Marvel movies this year have been a box office force. From Black Panther to Infinity War all the way to Ant-Man's follow up, they've been financial successes to say the least but the one important aspect that's made these films hits is Marvel Studio's quality touch. Sony was wise to incorporate their aid in last year's Spider-Man: Homecoming so it raises a few questions as to why they didn't do the same with Venom, the long awaited solo outing of one of Spidey's most popular villains in the web-head's universe. For those not in the know surrounding the immense popularity behind this character, Venom is a symbiote who was brought from space by a pharmaceutical company called Cell run by Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). It isn't long before Venom gets loose and finds himself in contact with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), a disgraced news reporter who lost his job for trying to uncover hidden allegations concerning
Drake's illegal experiments. The two eventually come to terms (sort of) as they form an uneasy alliance to uncover the true plot behind Drake's shady operations. From the moment the film starts, it's evident Venom is going a different direction than the films of the Marvel cinematic universe in terms of tone. I dare say it's even trying to be dark like DC (cue the fanboys!), considering that the character in question is in actuality a bit of a human eating alien. Eddie Brock's character, who is suppose to act like a catalyst to let Venom go crazy, instead feels like a restraint against the symbiote's violently sporadic and black humoristic character, which is the one thing the film manages to nail down perfectly. The film's pacing, while not rushed, doesn't provide enough fluid development for Brock's character, making
him feel less like an unlucky guy trying to do good but instead coming off as a dick who looks for every opportunity to escape a situation, although that's more than what I can say than Drake whose character as the villain is as two-dimensional as it gets. Marvel's been stepping their game up in the last few years in giving us well rounded villains that are flawed but well developed so this feels like a step backwards. On the positive side, the action set pieces are crazy fun although things do get immensely hectic in the climatic battle where the CGI gets so out of hand it's literally overflowing, and Tom Hardy's performance is pretty solid; just slightly overshadowed by his otherworldly counterpart. Venom is a mixed bag but it's one of those cases where the good outweighs the bad, and there's definitely potential here that has room for improvement.