Sony Pictures’ villain saves the day

By Andrew Ayala

“Venom” is Sony Pictures’ action-packed and gripping take on one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic villains. The movie is an unorthodox Marvel movie in that it doesn’t follow the structure of the Marvel Studios films.

Viewers should go in with an open mind and realize that this is the beginning of “Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters” and not a part of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” which has been around since the first ”Iron Man.”

Tom Hardy stars as Eddie Brock and also voices the character Venom, which is a space-sludge looking symbiote who chooses Brock as its new host.

From the movie’s beginning, viewers are hit with action and a brief explanation as to how and why symbiotes are coming to earth. The audience is then introduced to the Brock who is a successful investigative reporter in San Francisco.

Brock seems to have the world at his fingertips due to his success in both his career and his relationship. In the film, his boss Jack, played by Ron Cephas Jones, tells him to interview billionaire philanthropist Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, about all of the innovative scientific discoveries that are occurring in his lab.

Before Brock has a chance to conduct the interview, information comes to light that change his views on his upcoming piece. This change sets into motion a series of events that ruin Brocks current status quo.

At first, it seems as if he is stuck with this parasite who is hurting him internally, but viewers soon realize that Venom is possibly the savior Brock needed.

After a confrontation with Drake’s goons, Venom has a conversation with Brock where he states his purpose and ultimate goal. This is eye-opening for Brock and the moment where they begin working in unison and understand the huge task they have ahead.

The story is very cliche and works well enough but might make it work for a general audience but not movie critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 30 percent while the audience average is at an 89 percent.

Audiences don’t have to wait long for the story to pick up the pace and bring the action. The computer-generated imagery and effects are done wonderfully and make Venom look like an intimidating and scary creature.

Tom Hardy does an awesome job as both Brock and the alien voice, which dwells inside of his head. The dialogue between the two seems very natural and straight out of an ‘80s comic book, which is what makes this interpretation so original.

It was interesting to see the bond grow between two beings, who at first seemed to be complete opposites.

The rest of the cast also does a great job at making the film flow smoothly, but it would have been nice to see more development of the villain in the film. The love interest is there and has a lot to do with the film but never overpowers the main issue that is presented.

All proper explanations of the symbiotes origins and their ultimate goal leaves no room for unanswered questions. It is interesting to see Venom in a new light especially when he is infamous for being one of Spider-Man’s archenemies.

Although the screen-writing could have been done better, it seems to work and brings this character onto the big screen in a proper adaptation.

The films’ genre is unclear because it has elements of horror and comedy but works well as an unusual hybrid. One positive of the film is that viewers need no prior knowledge to understand what is going on throughout the film.

From the onset, the rating of the the film was contentious between fans and those involved in the production. Had they made the film rated R, instead of its PG-13 rating, more gore and violence could have showed the true nature of these evil creatures.

There is not one moment of down-time from beginning to end, which makes the hour and 50 minute running time seem shorter.

Overall, “Venom” is a film for those who love Marvel in general, or are interested in this villain and the rest of the symbiotes, specifically because it isn’t a Marvel/Disney blockbuster at all.

Nonetheless, the film packs a villainous punch and almost does this character the justice he deserves. There are two post-credit scenes viewers should stick around to watch, especially if they enjoy the film. “Venom” was released on Oct. 5 and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of  sci-fi violence and action, and for language.

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