VENOM – A Review by John Strange
A mission by a bioengineering corporation called Life Foundation sent to explore space for inhabitable worlds finds life forms on a comet they pass. Everything goes well with the mission until just before the craft begins re-entry. Communications are lost following what sounds like a struggle. The craft crashes in the wilds of Malaysia.
The investigators and rescuers find that one of the symbiotic lifeforms/creatures being brought back from the comet is missing. And then they find that one of the astronauts is alive, barely. The astronaut and the specimens are brought back to the Life Foundation research facility in San Francisco.
At the same time, reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is living a great life with his beautiful fiancée, lawyer Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), and doing investigative reporting on TV. His problem? He is determined to get to the bottom of stories. He is selected to interview Life Foundation CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) by the owner of the network (played by Ron Cephas Jones).
Eddie, unable to do a "puff piece" on the genius CEO, starts asking questions not on the allowed list. He loses his job and his girl all in one day.
The story of Venom, the paring of a down on his luck reporter (Eddie) and an alien symbiote (do NOT call him a parasite, he does not like it), is well known to the comics-reading world. They make the ultimate anti-hero, totally capable of kicking tail (and eating the occasional head). ). And in this film, they do that in as wild a manner as anything I have ever witnessed on the big screen.
The humor is primarily centered on Eddie's assimilation of Venom. This film has a lot of excellent action, amazing cgi effects, and a well-rounded interesting script. The choice of Riz Ahmed/ Carlton Drake as the villain was perfect. He plays the CEO as a man with few morals (if any), vast wealth, and a genius IQ, who doesn't care what his research into the symbiotes costs in human lives as long as he gets the results he wants.
I don't care if you saw Spider-Man 3 (2007) where Topher Grace played Eddie Brock/Venom. THIS is the version you are going to really like. The writing for Venom is so much better than on Spider-Man 3. I know that Sony/Columbia is going to make a mint on this franchise with sequels spanning the next several years. Overall, this is a "killer" movie!
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language)
Selig Rating: A
Runtime: 112 Min.
Movie Site: www.venom.movie
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.