Venom is not your typical Marvel movie

The critically panned antihero film proves better than reviews imply

The Marvel movie stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock.
Screenshot from YouTube

Critics and movie-goers alike have slammed the new Marvel antihero movie Venom since it came out last weekend.  Reviews fault the film for its sloppy script, underdeveloped characters, and question why a minor Marvel character is receiving his own movie. But the reasons critics found Venom to be disappointing are actually what makes the movie worthwhile.

Tom Hardy stars in the film as Eddie Brock, a journalist whose body unintentionally merges with an evil, alien spirit—the titular Venom. As the spirit wreaks havoc in fits of rage-fueled terror, Eddie must figure out how to release Venom before it overcomes him for good.

Prior to seeing Venom, I made the error of listening to the opinion of critics before establishing my own.

Like many, I was disappointed by the script’s predictability. The lack of any unique plot points limited its amazing actors—Hardy and Michelle Williams, who plays Eddie’s ex-fiancée—from living up to their full onscreen potential. 

What made Venom actually stand out from the steady stream of formulaic superhero movies was its willingness to be cheesy, self-contained, and action packed.

The movie didn’t care what critics or diehard Marvel fans thought—it only wanted its audience to have fun with the material. Venom’s perspective and light tone allow viewers to feel rebellious by identifying with and caring for an extraterrestrial being that eats people’s heads off for fun.

Like all strict genre films, Venom‘s success will be dependent on how its material is executed and portrayed, rather than by virtue of its originality. Even though the film is far from perfect, at least in terms of plot development, it definitely contains more positive elements than negative.

At the forefront of Venom’s commendable execution is the performance given by Hardy, its lead actor.

An established A-lister in his own right, Hardy has fun playing the antihero. It’s revealed in the wildly maniacal laughter he emits while under Venom’s control or his jeers aimed at Carlton Drake, leader of the evil Life Foundation.

While the script still leaves much to be desired in terms of fully fleshing out his character and storyline, Hardy seems unbothered, relying on his superior acting chops to bring the better elements of the movie to the forefront.

While Venom is certainly not going to be turning any heads during awards season, that’s no excuse to miss this unabashed, unfettered, and uniquely enjoyable movie. 

Critics often focus on the bad parts of a movie instead of the good, but Venom serves an admirable purpose by allowing audiences to sit back, relax, and enjoy one-and-a-half hours of cheesy action and humour.

Overall Rating: 3/5

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