Review: “Venom” lacks bite, but hey it was free!
By Nick Jordan
This past Friday (or two Fridays ago whenever you read this), myself and a few
other friends had planned on seeing the movie Halloween. Yes, at that point it was
already after the actual holiday. But is there ever a bad time to see a movie with Jamie
Lee Curtis? NO! Not only that, but a fourth friend works at the theater we planned on
seeing the movie at gave us free tickets to see whatever we wanted. Or, so we thought.
The bottom read the movie had to have been out for at least two weeks. Which means we
could have seen it, except we got there late due to an impromptu, but worth it, visit to
Petsmart where we met two cats named Keiko and Dublin. Our next movie would have
been Bohemian Rhapsody, though that is when the two-week rule killed us. The trip was
already made, so we had to see something. With an hour to spare and a month-old
release date, Venom it was. Like the movie itself minus one of the friends who saw it
with me, no one really asked for this review. But here it is!
I, personally, am not big on superhero movies. That’s not to say I’m not into
seeing outlandish, reality-bending things. I like seeing real people, or at least actors
pretending to be real people, and if something unbelievable were to happen I would like
it to be because of society, meaning it could actually happen, as opposed to actual
physical limitations. Because of that, there is a bias. But again, it was free, so in a way I
felt more inclined to give it a chance.
It was watchable, I’ll give it that. The character’s background as an investigative
journalist was fascinating as someone who studies media. However, lead Tom Hardy
seemed to continue that TV persona throughout the movie, with an accent that at times
mimicked Harvey Fierstein. Much like his character, he seemed to have no control over
himself. His girlfriend, played by Michelle Williams, has no chemistry whatsoever with
him and so when they break up early on I at least could care less if they got back
together even if the director wanted the audience to feel otherwise. I don’t blame
Williams for her weak performance, she is clearly capable of doing much more. It
seemed that only two of the actors were actually directed to act, and that was Hardy and
his antagonist played by Riz Ahmed. Ahmed previously starred in the far superior
Nightcrawler. There he was killed by the manipulative Jake Gyllenhaal. Because of that,
I somewhat rooted for him here, taking on a persona similar to Gyllenhaal’s. Every other
character is incredibly one-dimensional. The only forms of diversity came from the
Asian convenience store clerk and the Hispanic man who robs the store. In 2018. These
characters are so marginalized possibly to make Hardy stand out more but it just doesn’t
work. On a brighter note, actress Jenny Slate who normally does comedic roles did a
refreshing dramatic turn but was sadly not in it nearly long enough. Maybe if its on FX
in, like, five years I’ll watch a few minutes of it. But other than that, I did what I could
with it. No harm done to my wallet at least.