gruesome aspects of the character. As I have said in previous reviews, I don’t need gore in a film to make it good, but when the character calls for it, Venom is a character that literally bites heads off people, and there have been successes with the likes of Deadpool and Logan, it is baffling to me from a creative stand point why they didn’t give him the treatment he deserved, however the box office has said a lot!
The majority of the action takes place at night and Venom is a black alien character so he doesn’t stand out during those scenes, however it is used to great effect during scenes when he is fighting under a veil of smoke, and the final fight with Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) as Riot is pretty spectacular to watch on the IMAX screen.
The best part of the film is the relationship between Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and the Venom Symbiote (voiced by Hardy), their interplay is great giving the film a buddy cop-esc feel, turning Venom into a more modern anti-hero, rather than his villainous comic book roots, and there is precedence in the comics for that. However, Michelle Williams is underused, however there is a great nod to her comic book counterpart that will please devoted fans.
The music adds to the atmosphere of the film, giving a creepy vibe at times, just doesn’t lean into the more horror-esc aspects of the environment, in essence, it isn’t fully realised but doesn’t distract from the film either.
All in all, I had fun with Venom, it is clearly not the best comic book adaptation out there but it is by no means the worst either, it is a fine film that lends itself to a sequel, and judging by the box office, that’s something we’ll get in the not to distant future.