Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
Superhero fatigue hasn’t quite taken hold yet, but films like this won’t do the genre any favors. Starring Tom Hardy as the popular anti-hero Venom, the film takes myriad genre tropes and pulls them together in awkward ways in a film that never seems sure what kind of movie it wants to be.
Venom is the name of the alien symbiote that has latched onto investigative reporter Eddie Brock. Brock, desperate to bring down Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) after he destroyed his career, follows a lead into Drake’s facility only to become attacked by this symbiote. As the two struggle for control, another symbiote named Riot is clawing its way across the world to fly on Drake’s rocket to retrieve his fellow symbiote and bring them back to feed on the planet with Venom the only one capable of stopping him.
Like Warner Bros. with their DC properties and Fox with their Fantastic Four attempts, Sony has shown an almost comical incompetence in translating these cinematic properties to the big screen. After the disastrous The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the studio took a break, cancelling its Sinister Six plans only to cave to Disney’s pressure to get Spider-Man back in their stable of characters, and produced the formulaic Spider-Man: Homecoming and start work on a new slate of films. The first, and likely last, is Venom, a hamfisted film that trades on Ruben Fleischer’s post-Zombieland mediocrity to create this tone deaf rendering of the well known character.
Venom and Eddie Brock are meant to be the darker version of characters like Spider-Man and Iceman and more akin to Deadpool. The problem with the Sony entry is that they insisted on a PC-13 rating when Venom is an R-rated character like Deadpool. Not until the post-climax scenes does the movie genuinely come alive giving the audience the kind of film they might have preferred with the clever banter between Brock and his inner demon making for an engaging finale.