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Edward Kivlahan October 8, 2018

I’ve been looking forward to Venom since the announcement and the media frenzy that followed. Along with that, some clever people found a way to know more than others let on, such as when Woody Harrelson was asked about his upcoming role while at ISU. This surprised him, as he hadn’t even told his wife, but a quick look at the IMDb page showed he was listed as an actor but his role was not yet public. This review will not share that secret despite the nature of it being hidden in plain sight.

Tom Hardy’s Portrayal of Eddie Brock was very good. He showed morals of journalistic integrity and quickly established himself as a relatable character digging for the truth no matter what dangers faced him. The exposition of his character was hasty though. They were too swift in setting up the “thing to lose”, so it lacked impact when he inevitably lost it. It was somewhat wasted until the rest of that plot element was developed. Hardy showed his character’s growth in experience and sense of humor as well as self-control and confidence throughout the movie and set it up nicely for potential sequels.

The premise of Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) discovering the symbiotes during a space expedition and Riot escaping to cause extreme havoc was plausible, but didn’t do anything to establish the symbiotes’ world in the universe. There were several mentions of it, but it came across more like a rock covered in boogeymen than a real world teeming with a loose definition of life. I myself would have included a scene on the symbiotes’ planet establishing the distance from Earth and showing some of the other members of the symbiote roster, but it still did fine without this as the movie was still jam-packed with content. Overall, the plot was good.

The action was great. The fights had tension with confidence and the CGI was woven masterfully into every scene involved. Obviously the nature of the movie required it to have an enormous amount of CGI, so that demand and the quality that was present throughout earns considerable praise for providing the quality and quantity without any visible sacrifice between the two. The final fight was very intense and detailed, and had high tension and high stakes throughout. Some visual elements of the symbiotic weapons were cheesy, but there was a wide variety of them to distract from that.

The writing was near spot-on. Some conversations ended up being throwaway lines and some lines seemed like they were supposed to be funny but just felt awkward, but the vast majority of the situational jokes along with other one-liners and gags were hilarious. The relationship between Eddie and Venom was also excellent. It began very disjointed and confused, but concluded with hilarious quips and had developed into the relationship necessary for the days ahead.

Overall, I rate Venom 4 out of 5 stars. The exposition was hasty and the premise had some weak spots alongside some of the cgi weapons being cheesy, but the character development and comedy were excellent. The villain did not have any character, but thanks to the end credits teaser, we know that won’t remain the case. In the end, it’s a good action movie, a good comedy, and a great addition to Marvel’s movie roster.