“Venom” review

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“Venom” review

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Noah Moore, Staff Writer

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For people familiar with the profusion of Spider-Man movies released in the past decades, a return to the infamous villain Venom seemed intuitive. “Venom,” released last month, refreshes our memory of the anti-hero and ultimately straddles the line between delight and disaster.

Boasting both a 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’s Tomatometer and an 87 percent audience score, the film seems to divide viewers as far as what exactly a good film should do. Somehow, though, many have identical perspectives. Most proclaim it a “must-see,” calling it both fun and atrocious.

If it’s so fun, where then lie the problems? Writing, primarily. The movie’s trailers seemed to portray a dark, gritty struggle between Venom and humanity, and indeed the solemn setup early in the film lent itself to an action/drama. Once the film gets rolling, though, its tone shifts to that of a buddy-cop/romantic-comedy hybrid. Venom and Eddie even share a romantic kiss in a dark forest before the film’s climax. This tone shift had the potential to be effective, provided it was deliberate, but it hardly seemed more than an accident. Characters are reduced to near- caricatures and the dialogue is never clever enough to distract viewers from the movie’s chaotic plot. Riz Ahmed’s Carlton Drake, for instance, gives a few too many mad scientist speeches.

Mixed bag? Perhaps. But the highs of the film outweigh the lows, especially if you don’t take it too seriously. Viewed as a comedy, “Venom” is delightful. Tom Hardy shines in his portrayal of the nervous and quirky Eddie Brock. Eddie and Venom’s eventual friendship and mutual understanding are often hilarious and, fortunately, push this movie away from being a train-wreck.

If you’re looking for clever dialogue or a fresh plot line, “Venom” may not be for you. But if want to see Tom Hardy eat a live lobster and kiss an alien, you’re in luck.

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