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I want to preface that as a kid, I loved Spider-man. Countless comic runs were read by little eight year old me (the 1999 Strazinski run being the best one), and one of my favorite villains was Eddie Brock/Venom. This was not because he was the strongest or the most original. I love Venom because of the connection that the Symbiote has to Pete. Their relationship reminds me of a couple who broke up but one of them just couldn't get over it. That being said, here is my Venom review.
This movie features Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, who comes in contact with this alien being who bonds to him. One aspect of Hardy's performance that adds to the immersion of the movie was his Venom voice. I didn't even realize it until after I finished the movie that the person who was the voice of the Symbiote was Venom. Tom does a good job with what he was given, but I will say that Eddie was too nice. Eddie (before the Symbiote) isn't an incredibly nice guy but he isn't a jerk either. The villain named Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, does a good job as well. All the actors and actresses who were in the movie did great with what was given to them.
When I talk about the story, I'm going to judge it on two criteria. The first one being comic accuracy. The second being on a solo movie basis. I won't lie to you, when I say that not having Spider-man was somewhat off. Spider-man is an essential part of Venom's origin. It wouldn't be far to say that Spider-man is the reason for Venom being a villain. So, since there is no Spider-man in the movie, I have to knock it down points there. However, when we judge it as a solo movie, it actually excels. Drake is an amazing part of this movie, and probably one of my favorite parts. There was no point in the movie where it felt too fast or too slow. One thing that should be noted is that there wasn't any obvious parable that was in the movie. At this day in age where there are so many superhero movies that have this, it's refreshing to just see an entertaining movie. That is what this movie excels in; just being a fun, mindless movie. That exact niche is where this movie excels in. Although, I will say that the story could have been better. There is one big flaw that in the story that makes it not so enjoyable. In the comics, Venom is a bad guy. He thinks that he is doing the right thing but is actually not. In this movie, that was not really there. Although Venom was biting people's heads off and killing people, he was still a "good guy." It wasn't something that would detract from the average moviegoer experience, but for a seasoned fan such as I, it was a problem.
In addition to just a fun story, the look of Venom was amazing. It captured the essence of what a comic accurate Venom suit would look like. As much as I love Topher Grace's Venom role from the original Sam Raimi trilogy, this new and improved venom suit looked so much better. Him fighting others with said suit and the Symbiote on Symbiote action was flawless looking. My only real problem with these actions scenes was at the end where the action was set at night, which made it hard to see what was going on.
In conclusion, it was a good overall film. If you go into the theater expecting it to be just like how the comic was, then you might be disappointed. If you go in looking for a fun movie to watch with some friends, I think you'll enjoy it. If I were to give it a grade, I would give it a solid B. Not too great, but not too bad either. The movie excels in some parts but fails in other aspects.