You have to admire some parts of VENOM, but to say the whole doesn't equal the parts is soft pedaling its serious flaws.
Tom Hardy gives it his all, including a pretty flawless American accent as renegade reporter Eddie Brock. Like some marauding TMZ reporter with a bigger budget and more smart ass quips, Eddie is a marauder for the truth.
His fiance Anne (Michelle Williams, seriously miscast or at least an odd fit for Hardy) works for an Elon Musk type inventor who's digging deep into DNA experiments with some alien life forms he's brought back from outer space.
It's one of the flaws of the film that I felt like I would have much rather seen the story of the space exploration to bring back these things. Then I realized that I DID see almost that exact movie with nearly identical creatures in the movie "LIFE" last year.....but, I digress....
ANYWAY, the wild inventor is Carlton Drake, again strangely cast in the persona of Riz Ahmed, who was great in "Nightcrawler" but seems a very strange fit for this role. He's probably the worst villain I've seen since at the movies since Mathieu Almaric's lame bad guy in the OO7 misfire "Quantum of Solace".
Eddie sees something he shouldn't on his wife's computer, decides to bring it up in his big interview with Drake.
Reporter loses job, reporter loses girlfriend, but story mechanics (straining all credibility and coincidence) manage to get him inside the massive San Francisco headquarters of Drake, where he is infected by one of the life forms, VENOM.
The BEST parts of the film are featured in the trailer but play even better here. Eddie fighting back against bad guys with his new powers and one long car/motorcycle chase sequence over the hills of San Francisco are great sequences.
Superb stunt work, great special effects and Hardy's terrific sense of humor all click at the same time and the movie is a lot of fun.
For a bit.
The scenes with Eddie/Venom both speaking out of the same body and arguing are perfection and the sound effects department earns kudos. Venom's voice sounds awesome in those surround speakers and never gets old.
But so much of this plot line feels old and oh so predictable. Nothing in the last 40 minutes surprised me in anyway. If it surprises you, I'm going to guess you dont get to the movies very often.
The concluding battle between Venom and his key foe is especially disappointing.
Even the post credits scene in this one feels tacked on, and for all its star power, meant absolutely nothing to me.
As a special effects show, its impressive.
Hardy is terrific throughout. Crank it up, the sound effects and music mix roar, even if the movie doesn't.
For all its teeth, VENOM doesn't have much bite and gets a C+.
Now that i think about it, you really dont have to admire any part of this, it evaporates into thin air the minute the credits wrap....