CHICAGO – I was one of the last sentinels; a conscientious objector in the war against comic book films. The handful of these that come out yearly had yet to weigh heavy on my film soul, especially when so many of the newer ones creating unique experiences, like “Deadpool” and “Thor: Ragnarok”. Even DC films, in all their failure, are products of their time. “Venom” changed all that.
Comic book fatigue is real, but that weariness seemed to pass me by completely. Even the worst Marvel film is better than the best DC film, and both are so extremely different than these types of films that came out even a decade ago that you can find things to appreciate in their approach. Some are obviously learning from their mistakes faster than others, but then there are films like “Venom” that poison the well and threaten the future of other great stories being told.
The film opens with a spaceship cruising towards Earth in the vacuum of space. As it gets closer to the planet, it loses control and crash-lands in a field, releasing a menacing symbiote into the world. This is the perfect personification of this entire project. It feels like it was created in a space-like vacuum, devoid of any information or points of reference for comic book films made in the last 20 years. It enters the film atmosphere like an anachronism, something from a bygone era where these types of films were young, dumb, and full of fun. “Venom” would have been acceptable schlock 20 years ago, but now it is nothing more than a menacing franchise symbiote of a film akin to a fanboy parasite.
“Venom” opens everywhere on October 5th. Featuring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson, and Reid Scott. Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Written by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, and Kelly Marcel. Rated “PG-13”
The only real relationship that matters in ‘Venom’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures