Lady Gaga fans have been receiving backlash this week after they allegedly began writing fake Venom reviews to persuade people to instead watch Lady Gaga’s film A Star is Born. I must admit that after seeing both films, I don’t necessarily disagree with them, as I’d much rather people see a genuine masterclass in filmmaking rather than watch this poor messy excuse for a superhero movie.
Heading up the cast is Tom Hardy, whose character Eddie becomes infested by Venom, an alien parasite with…powers (I don’t know, it’s never really explained). The best way to explain it is that Venom is part alien, part T-1000 from Terminator 2. Alongside him is Michelle Williams as Female Protagonist #37 and Riz Ahmed as evil scientist #43. They’re not great characters, and are caricatures of personalities rather than actual fleshed out creations. The worst appearance in this film, however, is the Wilhelm Scream, and its use during a dramatic action scene totally ruined the mood.
The script is a dire affair. Boring exposition, timeline discrepancies and horrendous attempts at humour fill the bloated 112 minutes. Character motivations change at the drop of the hat, and all attempts at creepy horror are ruined once Venom appears and begins sharing jokes and pleasantries with Eddie. Granted, some of the action set pieces are entertaining viewing, and parts of the film are fun to watch. It definitely benefits from having a 15 rating, because it’s only the properly intense scenes that are interesting to watch. But on a whole, the film is painfully boring and messy.
Surprisingly, for a $100 million film, a lot of the CGI is rather patchy. I’m really not a fan of the design of Venom, and while some of the shots of the liquid Symbiotes are rather impressive in the way they move, the full figures of the Symbiotes are very bizarre and unconvincing. Elsewhere, the action scenes use heavy stunt work but are obviously employing stunt doubles. Not to continue harping on about it too much, but once again Mission: Impossible – Fallout shines above the rest for delivering real action, rather than faked action that Venom so desperately depends on.
Overall, Venom is a rushed, inconsistent mess, with a patchy script and dodgy CGI. Though Tom Hardy does his best to inject some life and personality to the film, his efforts are ultimately wasted. With the end credits hinting at a Venom universe, one can only hope that serious thought and changes are made to the series.