Make no mistake; Venom is a bad movie.
It’s as bad as you’d expect from a movie starring the quintessential gimmicky 90’s comic book villain who thrives on being dark and “extreme”. A shame, considering six years ago, Tom Hardy played another ridiculously 90’s supervillain in The Dark Knight Rises, but that film’s Bane was intimidating, interesting and even had a sympathetic side. These qualities are far from present in Venom, and it doesn’t help that, unlike the aforementioned Dark Knight Rises, Venom doesn’t have the title character’s signature superhero nemesis.
There is a villain for Venom to fight, but there is nothing worth noting about him. In fact, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) seems a throwback to earlier Marvel Cinematic Universe movies where the villain is the blandest character, which is especially egregious when that franchise is now including more and more intriguing antagonists. Scenes that could have been effective and terrifying are ruined by atrocious dialogue and symbiotes that look like bubblegum. When Hardy’s Eddie Brock is joined with Venom, what follows is a number of scenes that seem lifted out of every superhero origin movie and every werewolf movie you can think of.
Venom is awful, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a watch.
Though I knew everything was horrendously made, I watched the film with a big fat smile on my face, especially after Brock is bonded with the Venom symbiote. The dialogue makes the Joel Schumacher Batman movies look like the works of Oscar Wilde and when Venom speaks this awful dialogue in his Saturday morning cartoon villain voice, the result is absolutely hilarious, especially when he says “loser”.
Venom is not a film you’ll be bored by. It has more unintentional laughs than most superhero movies have intentional ones, and even moves at a zippier pace than most others of its kind these days. It may not be one of the best superhero movies of 2018, but it’s one of the more entertaining ones.